When I was a little girl, every summer we would take a trip as a family up to this local amusement park. We would start off the day on the music express, then make our way over to the sea horse, and then when the big kids (keep in mind I am ten years younger then my youngest older sister) went on "big kid rides", I would venture over to the Thunderbolt with one of my parents. I loved that roller coaster....fast...a little rickety...and with a first drop that, as a kid, made me feel like I was eating my stomach. But as I got older the thunderbolt became less and less exciting to me and eventually I set my eyes on a new ride... the Blackwidow!
The Blackwidow was a Big Kid roller coaster ride that went forward and backward, while also flipping you upside down in a loop! I couldn't wait to be tall enough to get on that ride!!! And finally the day came when I was able to get on it! I remember getting in line with one of my sister...and being so excited... right up until we got to the front of the line....then... I almost crapped my pants! What was I thinking??!?! This ride was SCARY!!! I wanted to get out of line immediately...I wanted to use the chicken exit...I wanted to fake sick so we could all just go home! But I was a BIG KID now... and so I knew I had to get on! So... I did. I climbed into my seat, got my safety harness on, and then... proceeded to S-C-R-E-A-M my head off for the entire ride...forward and backward!!! You would have thought I hated it! I didn't though!! In fact...the second I got off I wanted to do it again...and again...and again...cause it was AWESOME!
Sometimes I think my steps of faith are just like that ride! God gives me an opportunity to serve and at first I am so excited about it....but then as it gets closer and I freak out thinking...never mind...just kidding God...I don't really want this! But deep down I know I do want it...I want to step out in God...I want to put my full trust in Him...I want Him to have His way in me! So I go for it...and I do it! And in the end it always turns out awesome....and I find myself wanting to do it again and again! It's that Blackwidow moment all over again!
Even as I look back on this past week, I can't help but chuckle as I think...Yep...there they are... blackwidow moments ! For example, every other Tuesday I go to a prayer meeting at my church. When I left work a month ago I very clearly felt like God was saying that this was a time for me to "Seek and Serve" Him. So a prayer meeting seemed like a perfect fit! I've gone a few times now though, and I always run into the same conundrum....it's awkward and uncomfortable and....well, they kind of expect you to pray out loud...which is SO SCARY for me! So what happens is every Tuesday, I'll go back and forth in my mind about whether or not to go....wanting to chicken out, but knowing I have to at least try. So, I go...and I pray...and I leave thinking THIS is what it's like to be the body of Christ...to stand together...united in Him! And I find myself Glad I went and excited to come back next time! I've had a Blackwidow moment!
Or there's also Wednesdays afternoons, where each week my friend Alicia and I go and volunteer our time at the food pantry. If you hear me talk about it I usually say that Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, just cause we go there! I love it so! I love getting to help out and serve the families. I love that we have new customers every week and I get to interact with that many more new people that I would never have known other wise. And I LOVE the people we work with, each of whom have their own story and personality which force me to learn and grow! There are honestly very few things that would keep me from going..I enjoy it so much! But....if I were honest....every Wednesday morning when I wake up... I have a moment... when I want to chicken out....call out sick... and not go! It's much easier to sit at home and not come face to face with the poor and the hungry and those who just need someone to call them friend. It's much more comfortable to not have the face of a 3 year old, bushy haired girl in your mind when you hear the word hungry, just cause you spent your day at the food pantry. But I make the choice and I go....and once again I LOVE it! Another Blackwidow moment!
Or there's moments like this morning when I had to sit down with a friend and tell her she hurt me. I HATE conflict....H-A-T-E it! 99.9% of the time I would much rather just take the hit...allow people to verbally slap me in the face...and then walk off, never to be their friend again... than to risk a confrontation by sharing my true feelings. But God's been growing me and teaching me a lot about living a life "in the light".....so with everything within me screaming, "this is a BAD IDEA" and "ABORT! ABORT!"...I went to her and talked it out. It was uncomfortable and anything but easy....in fact we both shared apologies and tears....but in the end, I walked away feeling like things had been made right...maybe even better! A Blackwidow moment!
So I guess what I am saying in this is that we all have things in our lives.....things that we feel both excited for and afraid of, all at the same time....things where we know God is calling us to step out, but it requires wading in the uncomfortable for a bit....things that allow us to be a blessing, but also haunt us enough to keep us from living in the status quo. These are Blackwidow moments....and while the ride may make you scream from beginning to end....if you get on, you'll find..in the end....it's so worth it! So get in line people....and ride the roller coaster!