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  • Writer's pictureJenni Sheneman

Are You Afraid of Falling or Afraid of Flying?

This is the question God posed as I sat pondering all that the She Speaks conference fed me last weekend. Ask yourself the same question. I'll let you know how I answered at the end.


Who likes to fall? It hurts. It leaves us sore and bruised for days, if your flesh is anything like mine...the markings will linger, perhaps more to our ego than anything else.


We have an entirely different experience when we fly. You need the momentum to propel yourself forward, the stamina to stay in flight, and then the know-how to recognize when it's time to land.

As I thought a little deeper, I was led to research birds for a bit. Thank you, Google and God. I came across a bird called the Alpine Swift. Y'all, this bird can fly for six months without landing once. They eat what's known as aerial plankton--a mix of fungus spores, small insects, seeds and even bacteria that float about in the sky. Alpine swifts weigh just under a quarter-pound, glide along on a nearly 22-inch wingspan, and, it turns out, they sleep while airborne.

Speechless. Amazed that God would design such a creature to get everything it needs while in flight. In what looks to be an impossible situation, He provides a bird with the stamina, sustenance, and sleep it needs to carry on it's journey successfully. And he didn't just design this bird to survive, but to thrive!

During my research in Google and God's Word, I went to Matthew 6:26: "Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?"

I should just stop right here and give you my answer--I'm afraid to FLY.

You may think God posed a trick question but the truth of the matter is that none of us can fall if we don't attempt to fly. See if we don't attempt to fly then we really don't have to worry about falling because we never will.

I love that the very nature of God shows us that if He can give the birds of the air stamina, sustenance, and sleep how much more will He give me and you--his daughters and sons...his chosen ones!

If we don't attempt to fly we will never get the opportunity to experience His power at work within each one of us-- " the exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think..." kind of power. Ephesians 3:20

Ultimately, God has designed us to fly (figuratively speaking of course) and flying requires faith. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

So when I say I'm afraid to FLY my heart isn't talking me out of it, it's my thoughts--those feelings of inadequacy that keep me grounded, the negative words that leave the runway inaccessible, and the lies that lead me to believe that a really Big God can't use a little girl like me.

When the Alpine Swift takes off for his six month adventure, he doesn't concern himself with what he will eat or drink or if he will get enough sleep to stay awake for the flight, he just flies; he does what he was created to do, and as he goes, every need gets met.

So, as I challenge myself to fly, (and hopefully you as well) the months ahead are going to stretch me--physically, mentally, and emotionally, but I love that as I go, He goes. When I get weary, He will cheer me on shouting, "And let JENNI (insert your name) not grow weary of doing good, for in due season she will reap, if she does not give up!" Galatians 6:9

When I'm hungry and thirsty for His presence He will whisper in my ear, "JENNI will seek me and find me when she seeks me with all her heart!" Jeremiah 29:13

When I get tired and restless, wanting to land, He'll pull me into His mighty arms and say, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest!" Exodus 33:14

I'll await your response to the question posed at the beginning. In the meantime, you'll find me with a pounding heart, as I let go of all my fears, throw caution to the wind, and prepare my wings to fly.

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