I believe every Christian actively following God has a #YesGod story! This #YesGod story is someone’s powerful testimony of declaring Yes to doing God’s will and stepping outside of their comfort zone to do amazing things for the Kingdom of God. For the month of May, I will be featuring young women, like myself, that have demonstrated bold faith and are actively pursuing God’s will for their life and ultimately declaring Yes to God!
Just Jump: A (Recovering) Control Freak’s Guide to Learning to Let Go
Hi, my name is Candace, and I’m a control freak. Whew. Glad we got that out of the way. But really, I am a control freak – but I’m working on it! Ask anyone who knows me – I like things the way I like them, I’ll plan my way out of, or into any situation, and I’m the first to take the reigns on a project to make sure it’s done the “right” way. Of course, my need for control can rear its ugly head. I often find it hard to simply be spontaneous – and it even makes it hard for me to trust God. But I’m working on it – and He’s working on me! So, needless to say, my “Yes God” story is a work in progress to say the least. Every day I’m taking baby steps toward God’s plan for my life, and away from my own.
Confession: I’m afraid of heights. No, I’m really afraid of heights. Don’t ask me to go to Six Flags and ride the roller coaster, or stand on top of the mountain to take a selfie with you. Nope. Nah. Not this girl. No thanks. So when I was asked to take part in a team building activity at work that involved ziplining I reached for my bag of excuses to slide my way out of the situation. While many of my co-workers were excited about our teambuilding trip, I was trying to figure out how I could conveniently catch the swine flu. I mean, really, flying hundreds of feet in the air above a river suspended by rope is NOT my idea of fun. But – being the team player I am, I went (insert massive miserable sigh here).
At first, it seemed like no big deal. I’d mentally prepared myself the night before to ‘take a risk,’ telling myself ‘it wouldn’t be that bad’. I even tried out the practice course. I was ready. So here we are, on the platform that seemed like it was at least 1000 feet in the air. The “outdoorsy” folks jumped at the chance and went first – they slid right across and landed safely without incident. So I figured, ok, I can do this. I stepped up to the edge of the platform clad in my helmet, and held by my harness that the guide attached to the line. “Be sure to hold on to the handles – not the line. It’ll be over in no time. Ready? Just jump,” he says – as if it was as simple as stepping off a curb. I pushed through the huge lump in my throat and… I jump.
The first 12 seconds were a blur. I remember closing my eyes and stepping off the safety of the platform into nothingness. I was moving, fast, so I instinctively grabbed on to the line to control my speed, thinking I would be on the ground soon. Suddenly I stopped. Oh. Crap. I opened my eyes to find I was dangling at least 2000 feet in the air above some random rushing river. And I freaked out. I screamed like someone stepped on my toe, stole my cat and stung me all at the same time. ‘I’m going to die,’ I thought. ‘How am I going to get down from here, what do I do’? In my head, I was calculating the distance to the ground trying to determine how I would forward roll myself off this contraption… and I screamed. I screamed so loud I couldn’t hear the guide on the ground tell me to let go of the rope so they could pull me to the ground. ‘Let go? You’re crazy’ I thought. ‘If I let go, I’ll fall’! In my terror, I’d forgotten about the harness that was holding me safely in place. “Just let go,” the guide said again, “then I can pull you in”.
It was quite possibly one of the scariest moments of my life. But as I look back at it (now that I’m safely on the ground), I can see amazing parallels to my walk with Christ. Every day we have the amazing opportunity to move in fear, or in faith as we trust God to fulfill his promises in our lives. As we step of off platforms large and small, we can choose to try to control our journey – and when we do, we often end up just like I was, stuck dangling over canyons we aren’t strong enough, wise enough, or skilled enough to carry ourselves over. Or, we can learn to trust God. We can learn to just let go. Trust that He has made our path clear, knowing that we can’t do it on our own. And even when we try to rely on our own power, we can rest in knowing that He’s holding us up and waiting on the other side to pull us to the safety of His love.
Take it from a recovering control freak – it’s easier said than done. But learning how to let go and trust God requires us to loose control – one baby step at a time. As we let go we make room for Him to draw us closer to the life He has for us. It’s hard, but trust me – YOU CAN DO IT! Start small – just talk to God about everything – the more you ask for His help, the more you’ll receive it, and you’ll learn to rely less on your limited abilities. But don’t worry; even when you stumble into self, He’s there ready and willing to carry you back to the safety of His arms. So come on – just jump.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. – Jeremiah 29:11-13
Candace is a wife and mother of one. She is the co-owner of an event planning business called Crowned Affair Wedding and Events. I am so proud to call her my big sister and one of my best friends!