Waterfalls are beautiful from a distance, something worthy of respect and awe at the powerful impact they have on everything around them. Until I came to Costa Rica, my only waterfall experiences involved tourist moments at Niagara Falls, standing a very safe distance away, and some picturesque observations of lovely falls in Hawaii. Actually stepping into a waterfall though, had never really occurred to me and my Costa Rica experience was both fearful and exhilarating.
At first, wading a respectful distance from the waterfall, I felt the water rushing in pools around my knees and ankles. Maneuvering the rocky bottom and immersed now in the pounding torrent up to my hips, I felt the mists get heavier as my whole body was bombarded with the force that spewed tons of liquid into my face like no mere shower had ever done. If the winds didn’t knock me over, I thought I could try to stay standing and look up at the gushing force pummeling me and trying to catch me off balance. The waterfall has all the power and I was simply at its mercy, rubbing the rushing spray from my eyes, hardly able to blink.
Then, I walked closer still and the force from the cascading waters seemed calmer, almost accepting of my being there, yet still demanding as the flume-like down pour continued. Mind you this was the feminine waterfall, the one willing to embrace me and let me in. We would not have attempted this in the more masculine waterfall a short distance away.
As I adjusted to the experience of this moment, my friend suddenly disappeared beneath the waterfall and left me standing there alone in my fear and trembling. I stood breathless with the anxiety that coursed through my body.
“Karen, come on,” I heard him call to me. “What? I thought, there’s no way I’m going into that massive wall of water. I won’t be able to breath, I’ll drowned.” As I stood there, contemplating my fate and unable to actually move, a strong arm and a beckoning hand came out through the watery wall and caught me by surprise. “Come on,” he said again, and this time I found myself being pulled through the force and quickly sitting under a ledge where I could breath and laugh and be amazed at what had just been accomplished.
This experience may not seem like a big thing to those of you with no fear of water, but for me, it was huge and totally different from any experience I had ever had. As I sat under that rock ledge, behind the powerful falls, I realized that moment did something for me. It was a triumph of unknown proportions…it opened the way for me to become a more adventurous spirit, a more willing participant in my own story. God had blessed me to learn more about Him and about myself. I left that place a brand new woman and I’ve been awed by what God has done ever since.
Perhaps it was a baptism of sorts because I became a new person. I believe God has moments like this for you too, perhaps couched in something you’re afraid to face or uncertain of how to pursue. Today, I encourage you to go after those things, to be bold and brave because the obstacles are fleeting. They only appear to be there to give you the chance to work out how you’ll see them. In my case, I certainly give thanks to my friend who helped pull me through the fear to discover a new way of seeing.
May your friends walk beside you today and help you face your fears and remind you that you’re safe in the hands of the One who made you and wants you to jump into life with both feet. Just remember this word from Isaiah 43 which says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”
You are not alone. You are called to a life of great adventure. Are you ready to take it on?