I had an interesting question posed to me the other day, when I was in the midst of a fear of heights (read: I was on a cliff, literally, and was being confronted with soooo many emotions I don’t enjoy).
I had missed the sunset portion of this gathering of friends, but went (reluctantly – let’s just say, I was not feeling particularly social, but something in me told me I had to go) for the social aspect after the fact.
Given that sunset had happened, I was navigating the cliff’s edge by moonlight (probably a blessing that I couldn’t see in detail how close I was to the edge or how high up we truly were) ? and one of my friends came up to meet me and walk with me the rest of the way to this hidden plateau area where everyone was.
I made it most of the way there and then was so happy to stop before taking the final steps down, over an edge, to what felt like would have been my final resting place.
My friends sweetly appeased and came up to join me, as the night was petering out anyway. And when we got back to the parking lot (thank God for solid, flat, wide-open spaces that aren’t on the edge of a cliff!), this question was posed to me:
“If your husband was leading you on unfamiliar territory and he stretched out his hand towards you, would you trust him and take his hand, or would you resist?”
Well dang. That’s a question for ya’! ? I am a firm believer in trust in relationships, and I know that when I’ve been on the end of extending my hand to someone (this goes for any type of relationship), it’s because I know I can help, I want to help, and I see a possibility they don’t see. I stretch out my hand to bring them with me because I’m confident that they not only will be able to do it, but that they will enjoy what’s on the other side of the fear that’s cropped up. It’s my heart to see them overcome that fear and walk in victory!
While all of that is going through my head, I’m also thinking through an alternate perspective of “If I resist, does that indicate that there’s no trust?” Here’s what I’ve concluded so far – no. Resistance doesn’t indicate that there’s no trust, although it may give that impression to others if communication isn’t happening. If I look at this specific situation, I had complete trust in my friend, but was nervous about the integrity of the cliffs, my owb sure-footedness, and the fact that I couldn’t really actually see very clearly.
Resisting something is very different than avoiding something or refusing something. It may be when we resist at first that we’re moving at a slower pace (and even potentially making it harder on ourselves than necessary), but we’re still moving.
If you find yourself in a moment of pause, where resistance tries to creep in, have grace for yourself, and know that it’s still totally possible to move forward and it doesn’t mean you’re failing. AND, more great news is that when you learn this about yourself, you can move quicker next time. You can keep improving your approach, and you can overcome resistance. It’s a muscle and it can be strengthened through exercising it.