As I wander in a fog off the heels of our first prom weekend, I’m preparing to speak this week at Jumping Tandem: The Retreat and visit England shortly after. This post is a visit to England almost a year ago and resonates through the conglomeration that is my current reality. Yep, fear is an unwelcome relative. I’m sharing it again, in hope that it will resonate with you too, whether you read it the first time, or with new eyes today. I look forward to sharing new thoughts on Wonderstruck this Wednesday. 

Arms wrap around shoulders and cheeks touch goodbye one last time before I crawl into the passenger seat next to H. “Go ahead and cry now, you know you want to,” he says as we back out of the driveway, young arms waving wildly on the front lawn. And I do, I want to cry . . . every time.

An anniversary trip to Europe sings joy until the suitcases of reality load in the trunk and we pull away from secure and predictable. Anxiety reminds of what I hold on to that needs letting go.

Because I can sink into the couch of a well-planned schedule – the way they like their eggs cooked,  sandwiches made, the laundry folded – and miss His pulling back the welcome curtain to the world that doesn’t look like us.

Finding security in control of the small and predictable in the everyday, it tricks me into thinking I have any control at all.

Until we touch down on English soil, walk through customs into a world of taking seats on the opposite side of experience. It’s then that fear, the invisible third person in the car, joins me as a passenger to driving on the other side of the road. We clench together stiff along the narrow, winding journey of beautiful change.

Fear whispers questions in my ear about what might happen. What if we have an accident, if he inadvertently pulls into the right lane when it should be the left? Or if we lose control driving at high speeds. What then?

And if fear sits beside me, freedom smiles next to H looking at me puzzled. Because freedom rooted in generations walking out their faith doesn’t speak the language of fear.


Fear is my unwelcome relative, part of the family tree for generations that shows up unexpectedly to parties I host for risk and adventure. He weezles his way into crowded thoughts, plants doubt when no one is looking, then spreads out safe and secure like a picnic with a basket full of excuses.

And the only way to release him from lurking around in the kitchen of cooked up dreams is to send courage in to tell him to go home.

Courage is the humble guest that sees clear through crowded rooms of fear. He understands the purpose in risk and adventure, sacrifices Himself to get there for love.

I choose to follow Courage careening narrow along stone walls flanking green quilts dotted woolly white.  Walk over fear to the other side of predictable along cobblestone streets and underground stares.  He knows where He is going, the way to get there. And the path looks a lot like love.

The act of courage calls forth infallibly that deeper part of ourselves that supports and sustains us. ~Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Does fear keep you from fulfilling dreams? From experiencing adventure?