I had a week off in Costa del Luton – really was with the weather over 90 each day. The only thing missing was the sea but unplanned we went to Bournemouth for a couple of days. The sea and sand lovely and the beaches full not to mention the four poster bed!!
Back in my garden I started to read a book I had read some years ago whilst on holiday ‘If you want to walk on water you got to get out of the boat’. I remembered finding it encouraging so thought I would give it another go.
In real simple terms the book speaks of the boat is whatever represents safety. Your boat is whatever you are tempted to put your trust in especially when life gets a little stormy. I soon began to think of the women at Stepping Stones.
Want to know what your boat is? Your fear will tell you. Your boat is whatever keeps you so comfortable that you don’t want to give it up as leaving it may be the hardest thing you ever have to do. Often in the Freedom Group Deb and I say ‘you left when you could’ ‘you left when it was safe’. The fears (boats) we often hear are taking that first step, not taking that first drink, social care, court, relationships and trust etc.
Whatever your boat might be stepping out of it takes courage. What would you choose – the water or the boat? Every day we see women overcome much and be faced with another challenge or even fall. We often battle with what we missed or could provide that would support just that little bit more. Leaving a domestic abusive relationship, not having that first drink maybe for you the first step but the water is rough, the waves are high and the wind is strong.
Stepping out will involve going into new territory, taking on new challenges and each time facing fear again. The reality sets in, opposition, unexpected obstacles and setbacks. If you get out of the boat you will face the storm but one thing is for sure that life in the boat is not going to be any safer. Whatever your boat might be – there’s a chance you might sink but there’s a guaranteed certainty if you stay in your boat you will never walk on water. There is danger of getting out of the boat but there is also danger staying in there too.
Staff often say its ‘ one step at a time’. The decision to take that step involves a choice. We all hate to fail and we hate other people to see us fail. In Stepping Stones we don’t talk of failure but being given opportunities to get it right. Remember too that the boats you face are the biggest they will ever get but you are still growing.
We celebrate 2013 with Stepping Stones being five. As I read my book I can say with appreciation that I have walked on water over these years. At times I have sank and other times soared as I have lived on the edge of my faith. More recently my boat has become a bit too safe and comfy. I recognise that I haven’t got out of the boat for a while and that’s a challenge – is it the same for you?
I truly believe that every woman who enters Stepping Stones is unique and special and has so much more to life than sitting in the boat. At Stepping Stones the team are here to ride the waves with you so that you can walk on water – so go on get out of the boat.