I am not brave. In the face of a fearful situation my response is panic, flee, and avoid! This was made even more evident on a recent adventure with my hubby, Scott.
Our friends, Mitch and Susie, invited us to join them for jet skiing through the marsh ponds behind our homes. In our ongoing effort to be more open to new things, we accepted their offer. A few minutes later, I strapped on the always figure flattering life vest, and climbed onto the Jet Ski. As I sat behind my novice Jet Ski pilot/Scott, I found myself holding tightly to his vest and trying to pretend I was having fun. Honestly, it was a bit fun, but going fast has never been a comfortable experience for me. I was already feeling the need to find my inner bravery. Then the real fun began!
It could not have been a more gorgeous day. The sky was a silky blue and a small breeze complimented the brilliant sun…..and we were with new friends out on the water!
We stopped about midway through the beautiful waterway filled marsh. Mitch and Susie brought their jet ski alongside us. We talked briefly about how great it was to be out there and agreed upon the next route we would take. THEN they took off. Yep…..apparently we hesitated a bit too long before also taking off….the wake from their jet ski caught us on the side.
The world fell into slow motion as our large, two person jet ski began to roll. I am sure it happened in seconds, but I have vivid memory of a lengthy thought process… “Oh my goodness, is Scott leaning or is he falling off?!” “Why are we tilting so far to the right?” “Maybe we can lean the other way and save ourselves..” “oh wait, looks like we are going in the water afterall” “oooooo, I hope the bottom is not mucky” “I’m glad I have my life vest on” and of course, “Great, now what do we do?”.
We were bobbing up beside our overturned jet ski and watching our friends, who had no idea we had rolled, become nothing more than a white speck on the horizon. This was a good news/bad news kind of event. Bad news: the jet ski was upside down Good news: we had life vests Bad news: I could not touch the bottom Good news: Scott could
Eventually, I am sure it was merely a few minutes although it felt longer, Scott was able to roll the jet ski back to the upright position. Since I could not touch, he had to help boost me up a bit to reach the seat handle. Between his effort and my kicking furiously, I was able to get back up on the jet ski. (I’ll pause here for a moment so you can try to imagine the scenario, and yes, it was a funny as you are probably thinking). Scott then joined me on the jet ski. Hmmmmm, so, did you know that it is nearly impossible to switch places while on a jet ski with another person? Yep, me neither. By the time we got the jet ski up and both of us on it, we realized that we mistakenly put me at the front.
Scott: Well, looks like you’re driving now
Me: Nope, not gonna happen
Scott: you have to
Me: I don’t want to!
Scott: No choice, we can’t change places
Me: (in a whinny fear filled voice) I reallllllly don’t want to!
Scott: (leaning over me and starting the engine) You can do it
I was NOT feeling brave. I was afraid we’d roll again. I felt capable of crashing. But I did it. I drove us to meet up with our friends and we laughed about our “incident”. They were very kind and encouraging even though we had rolled their jet ski. I even finished up our run through the marsh before we headed in for the afternoon.
Now, I know this is not a situation that called for extreme bravery. It is not as if I were a war zone or facing a cancer diagnosis. But it brings to mind where bravery comes from. You see, the ONLY reason why I managed to drive the jet ski and actually enjoy it, was because my wonderful husband was at my back and continually telling me things like, “you got this”, You’re doing fine”, “don’t be afraid to give it gas”, You’re doing great”. If I did not have his words bouncing into my ear I am certain my naturally non-brave, non-adventurous self would have taken over and I would have simply sat there and waited for rescuing.
I have known many brave people. I am often humbled seeing others walk through challenges with grace and courage. Maybe, for some, bravery is part of how God made them. Maybe they find rising to a challenge comes easily, but for many of us this is not the case.
For me, bravery seems to come from a place outside of myself, like Scott giving me encouragement. When I am uncertain, fearful, or facing a challenge beyond my own strength, I know my God is with me. He goes before me and is behind me in all things. He is the voice that whispers in my ear, “You’ve got this”, “You’re going to be fine, don’t be afraid to go forward” and “You’re doing great”.
Life calls for bravery. It may be a life altering situation, a staggering test of faith or simply an endeavor that places you beyond your comfort zone, but at some point in time you will need to be brave.
Today I am thankful for a God Who never leaves me, walks with me and helps me be brave. He makes us brave!
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
This song helps to remind us, that we do not have to live life on our own or in fear. “YOU MAKE ME BRAVE!”