by Mary Ohm, 2021 missionary (rider on Southern Route)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a BIG decision in your life to then quickly realize that you’re in WAY over your head.
I have this habit of leaping and throwing caution to the wind before really sitting down to think through any reservations I might have.
So true to form, I leapt at the opportunity to be a missionary with Biking for Babies. And hoped God would catch me.
And catch me He did!
But first, I was going to have to learn how to humble myself and ask for help. First and foremost, from God. Early on in our Bible study, there was a question that struck me. “What are you not asking God for…that you should be?”
HELP! I wrote in all caps.
At this point, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I needed help with, but I was starting to feel a little anxious, a little overwhelmed, and a little behind. I had just signed up for a 600+ mile bike ride and I didn’t have a bike to ride. What was I thinking? How was I ever going to do this? (Did I mention I’m not an endurance cyclist?) *Cue the devil and all his lies* I realized right then and there that I wasn’t going to be able to do this on my own.
And I think that was God’s plan all along. I was going to have to learn to stop relying on myself and learn to rely on Him in order to live out the mission of Biking for Babies. After all, even Jesus needed help to carry his cross on his journey.
So I asked for help. From God, from strangers that are now friends, from family, from bike shop employees, Mary, St. Joseph, and from all my go-to saints in Heaven.
And ya know the part that shouldn’t seem that crazy to me because it’s not the first time it’s happened in my life, but it still blew me away— God provided. He provided for all my needs. He gave me a bike! (You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find one during spring time post- covid). He put people in my life (“bike people” I like to call them) that know a heck of a lot more about bikes than me and they helped me. Helped me get all the gear I needed and tightened and loosened things I knew nothing about. He gave me people to ride with and numerous opportunities to share the mission, and above all, people who supported me through their words and prayers.
I know that participating in the National Ride this July will be one of the most beautiful, challenging, life-giving experiences of my life. Women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy may experience many of the emotions that I experienced when I first signed up for the ride. Doubt, fear, loneliness, anxiety, and many more.
But the thing that is drastically different between myself and women in unplanned pregnancies is the community surrounding us.
In preparing for the ride I have had a tremendously supportive community around me. Even on the National Ride my route will have a support crew that will be making sure we are fed, hydrated, motivated, encouraged, and safe. However, many women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy don’t have a support crew. They may not have God, family, or friends they can rely on and ask for help during what must be one of the most difficult moments of their lives.
This breaks my heart.
We’re not meant to go through life on our own, relying on our own wit and wisdom to make it through each day. I found myself wondering, why wasn’t I asking God for help? Why was I afraid to lean on another person when I was struggling or didn’t know the answer?
Because the world tells me that I am a strong, independent woman if I can figure it out on my own. And if I can’t, then I am weak and dependent.
I have believed this lie for a very long time. God does not want us to cower in isolation through our struggle. He wants us to stand in our weakness and brokenness and invite others in. To share our crosses and shortcomings with one another so that we can experience the love of Christ through another person.
Because the truth is God loves us. And I know that sounds all fluffy and cheesy, but He does. Truly, madly, deeply loves each one of us. I know and believe this more now than ever before because God is showing me as a missionary for Biking for Babies how much he loves me.
Now it’s time to step over my fears, take Jesus’ hand and pedal with Him.
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7