With Fear and Trembling

A string of eighty degree days tied with a sun-kissed bow have beckoned the buds to swell early this year. I watch them reach for the sun, ready to burst forth in perfect splendor. They make reaching look so effortless. So completely purposeful, as they do exactly what they were created to do.

Is that what reaching is supposed to look like for me as well? To simply do that which I was created to do?

Maybe so. But it surely isn’t as natural as the buds make it appear to be.

I must constantly fight against my sin-stained flesh in order to do what God has called me to do, to be what He has called me to be. My pride, fear, worry – they all hold me back, seeking to keep me from unfurling in the sun (and with the Son). Yet I strain against them, yearning to be free. I make deliberate choices to press forward, to seek His face.

A commitment made nearly a year ago has forced my year to reach to swell early as well. No waiting until the year is drawing to a close to ease into the unfurling. Spring is upon me now.

And I’m reaching with fear and trembling.

As I sit and mull this over, it makes perfect sense. Reaching, for the buds and for me this year, is all about growing. And while the buds make it look effortless, I know it is not. Truly if it were easy, there would be no growth at all. Is it bad to reach with fear and trembling? I don’t think so. It just confirms that I haven’t arrived. Yet, I am reaching, and I think God is honored in that.

Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14

Friends, in less than thirty-six hours I’ll be traveling with my mom and a team from her church on a week-long mission trip to Belize. This is my first mission trip. A first for both of us. And the fact that my mom and I are doing this together is, in itself, a testament to the power of God. I am so thankful for several prayer warriors who have already been lifting us up in prayer, and I would be so blessed by your prayers as well.

May God be glorified as we reach to the lost and the least of these in His holy name.

In hope,

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Pamela G says

    We have already prayed for you and your mom and will continue to do so. God bless you as you bless others.