Leap of Faith

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, she turned into a butterfly.” – Proverb

Today I went on a hike. It was my first hike in quite awhile and it felt great to be outside, light breeze blowing and crisp temperatures. Pulling my boots on felt like touching an old friend. They were comfortable against my feet as I walked along the path. I spent part of my hike walking along the river, smooth and glassy. Small ripples flowing slowly, barely visible to the naked eye. It was beautiful and serene, just what was needed on a day like today.

Today was a step back towards the life I want to be living. One that involves being healthy, happy, and filled with joy. I am in a rebuilding phase, sorting out a new direction, stepping off the path that I have walked so many years. Like a caterpillar, I am breaking free from the cocoon of grief that has held me for the past few years and walking into the sunlight.

While hiking, I came across this incredible bed of lava rocks. Remembering my hike up Mt. St. Helens eighteen months ago, I braved out onto the rocks. Flat, tiled edges of porous rocks, leaning toward me. Shaky rocks making wobbly bridges precariously placed between tall, tilted black rocks that were rough around the edges. Looking down the river from my perch, I was reminded of a time when my body was strong, but my emotional strength was weak. Today, feeling strong, I stood tall. When it was time to leave, I looked over and decided to make the leap from the rock I was standing on to one nearby. Without hesitation, I pushed my body forward and was in the air. Shortly after leaving my rock, I realized that the drop between two was much bigger than anticipated. I tried to soften the blow by bending my knee, but ended up hitting my knee and palm on the sharp lower rock. This was a stark reminder that not everything is as it seems. What sometimes seems like a safe step can turn into something completely unexpected. You have two choices, be exhilarated that you have taken the leap or petrified that things aren't what you expected.

These thoughts are a metaphor for my life right now. So much unexpected, so much upheaval, so much hope, so much potential. Life is at a turning point. I need to choose my path wisely. I have an opportunity to take the pain and struggle of the past few years and build it into something beautiful; break free of the cocoon of grief that has engulfed my life. It is odd to be at this place. I thought I had my life set, a plan in place for the next years of my life. What does one do when the plan you had carefully thought out blows up? You take a Leap of Faith and make a new plan.

What do you do when you're midway through your life and all the sudden you are at the beginning again? You try not to think that somehow you have failed, looking down the tunnel where you had a marriage, a family. Starting over is a challenge. Wanting to have a life you can love in spite of trauma of the past. Telling yourself that your past does not determine your future. Knowing that you have the ability to make a path that will lead you to your future. Taking every experience you have had and cherishing it, learning from it, building from it.

Taking a Leap of Faith can be scary. Sometimes it turns out okay and life goes along smoothly, while other times you fall, scraping up your hands, knees, heart, and try to rebuild, one day at a time. If you don't leap, you will never know how glorious your life can truly be.

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