Yesterday I posted this picture on my Instagram. In the caption I shared how this was only the second time I have ever attempted to go for a walk by myself. It was the first successful attempt.
For those of you that are new around here, let me update you: I am scared of dogs. And dogs are everywhere. And leash laws are rarely followed [at least where I live]. Which translates to me never taking my children for walks by ourselves.
My first attempt three years ago with Blythe went so poorly I had yet to try again. [Also, UPDATE to that post: my dream came true and we got a fence around our backyard and we LIVE there, and I hang up clothes on my clothes line, and it's just the best.]
But yesterday I woke up and my prayer for the day was, "Lord, give me patience and endurance." yes today when I can." I try to live with a yes on my lips as much as I can, but I have been failing miserably.
The girls had slept in, we had a late breakfast, and then I asked if they wanted to go to the library. Blythe was excited and so was I [I had found a library book in our van that was WAY overdue…ahem…April 27th…]. We got ready quickly and I was gathering our stuff when Blythe put on her "running shoes" and declared, "Let's WALK to the library!"
But I said yes. And I swallowed my fear, and I whispered prayers. Psalm 56:3, What time I am afraid I will trust in You. And we took off.
I heard a lot of dogs. But we didn't see a single one. And we made it to the library. And we popped in to see Nana at work. And then over to Daddy's office. And then back home.
I was so proud of myself. There were moments I let myself panic. There were houses we passed in which I knew large dogs loomed. But instead of playing out the worst case scenario in my head [i.e. ATTACK! My leg is gone! And the dog drags off my children!], I instead played out what I would do if I weren't afraid. I played out what I've seen Brent do. [Act big! Take charge! Be the pack leader!].
And we made it. And it went so well I can see myself tackling it again sometime. Probably.
I do that a lot in life-- play out the worst case scenario. I think of what could go wrong, how I would act incorrectly, how others would respond. And you know what? I don't even think envisioning how it could go correctly is what we're called to do always. I think we are called to just step. Just keep moving. Just do the thing. Jesus says tomorrow has enough problems of its own. Daily bread. This day. If I am seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, my feet will fall on the paths they should travel. And things will go wrong, and I will act incorrectly, and others will respond in ways I don't like: but seek first His kingdom.
Facing my very tangible fear yesterday reminded me of the other fears that creep into my life. By no means am I cured of my fear of dogs, but this little walk gave me a small picture of our faithful God, who wants us to trust Him to give us the ability to walk on water*.
"Come," he said.
*no. I'm not comparing me taking a walk to Peter walking on the water. But gol-dang it felt good.