Recognize and conquer the fears that stops us.
Throughout the week, adult after adult commended me on being courageous. Something special was surely happening to me, but in my head, it had nothing to do with courage; for in that place, I was a bush woman, fueled by divine energy, fearless in my country roots!
I limped joyously around the camp, up and down sometimes steep stairs and across the beautifully rugged camp grounds. I raced cane-free to meetings, to camp fire, to worship, to meals, to the beach, and to just about every corner of the camp to chase after the bustling kids assigned to my cabin. Like any able-bodied person, I tired a little, I dragged my feet sometimes, stumbled once or twice, and even staggered drunkenly when I felt lazy and intoxicated from the heat.
A girl from my cabin group, who my co-cabin leader Lizzie (Mighty Leader) and I named Joyful, got me right! She watched me grab one end of the bench we just sat on for lunch, as Mighty Leader grabbed the other end; and together we placed the bench upside down and onto the table. With her curious joy and childish sincerity, Joyful said “You’re strong!” She was right.
I felt strength, but it wasn’t my strength. It was strength wrapped in the love of another much, much, greater than me! That love was in the eyes, arms and heart of Rowena (Arouser of Greatness). She compelled me into the lake, to attempt swimming for the first time since my stroke 6 years ago. When she held on to me, I felt so strong and I could swim!When she let go of me, and my feet could not kick to hold my body up, I felt myself going down beneath the water. Courage could not save me, only the loving arms of Arouser of Greatness; she reminded me that the water had no power over me!
Later, strength again took hold of me as I placed my bottom on the dock, dropped my legs into a canoe, and eased myself into the front, with Joyful sitting behind me and Curt (Extraordinary Leader of Leaders) at the rear. Extraordinary Leader of Leaders skilfully guided the canoe, which carried us calmly across deep waters to the beautiful little island.
A stranger held out her hand, so I could lift myself out of the canoe and step up onto the dock. I then took the hand of Beautiful (the name Mighty Leader and I gave to another of our campers). Beautiful gave me the additional strength I needed to climb to the peak of the Island. And when it was time to climb back down to the dock, Sarah (Guider of Spirit) reached her hands behind her, so I could hold-on, add my strength to hers, and follow her sure-foot, down the steep path to the dock.
There was no need or place for courage at Immanuel Baptist Church’s Camp on the Rock 2013. It gave divine strength to all it touched, and filled us with overwhelming joy and love.
My niece is just finishing high school and says she is waiting to see if she got into university to study social work. The problem is, she says it with about as much zeal as a sedated lion.
Here is the other issue for me. She has great writing and speaking abilities, a dynamic personality and great social skills. She has a wonderful entertaining personality and lights up when we speak of the possibility of her being a journalist. So why did she not apply to study journalism?
“Journalism is too stressful”, she said.
“How do you know that,” I asked.
“When I think about it, I see it as stressful,” she responded.
Pissing Hell! The whole world is mad. With a simple thought of avoiding stress or finding something easy, my flipping niece cheated herself out of what she would love most! For what? Fear that she was not be good enough? Fear that she may have to do too much work? Fear of not enough time to party?
I am frustrated because I used to shut myself out from what I loved because my crazy mind gave me a million reasons to avoid anything that I seemed not able to control – even if it meant foregoing my true heart’s desire. So I am on a war path against the devilish thoughts that said I had to do things my way, that led me away from my divine path.
Getting Back on Your Path
I will tell you something that helped me get back on my path, walk into fear and prevented me from being ambushed by thoughts of dismal failure or false utopia. No matter which way we go, we are likely to travel some rough roads and experience unbearable pain! That’s how God tests us, grows us, uses us and even blesses us.
In the case of the young lady from my church who is dying from brain cancer, consider that her painful path is leading to a most blessed destination. Is she possibly being used by God to bless others, leading to a much greater blessing to her that we cannot fathom? Are her loved ones being given their own unique lessons and prepared for their own divine path and blessings? God is up to something great; however, at some point in time, His path, like any path, can mean unbearable discomfort.
Don’t take the easy road; it does not exist. So I say to my niece, go for social work or journalism, you cannot avoid stress or hard times. The difference, however, is that one leads to the deepest joys of your heart and the other doesn’t! Follow your heart from the outset, even if the path seems perilous. It will eventually reveal your true and most joyful destination.