Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Life Lesson # 102 ~ Swimming In the Deep End
"Watch yourself little girl. You're swimming in the deep end now." ~ Anonymous
Learning to swim in the deep end of the ocean can be scary. The idea of not being able to touch the bottom while sharks are circling on all sides is simply terrifying. But sometimes life is just like this scenario. Life with all it's complicated lessons throws you in head first, no floaties and screams "SWIM!" My life so far, has been countless"SWIM" lessons. Not that I'm complaining or counting actually because I've definitely learned to swim without my floaties on more than once. As for the sharks, well they are another story all together. But this is the thing about those terrifying, jagged edged mouth full of teeth, ready to devour us whole sharks: if a difficult situation doesn't challenge you then it certainly won't change you. So the reality is those sharks circling us night and day, well they have a purpose. They teach us not only to tread water but in the end they force us back to shore, standing upright on our own two feet. The truth is,"sometimes we're taken into troubled waters not to drown but to be cleansed."
I've learned in life not to fret the small things.The bigger things well they too have a way of working themselves out. Life is simply too short to worry about anything out of my hands. I could fear tomorrow or worry about yesterday.I could be concerned with gossip or those who may or may not understand me. I could agonize over any little thing, over-think, assume and stress out about who said this or who thinks that.I could be wrapped up in every little bit of confrontation or even disputes going on around me but how does that teach me anything new? How do I grow or develop new perspective if I'm always caught up in the nets of despair and destruction? I can't and that's why we have to understand "success is different for everyone. You gotta keep a proper perspective and just do your your personal best."(Speedo) See we can't be caught up or consumed in whether or not our troubles or accomplishments are louder or bigger than the sharks circling us.You are you and I am me. I will rise and fall with the waves, swim out to meet my own boat and wash up on shore again. This is life. We are all individuals and we all face and meet challenges differently. See the secret to being you, to being the best version of yourself is clearly explained by Melanie Koulouris, " be humble in your confidence yet courageous in your character."
As for my character, I am only confident because I trust in the One who created me. He taught me how to swim, to dive and to enjoy the splash life makes. He's shown me how to float and even to tread water. He made me to live and breathe this very life I have today, shark infested waters and all. I am only brave because He has taught me to be. And yes many times I've been afraid but still I've learned how to appear brave in spite of my fear. I have faced these waters before and you know what, sometimes that's all the sharks need to see...a brave face in spite of your fear. Honestly what I know is this: I am not perfect and I have no claim on being so either. I am weak, I am limited, broken, rough around the edges and unpolished on so many levels it would make your head spin. I am absolutely perfectly flawed it's true. From the tops of my head to the heels of my feet I am a chaotic mess. Most definitely a work in progress that's for sure. I am not ashamed of who I am. I wear a sign in big bold lettering that says, UNDER CONSTRUCTION on a regular basis. I fail, I fall and I mess up all the time. I don't have it all together. I am so far from arriving anywhere to be honest it's dumbfounding. Speaking honestly, I am still learning. I am still finding my faith and figuring out how to float without my blow up wings in the deep end of the ocean some days. Said ever so well by Peter Parker, "No one can win every battle. But no man should fall without a struggle."
The truth is struggle is part of the lesson. Figuring out the solution and applying it is half the battle. No, I am not bullet proof. I can't rise above the waves without the faith I'll resurface? But you see I do have that faith. I do know I'm in the deep end honey. I also know I may not have the strength on my own to keep my heart above water but I do have the faith to try. See I do know for a fact I am not alone. I don't have to watch myself or my back because My Father is right here in the deep part of the ocean with me. He is teaching me to trust Him, to have faith in the process and to allow the water to cleanse all of me. See in all the flaws you see in me, in everything you feel I am lacking, I am not a hopeless cause. I am confident in knowing God has taken all of my broken pieces and made me new again. I may go under the with the waves, fight the current with the rising and falling of the tide but I am coming back up again you can be assured of this. I will reemerge time and time again secure in the unique and wondrously imperfect way my Father has made me. My prayer, is this: "I want to be like the ocean, pretty enough on the surface but if you dive down into my depths you'll find beauty most people never see." (paraphrased anonymous quote)
Isaiah 30: 15 says this, "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." So yes darling, I am confident I'm a force to be reckoned but only because I do not stand alone. I have confidence because I stand with the might of my Father behind me. I draw strength from the depths of the ocean and courage from the trust I hold in the One who believes in me. I have been thrown into the deep end, without a shark cage to be sure and told to " SWIM!" But you know what, I've made it to shore by His grace and His alone. So please never mistake His grace or His faith in my life for pride. I am nothing if not for Jesus Christ. I have nothing without His salvation paid for through mercy and by His grace. I'm grateful that His strength never fails me and my weakness never disappoints Him. And so today, I end with Life Lesson #102 ~ Swimming in the deep end you realize Ralph Waldo Emerson was right all along, "It's not the length of life but the depth."