Laurel Thomas



November 2014



Cliff Diving in the River

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Remember my last flying attempt? The one that dropped me to concrete pavement when I was four?
Pain helped me decide to limit my flying attempts to jumping around a lot and calling it flight.

Oh, dear. Truth smacks me in the face right now as surely as my bony knees met pavement many years ago. How could I believe that living in maintenance mode via fear could somehow be mistaken for flight?

Flight comes when I choose a platform of fear and jump, believing that wings will do what wings do on the way down – carry me. No platform, no leap, no flight.

I went to a writer’s conference yesterday and did what I hate most. I talked about my novel in front of not only strangers, but published strangers. Published in fiction. Yikes.

Missy (the main character in my story) didn’t seem very exciting by the time I answered a few questions about her, in public, by an adventurer, sci-fi/fantasy kind of professional.

I felt like I held my baby up to the gods, not knowing if they would hurl her to the rocks below.

This professional was kind and insightful. I was glad I took the plunge. I faced a fear about speaking in front of people I didn’t know about a subject I wasn’t sure about. Could I look like what I am, a novice writer, and be okay with that?

One of the exercises James Rubart recommended to us was to ask God to reveal a new name for us.

I knew a few names I had to cross off the list. Names I let get entrenched in ways that kept me from flying. I won’t mention those names. They aren’t nice. They were like nuggets of concrete tied to my feathers. Hence the hope that jumping around a lot equaled flight. Not so much.

I shot up a quick prayer to the Lord. How about me, Lord? Have a new name for me in this season? I gave Him a few suggestions. Was pretty sure they were mine, not His.

When I got to the book signing table, I introduced myself to this kind, talented, published writer. I said, “Just sign it ‘Laurel, alias cliff jumper’.”

What? Whose idea was that? Well I asked, didn’t I?

So my identity for this season is to jump off the platform of my greatest fears, not just once, but on a regular basis. That is, after all, my name. It’s who I am and what I do.

The Lord has a new name for each of us in this season. It doesn’t have to be a Bible name. It doesn’t even have to be spiritual. Just ask.

He has you on His mind in a very special way. For now and for all the tomorrows to come.

Laurel Thomas

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