At the risk of giving away my age, I would like to share with you what God did for me on my birthday this year. It seems like the older I get, the more I struggle with fear. Not just one fear, many fears. And unfortunately, that can make things difficult for the people you hang with that have no fear. Take my friend Mandy, for instance. She and her husband Daniel like to go on cruises. Every year, they invite us to go with them and every year we (I) say no. Why? Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of flying because it doesn't make sense how an airplane can stay in the sky. Likewise, I'm afraid of sailing the big blue Gulf of Mexico because it doesn't make sense to me how the ocean doesn't just swallow up the boat. I know it's silly. Doesn't matter. However, this year I shared with Mandy my new faith motto: Forty, Fit and Fearless. Forty (yes, I am), Fit (no, I'm not yet) and Fearless (working on it). So, in order to help me with my new outlook on life, she and Daniel took my husband, Byron and I on a cruise! It was amazing! We had so much fun. I actually have a picture of Mandy and I leaning against the railing on the back of the boat at night! (Night time is scarier!) On top of conquering the fear of sailing, we hiked through a jungle (commercialized for wimpy tourists) and swam in a 35 foot deep spring in the depths of a cavern on an island I had never heard of. The water was a frigid 69 degrees and when you jumped in they said, "Don't scream or you'll wake the bats!" Yes, there were bats overhead and I was careful not to scream. We made it back to safe harbor and it was the most amazing trip I have ever taken. It's not easy for me to conquer my fears...just ask Mandy. But as I step out in faith to conquer a new one, day after day, it draws me closer to the God who says, "Don't be afraid. I am with you everywhere you go." This is what I've learned in my short 40 years: I can walk through this life, missing out on adventures that God has set before me and remain "safe". Or I can hold my breath and dive in, trusting that God will catch me in the deep end. Can't you just see it? Me and God...looking fear right in the face. In this case it was the blue ocean! And He never left my side.