This week I watched a video of an 8-year old girl named Bella Kenworthy, who is a skateboarder from California.1 She and 2 of her friends are known as the Pink Helmet Posse because they wear pink helmets when they ride their skateboards. Bella has been skating and surfing since the age of 5 years and she is fearless. Recently she wanted to “drop into a big bowl,” at skateboard park course challenge, which made her dad really nervous for her safety. However, he did not stop her but decided to go to the bottom of the bowl to be there for her if she fell. She didn’t fall but nailed it. What was Bella’s response to fear she faced? “I get scared sometimes but you gotta face your fears and just do it.” How, may I ask, at the age of 8 years old, did she gain such wisdom? As the video unfolds she reveals that her “board” is plastered with logos like, “dream big” or “follow your heart.” What an inspiration she is to all of us.
Just as Bella exemplified in the video, we must focus our minds on overcoming our fears and just do it. We may fall and be embarrassed and feel a bit bruised but with courage we stand up and start again. One thing that is obvious is Bella’s commitment to practice. She performs maneuvers that are remarkable but all of her skills have been developed with hours of practice. She had to learn how to conquer the little bowls before she attempted the big bowl. As her mother stated, she prepares herself each day by practicing for hours. Like Bella, the way we become confident in anything is to prepare ourselves before stepping into the “big bowl” of what we fear. At this time, my fears are based on the unknown of my call in ministry and the church. I trust that God will show me the way and that each step will be revealed when I am ready to handle it. Just like the Bella, I prepare myself by reading the Bible to find empowering words that reveal God’s faithfulness to me. Then time in prayer and reflection gives me the encouragement to face the fear of the unknown. I am assured by God’s promises and trusting that God is preparing the hearts and minds of the people who will be a part of the ministry God is calling me to do. I find comfort in God’s promise to the prophet Jeremiah which is, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). My hope lies in trusting God to reveal the path ahead.
One more thought, Bella has the support and encouragement of her family and friends to explore her abilities to skate. Even though her dad was scared for her to skate into the big bowl he did not stop her. He chose to just be there for her. I wonder as Bella looked down and saw her dad standing there, if his presence helped to give her the confidence to face her fear and do it? We can learn a lot from this 8 year-old girl about facing our fears and being bold enough to “just go for it” knowing that we are supported completely by the love of God. We are empowered as we look deep into the bowl and see God’s arms stretched wide to catch us if we fall.