Cliff Jumping and Free Falling

Cliff jumping and Free Falling

The doctor said, “There is no treatment for this disorder. Children may survive to school-age.”

She was talking about my only child, and I felt like I was being pushed to the edge of a cliff.

Rewind the clock a few months, and I’m sitting at a keyboard, writing a song whose lyrics describe the coming day in the doctor’s office astonishingly well. Back then my only concern was learning to navigate the world of new-motherhood, and I knew nothing of the rare medical diagnosis that was in our future. Still the words flowed freely …

At the end of the road that I’ve been on
Open ahead, I’ve reached the edge
Looking down, I hold my breath.
Nothing left to do but jump or run
Every other option is long gone
My heart beats fast
I turn my head
The path behind me looks so easy
The cliff before feels so high.

It’s a song about faith vs. fear, and trust that jumps instead of retreating. You see surrender is not a symbol of weakness but a sign of courage. In His grace, God fills–literally injects–us with courage and we choose to place our confidence in Him, lest fear overtake us. “… Perfect love drives out fear,” and we can find that love both at the top of the cliff and also in the free fall (I John 4:18).

I wanna free fall, Your love catches me
Your love catches me
Your love catches me

Cliffs emerge in all of our lives, whether in the form of a crisis or an impossible dream, a trial or a bold risk. In all cases, the choice is simple:  jump or run.

Count the cost of the jump, the price is high
Everything I’d lose fills my mind
I gather courage, take a step
Turn my back on the lie
That if I lose my life, I won’t survive
Come up to the edge, I fix my eyes on You
The world behind is quickly fading
Feel the rush, I take the plunge

Jumping is trusting. Trusting that God is who He said He is–trustworthy to the core. That He is GOOD, no matter what. And that He is in control and has our ultimate good in mind.

I jumped off my cliff in a doctor’s office and spoke the first of many faith-filled words:  “I understand what you are saying, and I am not in denial of the facts. But God is bigger.”

Life since then has been far from easy yet full of peace. There is joy and strength and beauty to be found in the free fall–especially when Jesus is doing the catching.

And it’s nothing the that I thought it could be 
‘Cause the ride is full of twists and turns. 
But I know You’re always here with me. 
I’m not alone when I reach for You.

*Thank you to Robert Chapman, Chris Gilliam, Crystal Mott, Katy Skogberg, and Brandon Pelton for playing on the recording of this song. 

Click here to read Olivia’s Story.