You couldn’t pay me enough money to go skydiving…. I don’t think…
It’s the kind of experience that would just be far more than I could handle.
Ben went a few years ago. It was his mom’s birthday request that she be able to go skydiving with her family. So Ben and his sisters went along, while I stayed on the ground with my father-in-law, Anika, and Kaylia, although I didn’t know about Kaylia’s existence at the time. (Good thing I didn’t go! What happens to an embryo if the mother jumps out of an airplane? Do you think it would handle that well? Just wondering…)
Anyway. I asked Ben what it felt like right before jumping out of an airplane. He said that he felt a mixture of thrill and excitement. He felt a little bit nervous, but he didn’t really feel scared. And the rational part of his brain was asking what exactly he was doing, jumping out of an airplane.
Ben is very cool and calm in most situations. I am not. I think that if I were to jump out of an airplane, it could possibly involve vomit and a lot of other nasty things. I would be a nervous wreck.
So why was I thinking about this?
Today I had a great conversation with someone very dear to me, and we were talking about doing things that are good for you, but are INCREDIBLY HARD TO DO! It’s funny how even a conversation with a person can make you feel so nervous and worked up! But I’ve totally felt it. The most recent one that sticks out in my mind was when I asked a lady that I respected and admired very much, but didn’t know personally very well, to be my mentor. I had prayed for a mentor, and had prayed specifically about asking her to be my mentor, but to actually get around to picking up the phone and asking her to do it seemed about as nerve-wracking as jumping out of an airplane. Except I didn’t vomit. But I felt like I would.
I was so afraid she’d say no! And I was so afraid she’d think I was weird or ridiculous for asking. And yet I knew that I had to at least try. It came down to just taking a deep breath, grabbing the phone, and dialing before I could think about it anymore, and rationalize my way out of it.
Some things are just like that – do it quick before you change your mind! I’ve often shared the story of my younger sister and me listening to forbidden tapes in our bedroom. My parents were fairly particular about what we listened to, and my sister had gotten a tape that would not have been approved of.
One day, I went to the field for a ride on the tractor while she was driving, and she was listening to her forbidden music. My conscience started bothering me, and I started nagging her about that tape. It finally got to her, and she very suddenly stopped the tractor, stopped the music, grabbed the tape, opened the door, and threw it as far into the field as she could. I sat there looking on in shock. She turned to me, all calm, and said, “I had to do it quick, before I changed my mind.”
And it’s true – sometimes the right thing needs to be done quickly. Squeeze your eyes shut really tight, take a deep breath, and just plunge in. Jump from the airplane. Chuck the tape into the field.
I remember one conversation with a friend that was like that. One of those on-the-verge-of-vomitting type of conversations. Quick, be honest, before I chicken out!
See, she’s amazing – beautiful, talented, super-organized, always seems to have her outfit and all details of her life looking awesome, she’s confident, has such great faith in God, and this strong, nothing-can-faze-her type of personality that I only have in my dreams. And although she was my friend, and I loved her, I was so jealous of her! It ate away at my insides and drove me crazy. And it affected our friendship, obviously. I always saw myself as being in competition with her, because she was amazing and wonderful, and …I wanted to be just like her.
I didn’t know what to do about it. I prayed about it, and wrote in my journal about it. I tried to rationalize myself out of it. And it just would not go away. It was awful, because I knew that I could not be a good friend to her in that condition.
And then I became really convicted about confessing it to her. I really didn’t want to. It was so ugly, I really wanted to keep it a secret. But something inside said that I needed to apologize for not loving her as a true friend, and for being jealous of her.
Oh, my goodness, extremely intense experience of squeezing my eyes shut and just “jumping”.
And you know what? It was one of the best experiences ever. For some reason, confessing it made it go away. Bringing the darkness to light. And from that point on, we had so much more openness in our relationship, and it grew in ways that it never could have if I hadn’t taken that plunge. I’m so glad I did it.
So what is it that you know you need to do? I know it’s hard and scary, but I also know that once you do it, the chances are probably good that you’ll have a peaceful landing. You’ll be glad you jumped!