Put your head underwater

duck head under waterMy mother didn’t know how to swim. Same as her mother.

So it was the rare occasion when Mama took Lane, Sandy, Elisabeth and me to the pool at Hatfield Lake or to the beach at Sardis Lake.

I, too, became fearful of the water.

At Camp Neyati in my middle school summers, we were allowed in the deep end of the pool only if we proved we could swim across. I remember being afraid to try.

But in college, one cold winter semester, I registered for an early morning swim class at the indoor pool in Spragins Hall. I needed to stop being afraid of putting my head underwater.

The first thing we were asked to do? Put our heads underwater. And I did! I even learned to swim underwater. To use different strokes. To dive off the side. To dive off the board.

To actually have fun. In the water. Head all the way under.

God knows there are still many things I need to stop being afraid of. And sometimes, when I’m most aware of his prodding, I stick my head under and go for it. Other times, no.

But when I do, I grow.
I stretch. I learn. I trust.
I swim in the deep end.

While I’m still a pathetic swimmer overall and basically jump in a pool only to cool off, it’s not because I’m scared.
Playing it too safe had been too risky. It’s safer to know how to swim.

Now my two daughters? The cycle has been broken.
They’re fish in the water. Isn’t God good?

* * *
What are you having to push yourself to do lately?

May God bless you as you put your head all the way under.

15 comments:

Nancy said...

I used to hide the swimming lesson permission forms when they sent them home from school. Never did learn to swim well--and now I own a pool! Good analogy, especially for those of us non-swimmers. And, yes, God is good.

HisFireFly said...

"But when I do, I grow.
I stretch. I learn. I trust.
I swim in the deep end."

Love.this.

The feeling of being lost then found in Him.

tinuviel said...

Swimming in the deep end was a big stretch for me, too, growing up.

The Lord has been stretching me in lots of ways in the last year. . . 2 surgeries (and I'm not good with IVs and needles), health limitations, needing to practice hospitality even though I can't physically meet my own standards for guest care, learning to say, "I can't do this; would you please help me?"

Thanks for your encouragement by example. Praise God for breaking the fear cycle for your daughters! The Lord be with you and yours today.

Barbara H. said...

Good analogy! I really had to push myself to work with the ladies' ministry in our former church. It's been kind of nice since we moved to have some down time and catch our breath before being asked to help with anything in our new church. I'm trying to remain open to those things that push me out of my comfort zone.

Graceful said...

Oh Lisa, I love the metaphor -- it's so deep (no pun intended!). And gosh, isn't there so much we are afraid, so many risks we don't dare take because we are afraid to trust? You speak to me today...thank you for that.

And I'm sorry I don't come by nearly as I would like to...speaking of heads above water...I can barely keep mine there! But I think of you often...you hold a special place in my heart.

Lisa notes... said...

Nancy,
So now you own a pool and I’m married to a man who’d be happy living in the water. Oh well. God knows what he’s doing, right? :-)

tinuviel,
I’m glad your oral surgery went well this week. The Lord does often stretch us beyond what we think our limits are. I’m trying to build more faith that he knows how far to go with each of us without breaking us.

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
A time to catch breath – that’s a fitting analogy here too. After all, we can’t LIVE with our heads underwater. We still have to come up for air. I would have already been out of my comfort zone to do the monthly meal thing that you are doing to get to know new families in your church. I’m sure your family is already a blessing there.

Rhonda Schrock said...

My "head-in-the-water" thing is writing. For publication. Every single week! I find it terrifying. Fulfilling, of course, but terrifying nonetheless.

Beth Moore says that God gives us vocations we can't possibly do by ourselves so that we need Him to get it done. Amen and amen.

I really, really like this post, Lisa.

Bless you!

Brian Miller said...

nice...we do have to stretch those muscles ....our fear will rob us of so much...

Rachel said...

Thank you for your kind comments on my post. I left a comment in response on my blog. God is so good, I'm pushing myself to step out and trust God's goodness. Thank you for your blessing and may God bless you as well.

"Playing it too safe had been to risky. It's safer to know how to swim" This is so good after coming out of a time of healing in my relationship with God to pushing myself and as you said it putting my head all the way under.

Rambling Heather said...

We all have these hard places, these fears. Lately it dawned on me that I was stiffly attempting to keep my head above water yet He wanted me to meet Him further. I am still a work in progress but this really encourages me to see that I am not alone. Thank you!

Donna said...

Lisa, you drew quite a clear picture with your words!

Mama Bear said...

This is a beautiful analogy. Our family is being stretched to continue to give to God what is His in our tithe and trust in God to provide for us. Money is so hard right now, but every payday, we plunge our heads under the water and 'pay' God first.

Joybird said...

Gosh, Lisa, I don't know. Hmmm. I really like the image though. I'm going to file it away for when I'm feeling intimidated or called to the deep end.

emily wierenga said...

oh lisa... thank you for always taking time to teach and challenge. how you listen to his prodding... it's beautiful. i am being challenged to let go of my cling on our finances, and to trust God with money and daily provisions. love to you.

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