When I was about to turn 16, my youth group organized a trip to West Virginia to help people who were in need. When I signed up to go, so many thoughts raced through my head. As much as I loved my youth group, I would be away from my family, in another state, for a whole week, in the blazing heat. I also had to train for a weekend in Pennsylvania in order to prepare for the trip, where we would have to climb rock walls and do team-building exercises. Although I already signed up for the trip, I thought about giving up and telling them that I could not make it. However, I felt deeply that God wanted me to go, so I made the decision to go no matter what the cost.
One by one, God took away my fears. On the training weekend, we had a great time. I knew almost everyone on my team, and they helped me to get over my fears. Through the exercises we did together, I learned that God was calling me to let go. I learned it from climbing the rock wall. I was afraid of heights, and I was only planning on going up halfway. People around me were calling me, encouraging me to keep going. I would not look down, but I listened to what my teammates said below me. Finally, I reached the top. I heard applause, even from members from other teams. Unlike what I feared, no one made fun of me for being such a wimp. Instead, all I heard was encouragement. I looked around at what I had accomplished, knowing that I could not do it without the support of my friends and the strength of God.
The staff person who was holding me called up to me: “Good job. Now I need you to let go of the wall so that you can come down.” I thought about her request as I stared down at the bottom. What if she lets me fall? My team members cheered me on again. I held on to the rope, closed my eyes, and pushed my legs off of the wall.
For a few seconds, I suspended in the air. The feeling of not having to be in control, to let my life in someone else’s hands, gave me a sense of peace. For the first time, I did not have to be responsible for anyone, not even my own life. For the first time, God gave me a picture of what it means to trust him. It feels scary at first, but when I finally let go, my life is in the hands of God. When I leave my burdens in God’s hands, I am free to live without fear or anxiety. And this was only the beginning.