My family and I just got back from a much needed, quite enjoyable vacation to Southern California. Our list of fun included a wedding, hanging out with friends, seeing family, great food, the beach, lots of swimming, and an amusement park called “Knott’s Berry Farm.”
Knotts was so much fun. The highlight for me was this moment captured below – my oldest daughter’s first roller coaster. Do yourself a favor and keep a steady eye on her face.
Now, August 1 is right around the corner. And in my family we celebrate what we call “Courage Day.” It’s a family tradition we started four years ago that celebrates the day we took a step out into fear and moved from CA to NC to start STORYCHURCH. I love this day and look forward to it all year. I love that we have a family story – something we are “all in” on together. And it’s become one of the main messages I think God has given me to encourage others. Here’s the deal – fear keeps most of us from ever experiencing true joy. We never risk anything. We are so afraid of the unknown that we’d rather stay with what’s comfortable (even if that is a less than awesome life) than see what God may have for us on the other side.
The more I live and follow Jesus, the more convinced I am that on the other side of fear are some of the greatest experiences of our lives. You can see it in my daughter’s face on that ride. The climb up at the beginning is full of expectancy and uncertainty. There’s a nervous excitement. Then there’s the first drop. Here comes the first sense of doubt. What did I get myself into? For a moment it calms down – long enough to start to hyperventilate and wish we had never done this. Then it takes off again. And the look on her face shows it doesn’t it? Just hang on for dear life and maybe I’ll survive. And then something happens. Something in her face shifts. Suddenly there’s sort of a smile – a different kind of scream. This might actually be awesome, or is it still terrifying, maybe it’s both? And then the ride ends and gives way to sheer joy. That was awesome!! Let’s do it again!
You are capable of more than you think. God has some incredible adventures for you. But it’s going to take pushing through the fear. It’s going to take stepping out into the unknown. It’s going to take trusting Him in the midst of chaos, turmoil, despair, and everything else you are feeling. But it’s worth it. And the next thing you know you’ll be getting back in line for more.
Happy Courage Day.