I was 5 years old, and my family and I were on our way to Texas to visit my mom's parents, my grandma and pa.
It was the first vacation I remember, and the excitement was so high in my little 5 year old energetic ways. It was December, Christmas, warm vacation destination and grandparents- could it get any better??
One afternoon, we were out at their pool swimming. Seeing as I was 5, a farm girl, and totally unexposed to swimming yet, I was excited about having a huge pool to swim in. We were all there, and I recall my older brother specifically going over to the hot tub and jumping into it (who does that??) Anyway, somehow, I decided I would copy him and do the same. It was small, after all. And not deep. And I viewed it as a kiddie pool. Somehow, I managed to jump into it when no one else was there. And I gasped for breath, I slashed the water, looking for anything to grab onto. I was drowning (or I thought I was). I was scared to death. But someone came along and "rescued" me, and I left the pool alone the rest of the day.
From that point on in my life, I had a fear of the water. If you asked me what my worst fear was, it was drowning. Growing up, I avoided swimming in deep waters, I said no to large youth events involving lakes or waters where my feet wouldn't touch, and I was the nerd who wore the life jacket all the time.
And then I fell in love with a Floridian. A man who loved the water and was completely confident in it, no matter the depth. We would go out to the beach, and I would hang onto him for dear life. And yet, with him, I was never afraid of the water. He kept me safe. And eventually, he helped me overcome my deathly fear of water.
I do not have that same fear of drowning anymore. But I was thinking on this topic in light of my life dreams.
Fear of Failure.
Fear of lack of support.
Fear of standing alone in a task.
Fear of "no".
But, when I grasp onto God for dear life, just as I would on my husband in the water, I can find safety.
I find confidence.
I find support and a cheerleader.
I find Him there, somehow gently urging me on. Sometimes through a friend. Sometimes through family. Sometimes, through a fellow blogger. (www.Holleygerth.com)
I find a "Go For It! You can do it!! " instead of a "no"
When I grasp onto God, I believe in myself and the dream becomes about what He wants me to do, not what I want to do. For the longest time, I dreamed of going back to school. I kept pursuing it. But that's the point. I pursued it. When I put it in His hands and grasped onto Him, He made it clear He had bigger dreams for me....for now.
Dreams of Growing my mom's scholarship. This year, I am holding onto Him through prayer and pushing forward to reach that goal. It scares me to death, Just like drowning once did. It scares me that I might fail. But, If I don't try, if I don't reach out and hang onto Him and let Him carry me through the water, how will I ever know what He can accomplish? And so I dream. I dream big. And I pray hard. And I pursue the dream and I follow every lead. And sometimes, (always because of Him) someone comes to me and asks what they can do. And the dream grows. 10,000$ can do a lot in scholarship funding for a student, and i am dreaming we can do it. God can do it. this year we are praying and striving to raise $10,000 for that scholarship fund. That's 400 participants for the 5K. That's a phenomenal increase from last year. It scares me. But from where did that dream come? I believe God.
I dream to write. I dream that God will take my small life and allow it to unfold somehow through a book one day. And as I let go of school and other ideas I had, God has given me a larger platform to write. He has given me words, and they are words from Him. They are not my words. They are my experiences and my emotions, put out there like wearing the heart on the sleeve. Some criticize the vulnerability. Some say I could use my time better. And some tell me I shouldn't....
but God says yes. And through that, He opens doors. It's a small baby step towards the dream of writing a book. A book of what?? I am still not clear on that, but I am pursuing nonetheless. (Did I really just share that for everyone to read? yikes!) However, all that being said in my pursuit of the dream to write, I also want to say that it is a dream and it may not be one to be accomplished today or this year...so I will write and I will pray and I will wait on God's timing for that dream to unfold into a reality.
And so, as I dream, I have to remember my experience of the fear of drowning. I got over that fear, but it took time and it took getting into the water.
Now, I have to get over my fears of failures or of the naysayers and sit silently and willingly before God and allow Him to move. And then JUMP! The water is deep, but He will catch me.
What is your dream? And what is holding you back? I've learned to ask that and grow through that process. Will you?