Little Spitfire took swimming lessons a couple of weeks ago and my goodness, if you want entertainment, that is IT. It and a bag of chips, my friends. To ALL of our surprise, she didn’t yell and scream not once about going in the water.
She jumped right on in. Right to the step. Splashing, laughing, excited to get started. She had a great first day. I mean, awesome. She listened to everything her teachers said. They had an incredibly wonderful lead into making her do things (never underestimate the power of a swim teacher!). We were all pretty excited when we left. As a matter of fact, I left thinking, “my gosh, I have an Olympic swimmer on my hands. I better get prepared for this wonderful swimming future we have!”
The next day went on without a hitch. The next, even better. We were SWIMMING, y’all! I thought for once, Little Girl didn’t do what she usually does. This was actually pretty darn easy. Where was my easy button? Apparently, the many times of me pushing it, it finally stuck.
Things were safe. They were well led. There were plenty of baby steps, yet big steps all wrapped into one. It was good. Really good.
Oh, but wait. The story doesn’t end there. Envision this: The last day was the day she was to swim the entire length of the pool…from the diving board. It sounds daunting, but the thing is, with guidance, she had done it the day before. This fateful last day, she decided to have a full blown, wide-eyed, conniption FIT. Full blown!
Y’all. The last day of the two week lessons and girl child decides to throw a MIGHTY fit. One that drags on into the next kids’ lessons. **Sidenote: If that mom is reading this, I totally owe you a lesson.** I was not only livid but absolutely confused. I will say, however, I wasn’t the least bit surprised with her behavior.
You see, she had felt the feeling of panic the day before, but her teacher was there for her and helped her through the path. She knew that feeling of fear, and decided that it wasn’t worth it; last day or not.
For at least 15 minutes we coaxed, I left and sat in the teacher’s driveway, my husband helped, and she fought and fought BIG. The teacher was extremely patient giving words of encouragement, but also laced with a firm lead. Until finally. FINALLY. She jumped with just a hint of my husband’s hand leading her into the water from the diving board. She immediately went to safe mode (her back), but her teacher gently rolled her to her belly so she could progress. Progress to the finish. Oh, she didn’t want to. My girl didn’t want to at all. I saw it in her face. But she kept going, thanks to the lead she got from her daddy and her teacher.
We got in the car and she was exhausted. Throwing a fit like that will make a girl pretty tired if I do say so myself. And since we had caught her in a little nap, I thought. I had time to actually think.
We are having these every single day. We are either on the steps or on the diving board.
When things are safe…when we are in that shallow end splashing around and having a blast. Going just far enough to make us feel like we are risking it, but then back again to Safetown. In those times, we are good. We are content, Content loving our Teacher and serving Him.
It’s the moments off the diving board that can really get us. It can either make or break us. You might be dealing with something new, or fighting with something that has been a constant battle in your life for years. And the enemy keeps rearing its ugly head trying to get the best of you. The moments where we look into the future and question everything we’ve ever said and ever done to get us where we are. We are frightened. The deep end is stinkin’ scary. We have been there before. We know what if feels like, what it is like to feel like we are on the brink of drowning, complete failure. Failure again. Yes. We know that.
We look into the deep waters and say to ourselves, “I won’t do that again. I can’t. I know I’ve overcome things before, but this is different. This is scary and uncomfortable. I know the steps are on the other side, I know that I NEED to get there. But there’s no way I can do this, I can’t embark on this journey AGAIN.”
Here’s the thing that I say with ALL of my heart to all of you, my dear friends. It isn’t only YOU versus the deep end; YOU versus the burdens and the battles you are facing. It is you with GOD, “your refuge and strength, your ever present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), that are facing these hurdles head on. That deep end? The diving board? Success at the end is possible to overcome and get to because your Teacher is in the pool. The Lord is waiting on you to jump in so He can guide you to a victorious side. HE will guide you, HE will turn you on your belly when you need to progress even more. HE will give you that gentle touch to push you along. It won’t always be easy; you might be grasping for air. But as you come up for a breath, and when you think you are almost defeated, if you TRUST in HIM to get you there, He will wonderfully, with the perfect touch, and with perfect timing, raise you up and give you another leg to stand on.
Oh my goodness friends. Isn’t He good? His goodness and mercy and FAITHFULNESS is something that we can jump to every single day with the daily battles or the new ones that have hit us like a freight train without warning.
Trust HIM. He has got you. And the scary moments? Keep trusting…He hasn’t left you. Even though it might feel that you are alone kicking and reaching your arms to the shallow end, coming up for air, you are not alone. He is growing you; it might be uncomfortable growth, but He is watching you, helping you, as you grow and learn. He has not abandoned you. Call for Him and He will come to you at the exact right moment. He’s in the pool. He’s with you; with you as you and Him swim to the steps.
As Dory would say, “Keep on swimming.”