The most interesting conversations with my kids happen in the car. There’s something about that uninterrupted time on the road that inspires us to talk more openly about things. A few weeks ago, I asked Harper what makes her afraid. I expected all the usual 7-year-old answers: spiders, monsters, the dark. But without skipping a beat she said, “I’m scared of edges.”
“You mean heights,” I corrected her. “You’re scared of heights.”
“No, I mean edges,” she said in a firm voice. “I can go up way high and look down. I’m scared when I get close to the end of something cause I don’t know what’s out there.”
“Harper, I think I must be scared of edges too,” I admitted.
You see, edges and I are old and cantankerous companions. In each area of my life, I prefer to see the next step. Adventure and risk taking? Nah. I rather be comfortable. Steady. Certain.
And that’s what it’s about, I think. Certainty. I’d like to know the outcome of my decisions thank you very much, so if I take fewer risks, the results will be more predictable. Right? There’s just one thing. It’s boring over here. When I sit twenty feet from the edge of a matter, I don’t even get a glimpse of what is beyond. And that’s something I want to change this year.
Some of you girls are stepping closer to the edge. Swinging your knees around and leaning over. I’m so proud of you for that:
After years of prayer, a dear couple is moving to Honduras to be missionaries and raise their family in Latin America.
A wonderful bunch of human beings just returned home from China with their new son and brother, unsure of what the future holds for their family, but certain this little guy belongs in it.
One of the most beautiful souls I know is leaving a huge career and moving away from her friends and home this week to be closer to the man she loves and will soon marry.
These edges we see in others’ lives, they draw us out. Perhaps unwillingly at first. Often crawling on hands and knees, scooting inch by inch, until we can swing our knees over the ledge, catch our breath, and peek out to see what is possible. There is adventure and joy and fullness out there, and I want some of that in 2018.
Maybe your edge is going back to work after years at home with your children, changing course in your career, or leaving a job that isn’t fulfilling to pursue a passion. Maybe its initiating adoption, beginning marriage counseling, seeking forgiveness, or deciding to date again after a heartbreaking divorce.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, research professor Dr. Brené Brown writes “the opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.” If that’s true, and I tend to agree that it is, I’d rather not live there another year, in the certainty of things. I think I’ll face my fear and move a little closer to the edge.