My heart was racing. Hands near my side, I tried my best to think of something else..anything else then my current situation. I was in the smallest plane I’d ever been in, strapped to a guy called “Slim” and waiting to…jump out of it.
What was I thinking? I asked myself. Sure, I had always wanted to go. My best friend, Rachel and I would always discuss how amazing it would be. We talked, but never really made plans to do it. And, yes…I really did think it would be amazing. When I met Ryan, my all too adventurous boyfriend (at the time), I realized that my talking was a problem. He was all about follow through.
So, there I was and I was realizing at a rapid pace that by not thinking about jumping didn’t do anything but freak me out more. I had to think about it. I had to decide if jumping was worth it or not.
After a game of paper, rock, scissors, a million questions (“Have you ever had anyone pee on you on accident?”) and watching many people, including Ryan, hurl themselves out of a perfectly good airplane and turn into tiny dots, I found myself alone in the plane. Well, almost alone. Slim, sensing my nervousness (that I hadn’t expressed much of), began to assure me that he had done this several times- he knew what to expect. He also told me of the three back up parachutes– one even deployed automatically if others failed. It put some fears at bay, and actually made me trust him way more. He had taken time to explain things to me and assure me that while this was risky, it was worth it.
We walked toward the opening in the plane. “I might say no if you ask, so maybe just jump out!” I yelled over the loud wind. “No sounds like go!” he yelled back and we rolled out of the plane.
He was right. My desires were right. I was ready to fly.
I was in class the other day and suddenly remembered my skydiving experience almost two years ago. So much has changed since then, and yet I am tempted to cling to the same old fears. Ryan and I moved here in such a rush, in excitement and in a place in our lives where we were deciding the pace/standard/desires for our life as a married couple. Now that our time in classes are over, I can say that our lives have been radically changed in the way we view things and the way we desire to spend our time, finances, etc. for life (hopefully).
Though all these changes have occurred in my inner psyche, I find I am faced with worry and fear at times. And…its probable that “at times” means a lot of times. While fear almost kept me from flying two years ago, I am bound and determined to not let it keep me from living my life on the edge any more. We want to experience all life has to offer.
So, what does this mean for us? With a million different directions staring at us, it is often so tempting to sit back and wait for the best one to claim dominance. One conclusion we’ve reached, though, is that we must just go. We must go do something. As for the immediate future, we are leaving for Haiti on Wednesday, the 15th (Ryan’s birthday). We’ll be there for 10 weeks, working with and serving the people there. While 10 weeks is just a small piece of time, it is our next step.
In Haiti, we’ll be working with an orphanage and the local churches. We’ll be listening to people who simply want to talk to someone; loving those who feel unloved and unwanted; and speaking life and beauty into the nation. Oh, we’ll also bring some practical aid :). I am sure we’ll put our classwork to use by making water pumps and teaching sanitation classes, by setting up very basic health clinics and by teaching English. We’re preparing to be rocked by this experience.
The thing we’re most excited about? Letting go. Its time for us to stop our squeemish ways, our worrying, our fears. Its time to stop trying to decide if what we’re doing is the absolute best thing and beating ourselves into perfection. Its about trusting that the one who is above us can pull the chute. Its believing that if we are in danger, trouble or doing something that is not the best choice for us, that He will come through and open up the chute. Though we might look like we are sinking, or falling– we have to remember we have someone even better than Slim on our sides- and He knows us well. So, I think we’re ready. We’re excited. Let’s do this.
Please pray for us as we prepare and leave for Haiti this week. We love you all and your support means the world to us.