One afternoon I was in the kitchen with my 23 year-old son who was getting ready to go on a vacation to Moab, Utah. He excitedly told me that he had just booked an appointment to go skydiving as part of his vacation. At that moment I had the thought, “You should do that.” My next thought was, “Are you crazy! You jumped off of a high dive once and that was so terrifying that you never did again. Why in the world would you want to jump out of a plane.?”
It was at this moment I knew that the thought I had to go skydiving wasn’t mine because that is a thought that would never cross my mind! Therefore, I knew this was a prompting and I began to wonder why in the world God would care whether or not I jumped out of an airplane!
When I told my husband I was thinking of going skydiving I expected him to say, “What? I thought we had set a goal to save money for the windows that need to be replaced. Besides you told me when we got married you never wanted me to go skydiving again” and then I could logically tell myself that skydiving was a frivolous thing to do and I needed to be more practical.
Instead he said, “Honey, you talk to your coaching clients about being in free-fall all the time. If you truly want to learn about free-fall then this is something you really need to do.” Well, since he was on Gods side then I couldn’t see a way out this and I knew I needed to do it.
I also knew, through past experiences, that if I allow fear to get in my way of doing that I felt prompted to do that my growth and progress come to a screeching halt. So I gulped and set a goal that I would go sky diving before my 48th birthday which is September 20th. I then Iooked at my calendar and saw that every Saturday between then and September 20th had something on it except August 27th, so I decided August 27th it was.
Next, I realized that to do this without totally freaking out I was going to have to put practice another principle I teach my coaching clients as well. That when you are faced with something outside your comfort zone that it’s a lot easier to choose faith, which gives you power, instead of fear, which takes away your power.
I began to process the event in my mind and look for ways to have faith so that I wouldn’t be a nervous wreck until August 27th which at the time was two weeks away. I determined that I was going to focus on the following things:
- The fact that thousands of people including my own husband had skydived before and had a wonderful experience.
- The fact that the person that I would be jumping tandem with was very experienced and had as much of a desire to get to the ground safely as I did.
- The fact that I knew that God would not inspire me to do something like this without a reason and I was excited to find out what it was that he wanted me to teach me from this experience.
I also decided that when my mind started to go down the path of “what if” that I would quickly tell myself that I had no room for fear and return to focusing on faith.
As I focused on these three things I was amazed that on the day I was to jump I was not feeling what I expected I would feel, which was pure terror! I was nervous, but it was comparable to how I feel before I hold a class or speak at an event. Nothing that I couldn’t handle or that was too uncomfortable.
I was also amazed that as I got into the plane and tuned into the instructor’s energy that I would be trusting my life with and I felt complete peace. I could feel that he was humble, yet confident and I felt as safe with him as I would have felt if I had been strapped to the front of God himself. It was also interesting to me that he only gave me the information I absolutely needed to know and he didn’t give it to me until I needed to know it, which is how God works when he’s guiding you.
I will admit that the initial feeling free falling from 12,000 feet in the air was terrifying, but it only lasted a minute or so and then I was on my belly, flying in the air, which was absolutely amazing! Then, once the parachute opened we floated back to earth and landed pretty gently on the ground. I was a little nauseous from the slight spinning we did in the parachute, but other than that I was thrilled beyond measure, and shocked that I had just fallen from the sky.
So what did I learn?
- I learned that God has a greater plan for me then my mind can comprehend. But in order to experience the blessings that come with following his plan their are times that I have to get my ego mind out of the way, let go of control and be in complete free-fall.
- I learned that God only gives me as much information as I need to know and only tells me when I need to know it. This is because if I could see the beginning from the end I would be too scared and wouldn’t do it.
- I learned that when I am faced with something that is scary and outside of my comfort zone that it’s a lot easier to have faith that God has a plan and it will all work out rather than choose to feel the stress that fear creates.
- I also learned to have greater trust in myself that I can do hard things when I am feeling prompted and that God will have my back.
I never in a million years thought that I would ever jump out of an airplane. I wonder what else is around the corner that I never thought I would experience? What adventures does God have planned for you? Do you have the faith to trust him and free-fall?