Ministry Resources

Ministry Resources
Ministry Resources

What My 3 Year Old Taught Me about Bravery

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked my three year old as we waited in line.

“Yes, mama. I wanna ride that thing.” She could hardly contain her excitement as she pointed to the ride and looked up at me with fearlessness in her big brown eyes. 

We were at our local county fair when she spotted the kids trampoline jump.  Kids were placed in a harness and attached to these rubber band like strings that would allow them to jump on the trampoline and catapult them into the air, flipping back and forth.

She had ridden the small children’s rides; but a little car that goes around in a circle for a minute and a giant kid bungee are two different things.  At least for my mama heart they are. 

I didn’t want to discourage her from trying something new, but I also wanted to make sure she knew what she was getting herself into.  So I asked her again if she wanted to do it, just to make sure.  She jumped down out of my arms and ran inside the jumping zone to claim her spot.  Go with her, I motioned to my husband.

As the ride worker put her harness on and began to attach the rubber band strings, I stationed myself near the exit gate because I was sure at any moment she would realize what was happening and bolt.  As the machine came on, sending a loud buzz signal to the jumper to start jumping, there she went.  She started off lightly bouncing.  And then the ride worker, who meant no harm, gave her a startup pull-sending her flying into the air.  Shock and panic immediately came across her face. 

I was ready to fly past everyone and get her down myself.  There’s nothing like your baby being scared to enact that mama bear response.  And mama bear here, who had not had a single bit of funnel cake yet, was ready to get my baby down and quickly.

“She’s fine.  Let her be. Give her a minute on it.” My husband said as he walked over to me.

I wanted to smack him for saying that.  Not really.  But you mama’s know how that goes.  I saw the panic on her face.  I knew she wanted off.  But He encouraged her to stay on. 

Here’s the amazing thing.  She did stay on.

She stayed on that trampoline bungee-they make these to scare the mama’s-ride and she started to enjoy herself.  My husband was right.  I needed to let her be and let her experience something that was a little scary but fun at the same time. 

As she finished her ride and ran out to greet us on the other side of the gate, I couldn’t help but tell her how proud of her I was.  She had done something out of her comfort zone, something scary and she ended up loving it. 

As we walked away I realized how often I run when things get scary or when I’m pushed out of my own comfort zone.  She had no idea, but my daughter had just taught me two valuable lessons about bravery.

Don’t be afraid of the ride.

When I was about fifteen, my youth group took a trip to an amusement park.  Everyone was so excited to ride all the rides; especially the roller coasters.  I shared a smile with everyone else and pretended to be excited to ride all the coasters.  But the truth was, on the inside I was completely terrified.   

My palms started to sweat and my heart began to race as we all got in line for the first coaster.  One of my friends took my hand and encouraged me to get on.  “You’ll love it if you just try it,” she said.   And I did.  Oh how I loved that feeling of my stomach flipping and the air coursing through my hair. 

But facing my fear of getting on a roller coaster and facing my fears when it comes to my dreams is a little bit harder for me.  At times I’m afraid to ride out my dreams, to see where they will really take me.  Where God will really take me.

I let the fear of failure stop me from trying.

I let the fear of rejection keep me comfortable in my own safety net.

I fear my abilities aren’t what I think they are.

I fear it’s not what God has planned for me, so it will never happen.

Walking away from the fair that day I realized how much I let fear stand in the way of my dreams.  There have been many times that I’ve let fear take over my desire to pursue something. Perhaps you’re like me and you’re doing the same thing.  You’re afraid to even get on the ride. 

Satan loves to use fear to stop us from fully seeking God’s will for our lives. If we’re too afraid to pursue what God has put on our hearts, then we can’t do the Kingdom work He has called us to do.

And doing real Kingdom work is scary.  But oh so worth it. 

Sometimes pursuing our dreams can be terrifying, just like getting on a ride.  Sometimes it feels like your stomach is going to fly out of your mouth.  Sometimes it takes every ounce of faith to keep going. But we must keep going.

Stay. Even when things get scary. 

I saw the panic spread across Brooke’s face in the instant she went flying up into the air.  Suddenly she was out of control, experiencing something unknown to her.  There were a few split moments when fear took over, but she stayed on and kept jumping.  I could take a note or two from this. 

Stay.  Even when it’s scary.  This one is so hard for me.  Maybe it is for you too.  Releasing control, releasing hopes, dreams, desires, even fears to God-so that He can take us into a deeper relationship with Him, well that takes a certain amount of faith. 

I want so badly to say I do this but the reality is, when things get hard or uncomfortable or scary, I want to run.  I want to do the comfortable Jesus thing. 

If we can learn to hang on during the times when things seem crazy.  If we can learn to lean on the everlasting arms of our sweet Creator, to trust that when He brings us to things-He will bring us out of them.  If we can learn to use fear in a good way, to push us farther, deeper, then we will reap the blessing of that relationship with God.  

It's not easy to stay when things get scary.  Most of the time our natural response is to do the thing that isn't scary to us, that isn't uncomfortable, the thing that keeps us at a safe distance.  

But I don't want to be at a safe distance from God.  I want more.  I want to keep going even when everything in me tells me not to.  I want to keep chasing Him, knowing He will put me places that feel out of my comfort zone, out of my safe place. 

But there is purpose in all of this.  Yes, this dreaming thing is hard.  This faith walk is hard.  It takes guts.  It takes bravery.  It takes humbleness. It takes an unending amount of grace and love that only The Lord can provide.  But I'm ready to be brave.  

So how bout it?  You want to be brave with me?  

Do you want to stay on even it's scary?  Even when you're afraid to get on the ride in the first place?  Do you dare to go deeper with God, to see where He really wants to take you?

"Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen."

Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Voice)

We're in great company with this bravery thing. Did you know?  Check out some of our Bible brothers and sisters brave moments below.  

-Deborah & Jael (Judges 4)
-David (1 Samuel 17)
-Daniel & his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 1) *one of my favorites!*
-Rahab (Joshua 1-3, 6)
-Moses (Exodus, Deuteronomy)
-Ruth (Ruth)
-The Disciples (Gospels of: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
-Our precious Jesus
-Paul (much of the New Testament letters to the churches)

No comments

Powered by Blogger.