I wasn’t expecting what was ahead of me on this day which the beginning of my self-proclaimed month-long “celebration-journey.” Little did I know that this day would kick off a month-long of celebrations due to my 30th birthday being this year and wanting to celebrate it in a big way. I think it can be funny how God works at times. You see, I tried something new – something out of my comfort zone. We went caving to celebrate a friend who would be moving away a week later. I’ve never been before and didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go, it sounded dirty, dark, and scary. So, as I have been doing lately, I pushed my apprehensions and fears aside and went.
A small group of us drove out to the cave Tytoona, which is between Tyrone and Altoona. We flicked on headlamps and flashlights and proceeded through the cave. I followed very close behind one of my dear friends. We walked and climbed over rocks – helping one another through (or really others helped me through) the slippery spots and high and low rocks as a stream of water flowed beside us.
As we continued along, I got more comfortable with my footing and my eyes adjusted to the glow of the flashlights. We reached a challenging point that our friend had told us about earlier. He jumped into the water and proceeded to see how challenging it would be for the rest of the group noting that not everyone had to keep going. He invited others to proceed ahead since the water was just below the knee. I feel like I thought about it for 10 minutes…after being intimated and nervous about getting into the water and venturing further into the cave, into the unknown, I decided to go for it. Again, I pushed aside my fears and faced the challenge ahead.
There were two of us women along on the caving adventure and we decided to do it together. We grabbed each others hands and got into the water, crouched down into the darkness. We went as quickly as we could! The guys helped us out of the water once we reached the end. It was an incredible rush of all kinds of emotions. It probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but to me it was because I faced a fear. I literally jumped in with both feet and moved forward in the darkness that surrounded us not knowing what was on the other side. What did we find?! We continued along more caverns of the cave and explored more of its beauty and splendor. I continued on in amazement. Our God is so creative and I got to experience a little piece of His beautiful handiwork.
We continued to the end of the cave, to the point we could no longer go anywhere and we turned around to head back. As we returned, it was like we were seeing a whole new cave because our perspective had changed. We were seeing the cave from a whole new angle. As we continued along I got a lot more comfortable climbing over the rocks and no longer followed as close as I had in the beginning…I was more willing to get muddy, because it really didn’t matter. I’m so glad I did this and am looking forward to doing it again hopefully in a few weeks.
As I reflect back on this day, I cannot help but to see the parallels with this current life-season I am in. I get anxious when I face new things, especially ones that are way outside my comfort zone. That’s my default – but as I have been coming face-to-face with these things and I move forward and walk it out, I find myself grateful that I did it and return with a new perspective. When I had to decide if I was going through that challenging part of the cave, which could also be a new job, an idea, a relationship, hopes and dreams… I found myself staring down my fears and kicking them out of the way. Why not? I’m tired of living and responding in fear to things in my life – I no longer want to be paralyzed and miss out on the life the Lord desires me to life – the one He created me for. It’s unknown for me, but that’s the beauty of it. I’ll follow His leading and trust Him with the details. My phrase I’ve used a lot this year is “God’s got it.” I believe He’s got a better plan than I could imagine anyway.
This experience was a tangible example of this new season and chapter in my life. A great way to kick-off a birthday-month-celebration. I’m grateful and to be at this point – letting go and surrendering all, to the one who is trustworthy.