Hold on tight, trust, and go for it

My dad is most definitely a kid at heart. I completely get my sense of adventure from him.
This summer he created a 60 foot super slip-n-slide from a tarp. It careens down the steep incline in his backyard. He hitched a rope along the hill to help sliders climb up, positioned a hose at the top, and inflated inner tubes.

The slide was originally rigged up for his grandson's water themed 8th birthday party. The trial of the slide involved my dad and said grandson on the tube together shooting at high velocity down the hill and crashing through the fence! Since then, the water volume was decreased, and an air mattress was installed at the bottom as a bumper. The party went on and kids had a blast (safely) going down the slide.

Labor Day weekend my dad had us over for a barbecue, and it was finally my turn to try this infamous slide. I climbed the hill with my husband, our four year old nephew at our heels. My feet slid into the loose soil and I grabbed the rope to avoid an early slip. As I reached the top and grabbed the tube, I looked down the steep slide and it occurred to me: How many times have I done scary things encouraged by my dad?

 A few that come to mind are flying down a natural rock slide in which you had to bounce off the giant rock to avoid injury, climbing over giant boulders in the dark in lava tube caves with only a headlamp for light, getting in line for a rollercoaster I'd been scared to try before. There's been more than one moment that my sister and I have exchanged "Ok, this is a little scary" glances at one of Dad's adventures.

But as I thought of all the thrills I'd experienced at the encouragement of my adventurous father, I looked down from the tube and saw him standing at the bottom. "It's alright, I'll stop you if you're going too fast," he said.

The metaphor struck me between the adventures my father sends me on, and the adventures our Father in Heaven sends us on. They feel terrifying. We wonder if we can do it. We're afraid of getting hurt. But despite all these reasons to hesitate, there's a comfort in knowing that our Father is there that gives us the boldness to hold on tight, trust, and go for it.

The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1 

I am not a thrill seeker. I have a love/hate relationship with rollercoasters. I've never tried skiing or snowboarding because it looks too fast for me. But when God has presented me with these opportunities to just trust him and go for it, I grow. My trust grows. My adventure grows. My confidence grows.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. -Isaiah 41:13

Now, I feel like I'm lying if I don't tell you the rest of the story. Encouraged by the comfort of my dad standing at the end of the slide, I let my husband help me get settled onto a tube and pulled my nephew onto my lap. We flew down the hill, both of us screaming (I'm not sure whose was higher-pitched), and my dad did stop us at the end. I was laughing in relief when I noticed the rest of my family was focused on the slide behind me.

My darling husband momentarily forgot the number one rule of slides, the whole "don't go down a slide when someone is still at the bottom" thing. Tubeless and feet first, he slammed into my tube and in slow motion I fell forward and hit my head on the fence.

 After we realized everything was okay, we all laughed and tried to understand what the heck happened. Wet and filthy with dirt, I got up and laughed. My step sister immediately ran into the house and brought me some Tylenol and water, which I downed with some dirt included. My sister joked that if I hadn't been there to break his fall, Daniel would have gone right through the fence, under the cars, down the driveway and into the culdesac!

Needless to say, things can still go wrong when we're invited into these unpredictable adventures. But that doesn't change the fact that God is with us, leading us to a bold and trusting faith. I'm thankful that God has used my dad to get me to do hilarious, crazy, adventurous things that make my life full and my faith bigger.

 May the presence of God our Father enable you to live a bold, full life of faith and trust!

 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?" -Hebrews 13:6

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  1. I adore this post. My dad is super adventuresome and he would totally do this! And God has had me take some wild rides too! I love the metaphor of your husband smacking into you. My adventures with the Lord have not always been without true danger and suffering, however worth it!

  2. Oh, friend! What and enjoyable post. And I love that even in the end, after a few bumps, you still give God the glory. His adventures aren't perfectly safe and simple, but the risk involved can be what He uses to teach us how to love.


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