Chasing Waves of Courage

Mar 16, 2017 by

003 (2)I love this picture of Nathan, taken when he was in sixth grade, during his first trip to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

He’d just ridden his first roller coaster—The Giant Dipper! For a few minutes, I’d thought he might back out. He kept looking up at it, asking his cousin Haley about the dips (he doesn’t like heights or big dips), biting his fingernails so vigorously that I feared he might go for the flesh as well.

Please, God, give him courage. He wants to do this so badly. 

“It’s a pretty tame roller coaster,” I assured him. “It doesn’t go upside down or do anything crazy.”

He looked at me like, If it’s so tame why aren’t you going on?

The truth? I’d been on The Giant Dipper several times as a teenager, but I finally came to the conclusion that I’m not into thrill rides. I exercise my courage in ways that freak out the roller coaster fans, like public speaking, singing in front of whole congregations, and bearing my soul in books and blog post.

I kept prayers going up as he got in line with Grandpa, Aunt Sherry and his cousins, and waited with screams as background music. Don’t let him back out, Lord, please. He will be so mad at himself.

I exercise my courage in ways that freak out the roller coaster fans... Click To Tweet

Kristy finally pointed toward The Giant Dipper. “They’re on, I see Haley waving her arms.”

Two minutes later Nathan ran through the exit, his hair still blown back, unable to erase the grin from his face. “That was so much fun!”

I hugged him tightly. “You did it! I’m so proud of you!”

He admitted being terrified and tempted to turn back, right up until the minute his turn came, but he climbed into the car anyway. What a kid!

As much as I hate roller coasters, I wish I’d been there to hear Nate’s joyful shrieks when he realized he wasn’t going to die after all.

Later, I watched him chase waves with his cousins, laughing as they swept over his feet, their hugeness only adding to the fun.

Taking a step of courage has a way of making us brave in other areas. Courage feeds courage, I guess.

When he took the band trip to Disneyland in 7th grade, he texted pictures as proof that he’d ridden California Screamin’ and Tower of Terror.

Taking a step of courage has a way of making us brave in other areas. Click To Tweet

“You’re going on with me next time we go to Disneyland, Mom.”

“Um. I am not. You can go with Grandpa.”

I almost told him, “Tell you what, you audition for worship team, and I’ll ride Tower of Terror.” But I’m afraid he’ll take me up on it. Nathan is a pretty brave guy.

We have both grown in courage since the day Nate rode The Giant Dipper and chased those humongous waves. Friends and family have prayed us through many brave steps that we could have backed out of, and each time God gave the strength to refuse to.

What do you need courage for? Who can you call on to pray and remind you, “Don’t turn back”? How has He grown your courage already?

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Joshua 1:9

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