What a month! I have been facing long seated fears and watching my Savior gently lead me through each step of my fear journey. This weekend I drove a Jet Ski by myself for the first time. No one can understand, unless they are me, how deep fear goes inside me. ( I have already come a long way over the past fifteen years facing fears but God seems to be getting to some fear roots!) Learning to swim a few weeks ago was huge. I wrote about that endeavor previously. Most of my life I have sat on the sidelines watching people have fun doing adventurous things. I believed a lie that I just could not do it!
I had a great instructor this weekend, who taught me exactly what to do on this Jet Ski. You may be laughing but when anxiety and fear comes over you, your memory is useless, even if you only have two steps to follow. Yesterday, during my first trip out driving myself, I noticed if I looked straight down at the waves I panicked and would let off the accelerator. (It made me think about Peter walking on the water to Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he had victory. He sank when he looked at the waves.) My friend told me that I actually need to accelerate when I encounter waves which will make me glide over them more smoothly. Hmmmmm… that was kind of hard to do. Automatic pilot took over and no matter how hard I tried not to slow down I would still let off the accelerator. I think that is the way it is when we have emotional pain that Father is leading us to face. We get scared. We focus on the waves. We automatically say, “I can’t do this!” I want to encourage you to accelerate. And remember Jesus is with you every step of the way! The second time I went out on the Jet Ski it was much easier. BUT I didn’t like to park this powerful machine. I was terrified. To drive that Jet Ski up onto the ramp was horrifying. When it leaned I thought I was going to topple over on the side and be thrown into the lake with the Jet Ski falling on top of me. But I did it. Thankfully my friend did not say she would hop on and do it for me. She just kept calmly instructing me until I did it.
Today I got on the Jet Ski, got off the ramp, started the Jet Ski and followed my friend on a 45 minute adventure. We reached a beautiful cove and I noticed my friend speeding up and zigzagging through the water. I remember thinking, “She’s having fun” but I did not consider following her. She then stopped and asked me to give it a try. She encouraged me again to accelerate as we zigzagged. I got up to 40 MPH and followed right behind her as we zigzagged through the water. I was laughing and screaming, “Wahoo!” Previously when a wave rocked me I yelled, “Oh God, Oh God, help me Jesus.” And I kid you not, what came out of my mouth immediately was, “I’ve got you buddy.” MY VOICE BUT I BELIEVE WITH ALL OF MY HEART IT WAS HIS WORDS BECAUSE MY SPIRIT LITERALLY LEAPT INSIDE OF ME! I’ve never thought about the fact that Jesus talks to us sometimes with our voice. I tell people often that the enemy uses our voice and first person singular tense to deceive us but this time I believe Jesus spoke through my voice. I’ve experienced His words often through thoughts He inserted into my mind or through other people and HE definitely speaks through HIS word.
Toward the end of my ride today God gave me another thought. “Rebekah, you also missed enjoying the gorgeous landscape by focusing so much on the journey.” So I’m slowly learning and growing. Next time I visit I’m going to enjoy the ride and the beauty of my surroundings.
Jesus is the “lifter of our heads.’ Psalms 3:3 says, “But thou, O LORD art a shield for me: my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Let Him lift your head if you are trying to walk through pain. Don’t let off the accelerator if He’s leading you into something hard. It just might be your time to heal and grow. It’s important to be led by someone you feel safe with and you can trust. I’m so thankful for people like Barbara Moon who taught me to swim and Lynnette Achord who taught me how to face my fear and drive a Jet Ski. Thank you ladies for allowing Father to use you in my life and live through you.
What about you? Is your Heavenly Father leading you over the scary waves of life? Do you need to ask Him for courage? Is He asking you to follow Him around the curves at an accelerated speed? Is He asking you to park the Jet Ski on a ramp? When I parked the Jet Ski this morning, I felt some fear again but I still did it. And it felt so good! Father may be saying it’s time to get off the Jet Ski for this season in your life. He knows when you need to ride and when you need to park. Listen carefully and follow him. Don’t miss the adventure, no matter how scary it may become. HE is with you! Try to enjoy the ride!