The darkness of the cave seemed to swallow-up every last strand of dignity I had left to offer. My teenage legs shook vigorously as my feet inched closer to the small cliff inside the cave opening. I had a choice to make. I could turn back now or feed the burning desire of my heart to take this leap of faith in search of what could be waiting.
But I felt so alone…
…..In the darkness
………..In my insecurity.
The line of students slowly pushed past my anxiety-stricken figure and jumped carelessly to the other side. Their bodies seemed to glide like an eagle, gracefully over the huge dark abyss and landed gently on the other side. I remember thinking, “Okay God, if pigs can fly, now would be an excellent time!”
After all the “eagles” safely landed on the other side, my shoes scuffed dust off the side of the ledge as I contemplated my jump. Everyone just stood there, gazing at my still figure.
I just stood there. I felt helpless.
I heard the leaders questioning if I should even go forward, trying to decide who would stay behind. I didn’t want to be left, again. I wanted to try, but I needed someone to feed my faith. I needed the voice of accountability.
As the youth minister slowly made his way over to the cave canyon ledge, he took me aside. He told me my options – I could stay here where it was safe or trust in this group to get me through to discover more of what the cave had to offer. Nobody had a clue what was beyond the drop-off, but I wanted to know.
I was tired of playing it safe.
I wanted more.
I needed more.
Never mind that I would be using one hand to steady my balance through the cave’s uneven floors.
Disregard the fact that I could barely see in the dark with my vision issues.
Don’t even count the fact that my hearing-aids were drenched in sweat and were about to quit working any moment.
No, I wanted more.
As I made my way through the darkness of the cave that evening, I held so many hands of trust. I followed voices that told me, “Come on Bethany, just take the next best step! You got this!” I felt hands holding me up and pulling me forth. I was in the darkness, but never alone. With this support, I continually took the next best step.
As I scaled into a tight tunnel, I remember hearing silence. Checking to make sure my hearing-aids were working, I pressed-on. As I climbed through a small opening, I was met by a cavern of flashlights, clapping, cheering and echoes of excitement. I made it – this was the heart of the cave! I made it to my “more” and it felt amazing! As I joined the unity of that moment, I felt completely accepted in my fear. I was still a bit afraid – after all, I knew we still had to to make the return trip. But I discovered something that day that changed my life.
Accountability is vital to thrive in your fear. Conquering fear is essential in order to get MORE out of your life. Got goals? You NEED accountability!
You were never meant to charge into your cave of goals alone. No, this journey requires the voices of others reminding you to take your next best step as you find your MORE!
3 Reasons Why THRIVERS Need Accountability
1. Loneliness Defeats Courage. God created us to be relational people, not Lone Rangers. We thrive not only receiving encouragement, but giving support to others. Who do you have in your life right now that encourages you to go deeper? Who can you encourage?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
2. Friends Bring Friends To Jesus. Some of the closest, most authentic accountability conversations I’ve ever experienced have ended in all-out prayer. It’s in those dark cave moments where we come together, feet hanging over the edge and earnestly cry out to God to “Make pigs fly.” As we hold our hands tightly and make the next best step together, Jesus is right there with us. It’s powerful, humbling and sometimes even changes our plans. Just like the accountability group brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus, you need friends to bring you to His presence during your time of stillness. God will get you moving again – and you will never be alone.
Mark 2:4-5New International Version (NIV)
4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
3. Accountability Holds You Up. There are times we grow tired along our journey and we want to quit. Even Moses needed help holding-up his hands during his fierce battle! How can others lift you up today? We need to hear “I got you! Hang in there! Just a few more steps!” Is there someone you need to lift-up today?
Exodus 17:11-12New International Version (NIV)
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
I entered my cave alone but left stronger, united with others.
Dare to do more than just survive, stand-out and THRIVE!
I’d love to hear your accountability stories! Please share below!
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