I grew up in a house without stairs. One floor. That was it. My high school didn’t have stairs, and neither did my job or library. When we were at the mall, we usually took the escalator or elevator. The only time I ever used stairs was when I was at a friend’s house or at church (but only on Sunday nights).

I basically grew up without using stairs all of the time.

When I moved to Birmingham, I was inundated with stairs. My dorm requires a haul up to the second floor of our building. Many of my classes are on the second floor. (I usually end up sprinting up those stairs when I’m running late). I have to climb up an incredibly long staircase to reach the school’s cafeteria. The elevator doesn’t go all the way up to the fourth floor of my office building, and at my job at the performing arts center, it’s faster just to run up the six flights of stairs to the balcony rather than wait on the elevator.. Needless to say, I encounter a large number of stairs on a daily basis.

It’s been over two years since started climbing stairs on a daily basis, but that doesn’t change a terrible truth.

I hate stairs, and they terrify me. What if I fall down them? What if I’m out of breath halfway up? What if…? What if…? What if…?

As much as I hate the stairs at the university, I hate the stairs at one, single location even more –  church. It’s 7:58 in the morning. I’m in a dress and heels. In one hand is a cup of hot chocolate (because we don’t drink coffee), and in the other hand is my Bible, sunglasses, and car keys. Needless to say, walking up dozen stairs to reach the sanctuary doors is always a daunting task. What if I trip in these heels? This hot chocolate is going to go everywhere if I teeter even just a little bit. I’m really good at falling… really good.

After I make it up the stairs, attend service, I realize that yet another set of stairs await me. These stairs are unlike any other set of stairs and are notorious for causing people of all ages and shoe types to slip, fall, and stumble.

I clutch the rails until my knuckles are white. I. Will. Not. Fall.

Whoops. Too late.

I pick myself up, trying not to let the pain show through. A couple seconds later, I’m safely at the bottom and begin to walk towards my Sunday School classroom.

Made it!

But the journey is only halfway done. After Sunday School, two sets of stairs still await me…