It is amazing how life can change in a matter of seconds. In my case, it was exactly 5 seconds. Five seconds to fall from the top of Bloukrans Bridge to the end of my bungee cable. Five seconds to realize that I was no longer in my safe zone, which in this case was the very comfortable and solid platform underneath the bridge. Five seconds that seemed like hours of me falling from the bridge. I knew that I could not come all the to South Africa and not take on the biggest challenge of my life. I took a huge leap of faith to come here and spend 3 months from everything familiar and easy, so I knew that I had to continue to push myself and live outside of my box.
I was way past scared standing on that platform waiting for my time to jump. Originally, I was supposed to jump third, but whose name do they call first to take the big plunge…mine! So I moved up from jumping third and watching my two other friends exercise a great act of courage, to being the leader and rope tester of the group. At that moment that my name was called first, my fear turned up about ten notches, and I started regretting ever agreeing to such an act.
As I sat on the bench waiting as the instructors secured my harness to the bungee cord, I prayed to God asking why I decided to go through with this. I must have lost my mind completely because I was about to jump off of the highest bridge bungee jump in the world, which was about 708 feet off of the ground. My heart was beating in my ear so loud I could barely hear the instructor tell me it was time. Time! Oh how I was wishing for more time at that moment. When they placed me on the edge of no return, my arms stretched wide like Christ on the Cross, I new that there was no turning back. I knew that this jump held a deeper meaning for me. It was not just about experiencing the great rush of adrenalin or checking something off of my bucket list (even if it was never on it). This jump was a physical representation of a more spiritual act. This jump meant complete and total trust in God. I was putting all of my trust in this bungee cord that was attached to my ankles with rope and Velcro. It is the same as putting my complete trust in God. I don’t know how many times I said I trusted God, but then when He tells me to do something that seems hard or seems scary or out of my comfort zone I begin to doubt Him. I knew that if I did this then nothing could ever be too scary or too big for me to accomplish. God has brought me so far and I can’t turn back now. He has made a way out of no way in order for me to be in South Africa and experiencing amazing things everyday, so I have no choice but to continue to trust Him.
Taking that leap (literally) of faith was simply amazing. Like every leap of faith it is always scary at first. I know I was screaming my head off all the way down. But there will be easy times when I am not just free falling, but also there will be bad times when I may fall again. But the best part of the whole jump was when I (literally) felt the strong arms of my savior. The man in the red suit. I never knew how happy I would be to feel the arms of a stranger around me. Pulling me up. My first reaction to this was to automatically grad onto him, but one of the safety instructions was to not grab the man when he comes to get you, but simply relax and allow him to do his job. This man is very skilled and much braver then me to repel down from the safety of the bridge using this thin rope and harness to come and save me! He knows exactly what he is doing and all I have to do is just allow him to do his job to get me back to safety.
I loved this part because it is the same in life. When God tells us to take a leap of faith (or pushes us Himself), it will be scary. The first initial “fall” is very scary, but you will bounce back to good times. Things will get easier to handle, but there will also be bad times when you feel like you are just in free fall once again. But eventually God will come to your rescue. He will repel down and send His angels from heaven to pull you back up. He will wrap His arms around you, and tell you to just relax. He is very knowledgeable and skilled at this job. He is not afraid. He knows what He is doing. Just relax and let Him do a good work in you. Soon you will be back to safety and much better because of it all. I would never have seen South Africa and had these amazing and mind blowing experiences if I didn’t trust God. So I must continue to trust Him and live outside of my box.
My “box” was such a wonderful, familiar place to be, but very safe. It was so easy to live in my box. My box felt nice and everyone I knew and was familiar with lived near my box. I have never been a risk taker, I have played it pretty safe all of me life. Always passing on doing anything remotely daring or something that could potentially get me in a little of trouble. I have never been the bold and outgoing girl, I was always content with being safe and quiet. But I realized something important during my stay in SA, I could never take a risk in life and always live in my box. People who take risks are much more likely to get hurt or have something random happen to them like a tree fall on them. But then I realized that even if I stay in my nice clean, safe, familiar box and never tried anything new or daring, then that same tree could also fall on my box.
Do you need some “Bungee Jump Faith”? The kind of faith where you place your complete and total trust in God. Remember on the other side of Fear is Freedom!