A week of much-needed vacation with my family has helped me better understand the words, feelings and ideas swirling around in my head.
Tate, our youngest son, showed more of his personality this week and it terrified me in ways that I was afraid it would.
He loved the ocean… I mean LOVED it. He spent hours running into the waves, falling and standing back up to do it all over again.
I sat down on the beach for a quick break of protecting him from the “dangerous what if’s” and watched my dad, his Papi, take over. I began to think about the piercing fears that held me down. I have never been a fearful person by nature. Yet as I have aged and as life has hit both me and the people I love, I have noticed it creeping in more and more and paralyzing the “Dream Big” personality I was created with.
Most recently, I spent months paralyzed by the fear of Tate drowning in our backyard pool. Between tears, panic attacks and late night nightmares, I could barely function. Thanks to my parents, we put a pool fence around the pool and I was able to breathe again. And here I was, at the beach with my family, watching my son giggle and smile and yet all I could dwell on was the newsreel in my mind of drownings. The fear is legitimate: Water is something to be feared and something to take all precautions on. But it was consuming me and I’m certain that the plan was not for us to live our lives in fear.
The Dream Big experience was challenging. It faced a lot of my career fears head on. It unexpectedly tore open bandaids and lathered healing ointment over unhealed wounds. Bob and his Love Does team challenge the status quo of life, they bring about the deep desires in your heart and show, by example, how those desires could quite possibly be apart of a much bigger and more vast plan for each of us. Bob lives a Big life loving other people with the conviction that , “the one who called us is more powerful than all of the uncertainty we are facing.”
As I watched Tate, it all came full circle. As he repeatedly ran into the water, a wave hitting him, and then my dad lifting him up with a grin on both of their faces…. Tate trusted that his strong Papi would pick him up. His joy came from the repetitive embrace. And my dad’s joy came from the saving.
I want to write, speak and create a product for mom’s whose children have a recent disability diagnosis. But I have been fearful… what if no one listens? What if I mess up? What if it’s not successful?
I sat there, learning from my 1.5 year-old. If Tate was too fearful to run in the water, he would never feel the joy of his grandfather’s protective embrace.
What if fear not only prevents us from doing big things, but it also prevents us from the gift of feeling our father’s embrace? I can only imagine that God’s love resembles a grandparents love and I can only imagine the big grin on God’s face when we run into the ambiguous uncharted waters, excited at the chance to lift us up.
The gift of dreaming and doing big is not only see the result, but being carried in the process. I look back at all that has been done at ESP. We were so uncertain how many of our Big dreams would happen and yet God carried us time and time again. I am ready to run in, uncertain of the outcome but now certain that I don’t want to miss out on the joy that comes along with dreaming, and living, big.
What is fear preventing you to do big in life?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Tim 1:7