My husband Victor and I stood side-by-side looking up at the towering tool of torture. Our bodies froze as we watched person after foolish person speed towards their impending doom like moths drawn to a light. We clutched hands, our palms cold and sweaty with fear. And then we thought the unimaginable—let’s do it too!
It was only a Ferris Wheel. Victor and I are both among that unfortunate part of the world’s population who have a paralyzing fear of heights.
When we were single, neither of us would have entertained the idea of going on it. But now, together, we found not only the ability but also the desire to address this fear.
I hadn’t really realized that facing fears was an area of my life that had grown stronger through marriage. But recently, while browsing through years of old pictures, I started to notice that Victor and I have dozens of shots of us posed in front of dangerously high vistas.
This photograph was taken after we climbed a volcano together. I remember how scared we both were going up the volcano, it was so steep and the outlook was so high! But the view was so worth it, and we felt strong together at the top.
As silly as it may seem, for Victor and I, great heights make us feel as though we haven’t got long to live. So why is it that I can approach the edge of a cliff when we’re at each other’s side? Why is it that we got on that Ferris Wheel that day? It suddenly dawned on me that we are willing to face our fear of heights when we do it together. I believe it’s because marriage means more than “I love you.” It means, “I love you enough to face your darkest fears with you.”
There is some mighty powerful strength in a love like that. When you find someone who is willing to face your fears with you, you have found a soulmate. And when you are facing your fears together, somehow those fears begin losing their ground.
Victor and I still feel our knees begin to buckle when we near the transparent wall on the second floor of our local mall. But we know that together, we can confront the fear. Soon we will celebrate our ten-year anniversary. Our big plan to celebrate is to go skydiving.
This man, who is willing to jump out of a plane with me, is the same man who is also willing to jump into some of my deepest personal fears with me. He is my voice of reason, reassurance, and hope when my mind reels with fears of unknown futures, sick children, lost jobs, dying loved ones.
Marriage is not simply a union of two love birds who get together in order to avoid going through life solo. It is a union of two love birds who encourage each other to soar to greater heights, together. Find a man who will approach your cliff’s edge with you, and together you just may find the wings to cross the foreboding gulf.