Overwhelming Support

I’m so thankful for all of the support that I’ve received through comments, calls, texts, posts, instant messages, etc. I said this on facebook the best way that I could, but I’ll post it here in detail. My spirits have been lifted a great deal. The past 24 hours has filled me with so much encouragement. Thank you. By the outpouring of support, God has revealed to me that He heard the hurt and disappointment in my voice as I requested to be filled with strength and endurance Monday night. I’m so grateful. I have renewed courage and such a unique sense of peace. Everything will be okay, no matter what.

I think back to when my dad taught me how to ride a bike. Things were great when I had training wheels. It was safe, I could go as fast as I wanted, make the sharpest of turns, just do whatever. After a while though, one training wheel was taken off. I had to learn to depend on the side that would keep me the safest. I was confident moving one way, making one turn, but I knew that stepping out in the other direction might end up spelling dume (I couldn’t spell yet). And then my dad came up with this crazy idea that I would literally get on a bike and learn to ride without any training wheels. My dad was a genius and I was on cloud 9 until he got out the wrench. My enthusiasm superseded my fears, however, and we walked back to the alley. I knew my dad had all of the confidence in the world in me and that made me proud. After all, he could ride a bike, and I wanted to be like him. If he believed in me then this would be easy, right?

My dad had to help me onto my bike. It wasn’t a good start. I could immediately feel the pull of gravity and the absence of the support I had relied on for so long. But my dad’s strong hand was holding up the bike, and that brought me great confidence. After a few explanations of how to steer and what to do if things start to spin out of control, he asked if I was ready.


Yes.
Wait, but my instinct said no. Too late. My dad started running with me down the alley, pushing my bike along. I started going faster than I had gone before. With my handle bars shaking, my eyes wide open, and the width of the alley closing in, I felt a final push. My dad had let go. I was riding by myself for the very first time…until I started paying attention to my doubts and instincts again. Soon after, my handle bars graduated from shaking to swerving, my confidence level went from super-hero to pedestrian, and I lost control and crashed. My dad ran down, checked to make sure I was okay, and then said. “okay, let’s do it again.” Wait, what? Let’s just agree that I can’t do this.
Tuesday morning I began to think of all that my parents have done for me, and of all of the love and compassion I’d have for my own child, if I had one. And I just sat there for a moment and thought, if I, some broken at the core human being, can express these levels of compassion, care, love, strength, you name it, for a child of mine, how much more compassion, love, strength, you name it, does a pure, holy, and unbroken God provide for his children when they are under a bike, in an alley, and willing to meet their Father’s level of confidence? “It’s time to get back up on that bike,” I thought.
Your instinct will always say no. But if you’re reading this, there’s a point in your life where you’ve already overcome that “no”. Embrace that. There are greater challenges around the corner. In Romans 12:12, Paul says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Joy, patience, and faithfulness don’t just happen. However, when your wheel is shaking slightly, your eyes are open wide, and you’re experiencing the exhilaration of doing what your Heavenly Father knew you could do all along, joy, patience, and faithfulness will get you to the end of the alley. And you may never have to learn how to stop.

As you have committed to pray for me, I am also praying that God heals your hearts and prepares you for the challenges that you face. Maybe over the next couple of months you can learn a thing from me and this experience, and maybe I can learn a thing from you. I’m not perfect, my faith isn’t perfect, my knowledge of prayer isn’t perfect, but luckily for me, God decided to avoid mailing out prequalification letters. Long gone are the days where I pretend to be something that I am not (hint: I wasn’t very good at it). This process is vulnerable, open, and honest. This is who I am.

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