Get rid of fear, for the sake of beauty
It is a fresh cold morning. I balance from fallen tree trunks and muddy boulders to cross the icy river and arrive at the bottom of a waterfall. The water roars in a gushing display of power and beauty, and my heart is racing. It’s funny how fear can keep us away from beauty, away from the unknown.
The night before, my friends and I completed the 7 mile hike in to set up camp at the base of the Panther Creek Falls. I remember writing in my journal as we were preparing for bed and pondering the dream that had long captivated my heart. I love to be as far off the ground as possible and have always hated the signs often seen at parks which read “DO NOT CLIMB”. My impulse is always to jump over the fence, ignore the sign, and explore the beauty that is apparently off limits. Something in me longed to climb a waterfall. Any waterfall. That night in the tent, so close to the roar of the falls, I talked to the Lord about my desire, knowing that I would attempt it in the morning. I felt it in my heart. This was something He wanted to give me.
That morning, there I stood at the bottom of the falls looking up. No prohibiting signs here. I was free to go, and the only thing to hold me back was my own fear. There were so many reasons not to climb. I didn’t have any of the right gear or shoes. Only my brief experience from climbing at the local gym, but hat was about it.
I took a deep breath and began climbing up the slippery cracks, pinching my fingers on the rocks to pull me up. As I ascended farther up, and the ground fell farther below me, I felt my heart beating so hard against my chest that its rhythm blended with the roar of the water. Embracing the adrenaline, I released all fear to the Lord.
With a final pull, I reached the top and was filled with the bliss of the moment. Still shaking, I raised my hands to the sky, feeling alive. A group of hikers had gathered when I began my ascent and they were now rejoicing with me. This is who I was made to be; this is what the Lord had given me, and as my friend and I swam back across the icy river, I gushed with joy.
That weekend at Panthers Creek my understanding of who I truly was, expanded once again. I discovered I was strong and capable. I could climb that waterfall. I could achieve my dream. When the Lord places something in our hearts, HE will make it come to pass. And although fear may be present, I learned that fear should never keep me from experiencing my identity and unleasing my passions.
Looking back a few years later, I have found that at the root of my fears, there is the lie that I don’t deserve the dreams Jesus has placed in my heart. Even with time and growth in the knowledge of who I am, I still struggle with the same lie. Much to my joy, Jesus always seems to prove my fear wrong.
Today Release The Women is being launched out to the world! Over the past two months the Lord has led me on a journey to join with Him and with his heart. I am overwhelmed with His desire to release women from fear and lies, and to break down the dividing walls of hostility between the sexes.
Release The Women is more than just a movement. It is a step into truth. We are a group of storytellers and dreamers; using photography and writing as our bridge. Through the stories and lives that we share, we desire to inspire empathy, provoke compassion, and make way for the Lord to move peoples hearts. Me and a group of core writers, who will be introduced to you over the next few weeks, will be curating stories of beauty and passion. These are the stories of our own lives and travels, and also the stories of many extraordinary everyday women.
Release The Women seeks to dispel the stereotypes and prejudices that set man against woman, and in its place foster wholeness. This movement is not a woman thing. This is a human thing. Man and woman laboring together for peace. This peace does not simply mean the absence of war. It means wholeness. And we are not whole, and will never be whole, without each other.
This is the purpose of Release the Women: To bring peace and wholeness to the body. Our prayer is that those who come into contact with Release The Women will be empowered to live out their God-given calling in all freedom.
Men and women, journey with me in facing your fears, embracing your identity, and empowering each other. The world needs it.