Christmas 2014 was different than any I have every experienced. We didn’t decorate a tree, go for a sleigh ride or sit around the fire roasting chestnuts. My daughters, Serena & Angel, son-in-law, Craig, and grandson, Tucker, had a wonderful surprise for me. They took me out to dinner and then we spent the night at a hotel. We got up early the next morning and ate breakfast. Then, it was back to the room to don bathing suits and head for the pool, which, incidentally, had water slides that twirled around outside the building and back in.
At age 57, I had never been much of a swimmer. But, I enjoyed playing around in about 4 feet of water. Once in awhile I would even strap a float around my body and splash around in the deep end.
So, that day, we all got into the pool, where we played for awhile and enjoyed some time in the hot tub. Then, Angel told Tucker that she had a surprise for him. She was going to go down the water slide. He was excited to see her attempt such a scary feat. So, up the stairs she climbed, waving down to us before she hopped into the big scary tube. We waited and soon she came splashing out in front of us!
After a few minutes, the girls looked at one another and then at me with a mischievous look in their eyes. Then they said in unison, “We challenge you to go down the slide!” I was totally shocked at the thought. The idea of me sliding through that long, winding tube had never even crossed my mind! I was still recuperating from a fractured arm several months before and felt that it wasn’t even an option. However, Serena & Angel kept the challenge alive while I tried to wrap my mind around it. I pictured all the possible scenarios; good and bad. As I looked at them and my little grandson, I knew I couldn’t let them down. I reluctantly agreed.
I handed over my towel to Serena and got a hug from Tucker. Angel then grabbed my hand and walked up the stairs with me. Every step made it seem more real. Butterflies started to flutter. Finally, we got to the top. I looked over the edge at Tucker, put on a brave face, and waved. After I hesitantly sat down at the top of the tube, I looked over at Angel, who was in the tube next to mine. She gave me an encouraging nod, and we were off. I was moving fast. The light disappeared. I could see nothing. My body swooped in one direction, then it curved in another. I was holding my breath! Suddenly, there was light up ahead. And I popped out. My family came running up to me saying, “Yay! You did it!” My reaction? I said, “Let’s do that again!” So, we did!
It made me think about all of the things that I didn’t do in years past just because I was afraid. I had missed out on so much because I wouldn’t take a risk. But, this new year is going to be different! Serena, Angel & I agreed that 2015 is the year to Be Brave!
There are hundreds of Bible verses that say, “Fear not!” and “Don’t be afraid!” So, I challenge you all! Be Brave! Do things you never thought were possible. Because God loves challenges!