Let me preface this post with a truth: I’m stepping out of my comfort zone by just being a part of this Blog Chain! The fact that there are published authors who will be reading this makes this a difficult post to write. Sigh… I shall just have to squirm until my turn is over. 😀
I’ve always been a live-on-the-edge kind of girl, even though I am secretly a Skaredy-Kat. (But please don’t share that last little tidbit with anyone – I like to maintain my image of fearlessness.) Occasionally I’ve had mishaps that have taken me too close to the edge, with potentially deathly consequences.
Although I was born American, I grew up in Venezuela and have very much a Latin temperament. At the age of 18, my mom moved back to the States and I was on my own. I was virtually alone. Even though I had family, they were all dealing with their own issues and I rarely had any interaction with them. I found myself without common boundaries, and as a result I did not live up to many of the older population’s rules of expectations for a “nice” girl. Nevertheless, it was kind of exciting to play at “adult,” with no one telling me what to do, and making a living.
I bought myself a little 175cc Yamaha motorcycle to get around. This saved me from having to use the public transportation system, which is a nightmarish experience to say the least. I would zip around town without a care in the world – or a helmet. My friends and I would race our motorcycles up the narrow, curvy roads of the mountain and then down the other side to enjoy a day out at the beach.
One memorable moment on our way to the beach, I took a sharp corner while traveling too fast. My foot pedal, with less than an inch to spare, narrowly missed the guard rail that would have tripped up the motorcycle and sent me flying down the side of the mountain. With the adrenaline coursing through my veins, I stopped to calm my shaking hands and get my heart back to a reasonable beat. One of my friends pulled me off the bike and ran me back to the place where disaster had just been avoided. He put his arm around me as he showed me the steep cliff that traveled 1000 feet down before sloping out. Looking at that near miss shook me up even more.
I remember doing some pretty stupid things at that age, which goes to prove that we do have angels looking after us – I am still very much alive. Early one morning, about 2:00AM type of early, my friends and I decided to travel on the freeway. On our skateboards! Down the mountain we flew on the nearly empty, winding freeway for about five miles. The darkness enveloped us as we rode, the silence broken only by the sound of our wheels on the black pavement and the occasional car joining us. It was a surreal, exhilarating but chilly experience, and thank the Lord, without any of those mishaps I’ve referenced above.
At 19, tired of the Venezuelan government, the wrong crowd and wanting a change, I picked up two boxes of belongings and my guitar and moved to Florida. I bought a 360cc Honda motorcycle for transportation purposes. This one was bigger and quite a bit heavier. So heavy, in fact, that when it fell I had a struggle to get it upright again.
One rainy evening, I was riding home on the poorly lit main road. Up ahead I could see cars stopped at both sides of an intersection waiting for me to go by before they had their turn. A sixth sense (it really was You Know Who) told me to slow down, someone was going to do something stupid like pull out in front of me. Sure enough, just as I got there, a silly woman did that very thing. I slammed on the brakes and felt the motorcycle skid and land on its side under the bumper of another car. I was so full of adrenaline and anger that I lifted that motorcycle as if it were light as a pin. I remounted, started it and tried to chase the woman down to give her a good, stern talking to. Fortunately for her, I never got close.
Three years later, I packed up a U-Haul and moved to Utah with a friend named Diane. We had no idea where we were going to land, or what we were going to do, but it was exciting to just play pioneer and go see. We learned how to ski, went canoeing down whitewater rivers (once and only once due to a lot of mishaps!), and discovered camping.
One weekend, another friend named Starr and I decided to pack up our car and head down to Lake Powell. We scouted around for a place to camp and discovered a little part of the lake which could be accessed by a long stretch of washboard, dirt road. As we drove a spell on this horrible, bumpy road, I remembered a story that I had read in French Class. I told Starr about it. There was this oil well that caught fire. Through many trials and errors, the company decided that the only way to put it out was to give it some good old nitroglycerin. The problem they were facing was getting this unstable chemical there without exploding because the road to the well was exactly like the one we were driving on. One bump a little too hard, and the trucks would be obliterated. The researchers figured out that if they drove over the road at 60mph, the tires would skim over the top of the ridges on the dirt road and the trucks would have a smooth ride.
I looked at Starr; Starr looked at me. She said “Go for it!”
So I did.
It worked! kind of… We cruised smoothly on this road at 60mph. However, turning a tight corner we slid precariously close to the edge of an embankment. My angels (who have labored long in my life – I’m gonna give them a huge hug when I meet them!) were hard at work and we did not roll the car over and down the hill. Our hearts got a good workout as adrenaline generously pumped through our bodies.
It was then I remembered that the story was written in French – they use kilometers, not miles. 45mph was sufficient to accomplish the task, and it would have been a lot safer!
I think you are beginning to understand that little wild side of me. I’m not afraid to just pick up and go anywhere or try anything. Well, most anything – I am afraid of heights. Oh, and horses, too. Tall horses really scare me!
People call me brave. But honestly, deep down inside, I’m not really…
My life has not been easy despite all of the adventures. I did not have a very good upbringing; my parents were not there emotionally for me, and I made many unwise choices which just compounded the problems. Insecurity constantly plagued me. I was full of anger, bitterness, hate, and self-loathing. As the years went by and I continued my unguided path, my life grew messier and messier.
About ten years ago, something wonderful happened. My God got a hold of me. He very tenderly showed me how much He loved me. He gently helped me clean up the messes that I had created. And this Love of my Life revealed to me just who I was and Who I belonged to.
Now God has asked me to step out of my Comfort Zone and publish His Works – everything that He has done in my life and the personal encounters that I’ve experienced with Him.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. ~ 1 Chronicles 16:24, NLT
This is not an easy thing for me to do. First of all, who do I think I am? I’ve always loved to write, but an author? Get real – it’s me! Little ol’ me! Look at all those wonderful authors out there who mold words into realities that impact me emotionally – C.S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, Gene Stratton-Porter, L. M. Montgomery, J.R.R. Tolkien. The list is endless. And God has asked me to do this? Has He really taken a good look at this broken vessel of His?
But then again, who am I to argue with the Master? I’m stepping out. I’ve ignored me and have become His pen. After all, He is the Author. He is finishing the good work that He has begun in me – and He will see it to completion. I will glorify His Name and let everyone out there who walks a broken, tired life know that there is Hope, there is Healing, there is Acceptance, but most of all there is Love.
I will step out of my Comfort Zone and I will publish His Glorious Deeds. Just thinking about it gets my adrenaline going – but I think you can very well guess that this is the way I live.