Monday, August 29, 2011



My brother got a kick out of teasing me in our younger years. He'd dare me to do things, convince me I'd be safe, and push me on out into something that never was as safe as he promised.

I'd sometimes do what he dared me to, venturing out into the unknown in part because I wanted to prove to him and his friends that I could. And in part because I wanted to see what the big fuss was all about.

One such adventure was sled-riding. Growing up out in the middle of the country meant there were hills for good sled-riding all over the place. In our younger years, our family owned the farm we lived on* so we'd join our cousins, and one of the places we'd go was the big hills on the other side of the pond levee.

*We grew up in a rented farmhouse that was on the deed to the farm, and a stone's throw away, but not quite the farm if you know what I mean. We didn't run it or anything, but when my uncle owned it up until I was in middle school, we certainly helped out a ton and it was pretty much like we lived there. 

And boy was it ever fun! My cousin Russ would help my brother Tim come up with some big jumps that they would then spend time getting their little sisters to go on. Russ's younger sister Olivia was just a couple years older than me, and just one year younger than Tim. So she didn't fall for it quite as often as I did.

I remember one such day when the four of us {and maybe others, I can't recall} were out there, I remember Tim & Russ building one of their big jumps, and somehow this time convincing me that it was totally safe. Everyone could do it, so I had to be able to as well.

Come on, give it a try, you won't fall! 

Not to be the wimp, I determined I would do it.

So I got on my little sled, face all determined that I would succeed. Them cheering me on and giggling a bit. Tim gave me a hard push.

Smooth sailing. Hit the jump and glided over it and up into the air.

Mid-air my sled decided it wanted to go a different direction.

Screams insued.

Laughter filled the air behind me.


Insert my face into the freezing cold snow below.

Tears from me. Tears from the group behind me from laughing so hard.

And you better believe I told on him when I got home!

God is never like that with us. He never dares us. He doesn't laugh at us when we get hurt. But he does encourage us to take steps and sometimes leaps of faith, trusting that he is in control, holding our hand, and catching us when we fall.

Right now as I'm really struggling and facing a lot of uncertainty, I'm resting in the promises of God. Knowing that he is there, guiding my ways, allowing my struggles to be my own, but also prepped & ready to catch me when I do get hurt and show me the safe passage home.

Without facing uncertainty in our lives, we'd never need to learn reliance on God. Without those leaps of faith, would we be where we are now? Without trusting God for those times of uncertainty, would we get to the places of big rewards and spiritual riches? Would we be who we are today without falling on our face multiple times and picking ourselves back up?

Despite all that we went through growing up... the teasing and dares ultimately taught me of my brother's love & care for me over the years. As we grew up, I knew first-hand that if anyone else made fun of me or put me at risk in any way, he was the first one to jump in and defend & protect me. If I was struggling with something or someone in my life, I could always go to him and trust that he would help me find a solution through direction, prayer, God's Word, and becoming who God has created me to be.

My brother is one of the people I trust the most in my life. I don't know where I'd be today without all my experiences with him.

Face-planting in the snow and all. 

Image: Michael Baughn, Flickr

1 comment:

AudreyO said...

Siblings can be great. My sister and I have recently really reconnected and it's been wonderful.