I wanted to post this few weeks ago, but ended up thinking it trifling. But now as I reread it today, it doesn't seem so bad. Here's hoping you think so, too.

I was part of a conversation about recent negative current events happening one after another. Someone in the group commented,

"When it rains, it falls."

Okay, yes, the correct version states pours, not falls. At that moment, though, that unintended mistake resonated with me better than the correct one.

The month of July and August was a whirlwind of events. While there were the good times, such as my husband coming home, a wedding, and festive celebrations, there were also the tough moments. There were deaths, serious prayer needs, the usual deluge of work, and the agonizing wait for my husband's return which got delayed over and over again. Let's not forget the downing of flight MH17, the threat of the Islamic State, and the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. I'm a person given to worry and dejection, so though the list above seems trivial now, it sure didn't feel that way then.

Through this time, there was one lesson God taught me, that's made me deal with worry better. Instead of boring you with a how-to, allow me to describe it through something I did in July.

Water abseiling. Like this:
That's a 9-year-old girl and her mom abseiling!

I’ve done indoor rock climbing a few times, so scaling down a wall wasn’t something new. So I was pretty confident that I'd do "well" in this activity. Nerd as I am, I was careful to observe the guide's demonstration of the right techniques.

"Use the left hand to slowly release the rope. Lock the right hand, also holding the rope, behind your back to stop the slide. And make sure your body is positioned like an 'L' against the rock - keep your legs straight."

Hmm... Looks easy enough.

When it was our group’s turn, I volunteered to be first. That’s one of my tendencies jumping into something before counting the cost.

I mean, How hard can it be? I had a strategy Get the techniques right, and you'll be fine.

Yeah, right.

As soon as I got over the edge, I was terrified. Terrified of losing my footing, even though if I did, the guides would support me with the extra safety rope. Then I started thinking about the distance below, (which wasn't very far down, but when your mind starts imagining…) and my mild fear of heights crept in. Then I began to feel the pressure of the water rushing down like a bunch of kids snapping a stream of rubberbands towards me.

But I was determined to make it through without failing. So I focused on the techniques. My legs were so straight, I’m pretty sure someone could have used me as a rule to measure the degree of the waterfall. It didn't seem to work, though, because my feet kept slipping. The techniques were becoming strenuous, and my arms started to burn.

Halfway through, I was ready to give up, and almost released the rope. Then self-preservation kicked in. So I clung on and somehow found my way to the bottom. As soon as the guide held my rope, I stumbled free with relief, walking into the sun to chase away the chills and humiliation.

Watching my friend's attempt, I reflected on mine and wondered where I could have done better. Honestly, I was annoyed and disappointed with myself. How could I be so weak? What was I doing wrong that I kept slipping?

We're allowed to abseil as many times as wished. So, resolving to do better, I made my way back up. Soon it was my turn again, although this time I was much more hesitant.

Then I realized the truth in the early part of the second attempt.

I was focusing on the wrong things! I focused on the techniques, the torrents of the water, and the threat of the drop. More importantly, I was focusing on myself and not making a fool of myself.

I didn’t think of one thing: The Rock.

What a difference it was after that! I loosened up, taking my mind off the height and the waterfall. Even though I took care to perform correctly, I was able to relax more, being easier on the placement of my feet, so long as they are firmly planted on the rock. Yes, I still was mindful of the techniques and was aware of the water whips and burning arms, but this time I remembered that in all this there is one thing that is constant, immovable and firm - The rock wall. Knowing that the rock wall won't be running away gave me the assurance that all will be well in spite of my mistakes and fears.

I finished that round triumphant, yet humbled that a "simple" correction could teach so much.

It seems ironic that letting go gives more security. But it’s because my focus was on the right place. It’s like when Peter walked on water; when he looked at the storm, his faith gave way. All he had needed to do was look to the Rock. Matthew 7:24-27 also has deeper meaning for me now.

So this is one lesson I’ve learned lately, and one I’ve called to remembrance often on those days when the murky negative emotions threaten to push me down.