When I first got my car, the next day I drove to san diego to be with my family, to ride a little bike car with my sisters and mom in the other seats around the ocean streets. When I am stressed out, unsure of who I am or what I’m doing I throw a blanket in my car, drive to the beach (probably with a pit stop to In-N- Out first) and sit there for at least an hour, sometimes two, sometimes more. Sometimes i’ll bring a book and my journal, most times i just sit there because it’s the only time I’ve allotted myself to be completely still.
Waterfalls, rivers, streams, little creeks, waves, bodies of water, have always reminded me how B I G I tend to make my problems and how s m a l l I tend to make the one who created them in all the palm of his hand or the exhale of his breath.
Today, Karen and I went on a glacier tour —step one? Wear ALL THE LAYERS, i’m talking–at least five shirts and three pairs of pants ( wish that I had four) type layers. It was five below zero as we hiked in, through and around the Glacier of Matanuska and i’m pretty sure i couldn’t feel my knee camps. Our route wrapped us around giant pieces of ice sitting in and throughout the glacier, we walked on the ice with our mini ice walker chains on each of our shoes. When we walked into the first cave area, our guide had to walk out onto the ice because it was fresh and he wanted to make sure it was safe for us to walk through. I watched as he carefully and yet so confidently treaded on the outskirts of the ice, around in a circle and then beckoned us to join him.
I’m not going to lie, everything in me internally freaked out but immediately my feet moved forward without any hesitation. The blades on our shoes made their marks in the very thick foundation of ice below us as we circled into the cave. Well that was terrifying I thought to myself and then immediately after, but you survived it, you’re okay and also that was freaking awesome.
I have been for the majority of my life very safe, if I didn’t know the outcome of it, then I probably wouldn’t try it because I couldn’t control the results. And then I met Karen and she’s a get-in-your-car, let’s-just-go kind of person. She’s the friend who I will wake up with at five in the morning so we can drive to newport for donuts and stare at the waves, in the first year of our friendship it was a full on LA coffee crawl. She would pick me up, ask where we’re going—we’d stalk people’s instagrams and just find a new place to go. She woke up the adventurer in me that I didn’t even know existed, now i find myself with these little urges to just say yes and go (hence being in Alaska).
So how does all this come together?
How does my love for water and the presence of God + walking through glaciers in Alaska + awakening my adventurer, come back to full circle?
What it means to grab fear close, thank it and do it anyway.
Waves are massive, they can sweep up anything rapidly and we can choose to simply stand on the shore, left stunned by their bigness and never dip our feet in the ocean.
Grab fear close, tell it thank you and do it anyway.
The ice is solid, it is firm it will hold you— walk on it. Go out there because what if you stay on the trail and always wonder what the inside of a cave looks like? What if you stay in the trail and miss what’s out there for you?
Grab fear close, tell it thank you and do it anyway.
Go new places BECAUSE it is terrifying. BECAUSE they are unfamiliar. BECAUSE you have no idea what piece of you will awaken there because golly, you have NO IDEA how God will meet you there and trust me, he will meet you there.
I knew the presence of God in the wave of an ocean, I knew the presence of God in the trickle of a river, I knew the waterfall, overflowing presence of God but I hadn’t quite grasped the I am the ice beneath your feet God. I didn’t fully know what the beckoning into the sweetest adventure presence of God sounded like, until today.
I taught a session on fear and shame to my first Poetry and Creative Writing Class last semester. We talked about what keeps us from creating, from talking to people, from sharing our heart and our passion and every single conversation came down to fear. We talked about where it comes from, where it started for us and why it’s still happening. See. somewhere, somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves not to leap, not to create, not to put ourselves out there but can you imagine what this world would look like when people embrace fear, own it and do it anyway?! Imagine how many more people would be brave enough to start walking on the ice to test its stability and THEN beckon others to come with them —what a beautiful beautiful image.
in what ways do we need to be intentional with not letting fear cripple us? What would it take to get you to step on the ice, you don’t have to dance, you don’t even have to stay there but please give yourself the chance to at least go, take one step.
In what ways are you pushing away God’s beckoning you into the scary, the risky? Honey, he’s not going to take you anywhere that isn’t for you —that place, that path, wherever he’s taking you and whatever he’s calling you to do, I guarantee you this will be the moment that changes your life. It will blow you away, leave you in AWE, absolutely struck with WONDER for the God who is chiseling your story into beautiful masterpieces (something like a Glacier) which are both terrifying and breathtaking all at once.
credit: Karen Marie
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