Diving in on Fearless Friday

It’s Fearless Friday and I’m excited to share a post written by Carrie Gleeson, an awesome young leader who is developing disciples and mentoring student leaders on staff at our church.  I’m privileged to call her a friend!


What does it look like to be fearless?

Well in my mind that’s somehow always equated with the high dive at Shady Oak Beach. I’m not even sure if the high dive still exists, but for me, as a kid spending her summers on Minnesota lakes, that was the Mount Everest of feats.


Back in the day, there were 2 docks out in the deep of Shady Oak Lake (yes, it was that dramatic . . . for a 10 year old at least). Both docks stood about 20 feet above the water. One of the docks had a normal diving board. Perched on top of the 2nd dock was the high dive (insert scary, forbidding music here).. This diving board was another 10-15 feet in the air toppling over the surface of this cool Minnesota lake.

I remember the very first time I was BRAVE enough to go out to the high dive dock instead of the “normal” dock (I was probably 10 years old or so). My sister and I swam out to the dock with all the rest of the “big kids” to see if we could conquer the Shady Oak high dive.

I must admit, I didn’t do it at first. I got out there only to jump off the dock a half dozen times. Then, finally, I got in line for the high dive behind all the older kids.

And FEAR started to well up inside me . . .

What if I failed? What if it hurt? What if I got up to the top and wanted to climb back down? What would people think? What if my insecurities for not having control or not knowing the outcome or walking through the uncertainty paralyzed me and I couldn’t do it?

Alright, I’m sure these thoughts didn’t go through my mind as a 10 year old but looking back, that’s what I should have been thinking.

My sister watched as I climbed the ladder and timidly walked towards the end of the board.

I couldn’t turn back now, even in the midst of all these insecurities and fears I was bound and determined to jump off that diving board.

After what seemed like an eternity had passed . . . a few steps backward . . . the occasional glance down to my little sis . . . I jumped!

My hunt for fun, for adventure, for risk finally exceeded the paralysis of fear.

The Shady Oak high dive pops in my thoughts on a regular basis when I think about facing my fears, when I think about not allowing my insecurities to control my faith or my behavior. When I feel like God is calling me to do something I am terrified to do.

What are the high dives in my life these days? 

Speaking in front of a congregation.  Entering into a messy situation with one of the teenagers with whom I work. Having a conversation with a homeless man. Finding reconciliation in a broken relationship. Initiating a new relationship with authenticity and vulnerability. The list could go on.

I probably went off that high dive 15 more times that day. It was so much fun! The first step, the first jump is always the hardest.  But let’s not let that first step keep us from experiencing all God has for us!

What are the high dives in your life right now and how might God be calling you to jump in?


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