Our arms were braided across each other’s and our hands were locked tightly. As the young girl stood on the tall tree stump above us she looked over her shoulder and saw with her eyes that our formation was tight…that we were ready for her. She heard with her ears that we would catch her…that we would not let her get hurt. Yet the fear that screamed in her head told her not to do it. Not to fall backwards.
Her legs shook and lips quivered. Other campers had gone before her and her cabin mates had successfully caught each one. But this camper hesitated – allowing the looming possibilities of failure and pain to paralyze her from action. The risks just seemed too great.
Then, finally, with determination in her heart, she took the plunge. She fell straight backwards onto the safety net of our arms. We bent low to the ground giving way to her fall and caught her with cheers of excitement. She did it! As her trembling legs regained their confidence, she stood tall and beamed from ear to ear – realizing that she had faced her fear. Joy was felt from heart to heart as each of us rejoiced with her.
Mission accomplished. Early in the day, we had trekked across the campgrounds to the “Trust Fall station” as a group of counselors and campers who didn’t have a shared experience among us, an unconnected strand of strangers. Now our wooded team-building time had come to an end and we left the trust fall station having bonded deeply as a group of new girlfriends prepared for a fresh journey of fun and adventure.
Each of us took turns at the Trust Fall that day. We all faced a set of scary circumstances and were forced to work through our doubts, tremblings and fears. As a result, we learned valuable lessons and strengthened our relationships.
Since my days of being a camp counselor, I’ve faced many scary life Trust Falls: financial trials, relationship strains, relocations, sick loved ones, and difficult family matters. I’ve trembled and I’ve cried. I’ve been paralyzed by “what ifs” and “whys.” We all go through difficult seasons and trials; times when we want to see the invisible arms of the One who says He will catch us; times when we are afraid to fall into them.
Wherever we go and whatever we face, God is with us – yesterday, today and forever. He bids us to live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). He wants us to trust Him. He catches us when we Trust Fall, when we live by faith. And to encourage us along the way He spurs us on by sending a cloud of witnesses who testify of His faithfulness. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).
Today, whether you identify with the shaky young camper on the Trust Fall stump or with the cabin mates who were filled with encouragement for another, God wants you to trust Him…right where you are. It might be scary. Tears might be shed. But God is faithful and can be trusted.
Like the Psalmist, let’s choose to say, “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:3-4, ESV)
When we Trust Fall from our struggles into the faithful arms of God, we are freed from the fears that paralyze us. Trust Him today, friend. A cloud of Girlfriend in God witnesses are cheering for you!
Dear Lord, You are good, loving and faithful – and You know exactly what I’m facing. Please take this burden from me. Help me today to fall into a deeper place of trusting you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
PIN THIS PRAYER TODAY…
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: Leave a comment below about what God is calling you to trust Him with today… or give a shout out to the girlfriends who have been with you on your trust-fall adventures!
Thanks for doing life with me!
*Today’s post is adapted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc.
** Trust fall photo by Stephen Nelson Photography via Flickr