My sister was always the brave one. The one who stood next to the door with my dad during a frightening thunderstorm. Taking in the majestic power, the unbridled ferocity, and the flashing lights all around. A look of awe and wonder spread across her face.
Me? I was either downstairs reading or upstairs in my room with a blanket over my head. I hated thunder. I hated rain. Hated.
And then, I went on a 12 day hike in the Adirondacks in New York as a freshman in college. The possibility of rain and thunder storms was inevitable.
One of the “requirements” for the trip was that we spend some time in solitude and quiet. Two nights to be exact. And if you’ve ever been to the Adirondacks, you know it’s not at all hard to find a quiet spot. Seclusion is part of the experience.
The first day that I spent in “quiet time”, I actually kind of enjoyed myself. We’d been hiking for 7 full days and I was tired. Completely wiped out. It felt absolutely indulgent to be able to finally rest and think. And breathe.
And then the second night came. It began to rain. Hard. Which was all fine and dandy, except for the fact that my shelter that I had made wasn’t as sturdy as it looked and it began to sink with the weight of the water. But then, really, even that was okay. It was the rolling sounds coming quickly over the hills that brought my hands together into a tight clasp, my eyes squeezing firmly shut. My heart was pumping so loud, so fast, that I feared it might pop out of my chest. I once again resorted to pulling my sleeping bag over my head, but unfortunately, it didn’t seem to have the same effect as when I was small.
I was alone. I was outdoors. It was raining and thundering.
This was quite possibly my worst nightmare.
And then this Bible verse popped in my head:
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I don’t know where it came from, as I’ve never been good at remembering verses or quotes or anything of the sort. But regardless, I suddenly felt my breathing return to normal. My hands turned from a fisted clasp to a relaxed grip. I opened my eyes and I saw the flashes. Bright, crisp flashes. Flooding the sky with light.
I didn’t sleep that night. Instead, I had the most deep, heart to heart talk with God that I have ever had. I did consider begging Him for my life, but then I thought that this was probably an entirely useless component of time.
So I just talked. Then I stopped talking. And then I was completely still and came to the conclusion that I would always have fear in life. Nobody is fearless; there is always something. Thunder. Interviews. Heights. Promotions. New school.
What matters is that we delve into these fears. That we come to grips with what we want the outcome to be and that we stop worrying over every inch and detail. I was out in the middle of the Adirondacks. Incredibly alone (but not really.) And whether or not I felt fear didn’t change a single thing.
And so, I faced the thunder. I just let it be. I let myself be. And then I witnessed the most beautiful calm the next morning: a sunrise that would blow anyones socks off. I experienced the most delicious feeling of satisfaction and contentment.
Never facing our fears means never seeing what is possible if we get through them.
QUESTION: Have you ever faced your fears in a really big way? What happened? What fear would you like to conquer?
I’m still attempting to conquer my fears of public speaking!!