By Mark Hopper
There are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about your spouse before you got married. But when you begin married life together you may discover some things you weren’t aware of. One of the things that I didn’t realize was that my wife was afraid of heights. I learned this on our honeymoon when we met the church youth group on the back-packing trip into Havasu Canyon. I rode in a helicopter from the rim to the campground in five minutes while my new wife hiked into the canyon with most of the students for five hours.
One of the activities during our four days in Havasu Canyon was climbing down to the bottom of the Mooney Falls. This was a steep climb through a couple of small caves and down the face of the canyon wall using steel pegs and chains. My wife didn’t want to participate in the climb to the bottom of Mooney Falls but I insisted everyone had to come. She wasn’t very happy but she did make it down with the others. However, the climb back up was very frightening. She froze about half way up and couldn’t move. It took a lot of pleading and encouraging to get her back to the top. I had no idea how afraid she was of heights.
A few years later we led a group of teenagers on a ski trip from Dallas to Colorado. We chartered a bus that left on Christmas night and returned on New Year’s Eve. We stayed at a church camp outside of Denver and enjoyed four days of skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
My wife and I had no experience skiing. But we were willing to try. The students were quick learners but we struggled to figure it out. After a day of basic lessons we ventured up the slopes on the chair lift. My wife didn’t like being so far off the ground and was worried about getting off the ski lift at the top of the mountain.
Things went okay while we followed a level trail to the ski slope. When we turned the corner and looked at the slope it was breathtaking. It looked like we were going straight downhill. Did I mention that my wife was afraid of heights? It was a long fright-filled struggle down the slope. After that my wife decided she preferred to stay in the ski lodge and drink hot chocolate and leave the skiing to the younger students.
All of us are afraid of something – spiders, the dark, flying and heights. There are many verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not for I am with you” (Joshua 1:8 / Isaiah 41:10). Let me encourage you to face your fears and trust God to help you when you are in a fearful situation. You will be glad you did and He will too.
By Mark Hopper