Hold On and Look Up: Everyday Decisions on Rope Bridges

Copyright: Unsplash at Canva.com

Copyright: Unsplash at Canva.com

I’m terrified of heights and decisions. The mortifying paralysis they induce in my body is equal. In both situations, I am afraid to fall and to fail. My gaze gets glued to my feet, my sweaty palms clinging to rope. I wonder what exactly is holding me up and what will happen if I fall. All the doubt makes it hard to DECIDE. That’s the word for today’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt, a flash mob of creative writing for five challenging minutes. (// indicates start and stop time.)

A Crisis of Choices

//Decisions feels like walking out onto a suspension bridge. Making choices about what to write, which tasks to accomplish, what is most important. Things best done first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, my sureness fades. The more choices I make, the harder it is too choose.

This week was chock full of decisions—so many little ones I could barely put one foot forward into living. Choosing a date for a bridal shower, selecting between attending the kids’ school carnival or a church retreat, picking plants for the garden that needs planting. So many little decisions paralyzing me from making the most important ones like buying plane tickets to Greece or scheduling time to discuss family goals. All the what if’s paralyze me—what if I say the wrong thing? Write something offensive? Mess up my kids? Smother my husband with my neediness?I'm making the decision to move and I'll let the bridge do it's job of holding me up.

Accepting the Reality of the Bridge

My friend Ann Kroeker says, “Action creates clarity.” Moving into something and just doing it creates a sense of what’s working and what’s not.// When I’m paralyzed with all the little choices: what to fix for breakfast or which project to tackle first, I’m finding I have to move out into the fear with tiny slippery steps. I’ll probably stumble, get dizzy when I look down, and my legs will shakeThe wind gets more fierce as the day stretches forth, and it’s harder to hang on.

I’m realizing it’s good to look back at where the ropes are secured, the steel bolts riveted into the rock behind me. Then I look forward at the incredible view, the goal of living regret-free: bold, adventurous, learning the art of moving through the given and take of swaying and slipping. I’m making the decision to move. I’ll let the bridge do it’s job of holding me up.Tweet This


What decision, great or small, has you paralyzed? What’s holding you up—your family, God, a friend, a dream? Have courage, friend, and step into the sway.


Need a good story to get your feet moving?

Curated Courage

My favorite part of the week is compiling my newsletter: Smatterings. I include five things to ignite hope, imagination, and courage. Check out this week’s edition, (especially #5) here.

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April 1, 2016
  • Love this!! I completed my FMF and feel like your blog post gives such great inspiration to where I find myself with decision!! ” I’m making the decision to move. I’ll let the bridge do it’s job of holding me up.” Going to be writing this in my planner this week as a reminder! So thankful for Jesus and that his work on the cross holds me up!! <3

  • So honest and vulnerable, creatively showing us that action creates clarity. At the same time, action is scary. And empowering. So you make that move and take it from there, wobbly rope bridge and all.

    Thank you for sharing my podcast with your readers. I hope they find inspiration to do exactly what you’ve done: take the first step…and hold on tight with the bridge sways.

    • You are so welcome, Ann. There’s been a lot of movement in my writing life because of your encouragement. Thank you!

  • Oooh, I love this so much. You’re right – God will hold us up if we are moving in His direction. Today I worked really hard at making decisions and then following through. It felt good to be mobile instead of immobilized by my fear and insecurity.

    I’m so glad you stopped by today and I am so glad I popped over here!

    • Andrea, I am thrilled to connect with you too. It’s great you are moving into the decisions despite how you feel. Growth takes sweet time.

  • Oh my goodness! That bridge (and most bridges) cause me to be in such a fright. I need to take the advice “don’t look down” and maybe change it to “Look Up”. Keep your eyes on him!

    Coming from FMF 61

  • Tara

    Yes I’m going to choose to let the bridge hold me up too! I’m in the #7 slot this week.

  • This was dead on! me and decisions just don’t mix – simple as that. But life has taught me I have to make them 😉