It was a great challenge to resume my biking regimen and some weeks, I did not bike because the recovery from the last ride was quite extensive! I stayed with the same trail all summer; it began with an easy downhill path, with a sharp turn to a flat surface and smooth ride until the return home. During the last 10 minutes of the ride, I always faced a very, very steep incline; I would walk my bike up the steepest part of the hill. I would get on the bike and attempt the incline, but could not shift the gears quick enough. I kept getting on and then off the bike during the incline because the requirements to champion the hill were just too great for me (so I believed).
I was frustrated and decided to change my route and stop the self-torture of what was obviously not meant for me to champion. I felt the route did not fit my skill or ability. Full of frustration, I began researching other routes that aligned with my skill level and would still provide me with some exercise. I tried one alternative route-EPIC FAIL. I was quickly bored, frustrated and overwhelmed with disappointment.
One day I researched the bike gears and the incline strategies. I decided to try the original route again. As my bike ride came to the last 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing and anxiety rising in fear of failure. I used the gearshift strategy I researched and studied and before I knew it, in less than 3 minutes, I completed the incline of the steep hill! I just needed to research and learn how to shift gears. My regret…I spent all summer in an on and off routine, and now I’ll have to flex my new skills next summer. Interesting how I had the tools but lack the knowledge in using them. Sometimes we think we know what we’re doing…
It’s been quite sometime since I have had the opportunity to write a bit. But, now is the time to share an amazing life experience of fear.
The summer offered a transition from a very challenging winter and early spring; I conquered the fear of knowing and moving forward. Of course, I had a great example in front of me to follow. A very dear, close friend and confidant faced fear of failure that in essence led the individual to make decisions and negotiated deals that could have cost family, friends, finances and ministry. There was a lot of pain in purpose and the testing of transparency that the individual had to face along with questions, interrogation, and shame. When I questioned my friend, I kept looking for a complex response and analytical combinations, but it was straightforward: fear of failure and disappointment to others. In the words of my friend: “Cheryl, fear will make you fool.” Well, the decisions created relational crisis that led to tribulation. It cost years of integrity for one winter season of fear.
I observed the humility, repentance and heart of the individual in a tough season of guilt, disgrace, gossip, and public ridicule yet remaining diligent in the calling of Christ. Facing the fear of rejection, my friend kept moving forward.
I observed the strength and test of stamina to remain true to the ministry call and face the consequences for bad decisions. The experience resembles a puzzle; you have all the pieces, but not in place. No one to blame; my friend had to own it all – no fault or consideration of anyone else. You have to be tested by your own teaching of accountability and transparency.
I could have easily dismissed my friend (and yes, I thought about it), and our years of history and bond, but I am not perfect. I could have forfeit ‘forward’ over fear of association to someone not perfect. I made a commitment to the commitment. I learned new lessons and had a refresher in others: 1) I learned that some individuals stand for truth and righteousness. 2) I learned that there are “groupies” that leave after the gig is up and their fad has faded. A groupie leaves gaps and questions, some lay judgment. Yet, disciples are disciplined in their place. 3) I learned that too much too soon is never good; building and developing relationships and ministry prototypes takes years. 4) I learned that some people have no loyalty; even after seeing your tears, they like everything and cut off nothing, exemplifying no values, or boundaries. No boundaries, then no bonding. I learned how to manage my personal space and access. 5) I have gained a greater revelation of the fire of forgiveness and how it purifies.
I faced the fear of knowing. It is painful to know the truth and hear a lie. I knew a long time ago of my friend’s situation, before anything was ever stated. The vision and dream world are so powerful. I could have lost my friend instead of looking at a lifetime commitment. Considering the cost of ministry work, and love for God’s people, why forfeit all for nothing? There were dark days, death moments and crisis crying. I felt my faith folding several times. The fear of moving forward in the aftermath is real. But once I made forward steps, fear dissolved and truly the understanding of Philippians 4:13 is surreal.
To kick off my new season of writing, this is dedicated to my friend, my confidant and lover . . . my husband. Our marriage was tested, not through infidelity, but fear. Months later, a dual season of healing and newness. It was worth it. #B-class#27-21#forward