Swim Lessons + Life Lessons
Being a mom of a vivacious and smart little beauty is one of my greatest joys. Bella has changed my life in a way that I am often unable to put into words. Simply stated, God heals and reforms my heart constantly through her love and many of the conversations we have.
A recent exchange between my girl and me impacted me with such depth and profundity, even in it's simplicity.
Bella attends British school and has swim lessons weekly, with the rest of her class. She has made great strides in learning how to swim, but won't put her whole body underwater. She swims with her head and neck painfully stretched above the water, and I am almost certain she puts more energy in keeping her chin above the water than she does with her strokes, haha :). I've tried many tactics, including pizza dinner bribery, to help her with comfort in the water. However, the one thing I know that would help her, which is getting in the water and submerging myself alongside her, is beyond my ability. I don't know how to swim. I did not have swim lessons growing up, and was in high school by the time I had my first formal lesson. At that point, my fear was greater than my ability to learn. In recent years, I have had many dreams where I see myself swimming, or floating serenely through beautiful and clear waters. Needless to say, its time for me to take those lessons!
As I was washing her hair, I got water in her eye and she cried a blood-curdling cry. We took a few deep breaths and I said, "Bella, you're going to continue to be afraid of water as long as you don't challenge your fear through learning how to navigate through it." (Side note: I was a single mom for 6 years before I got married, so she's used to the "grown up," philosophical-esque conversations. :) )
As soon as those words escaped my mouth, I knew God intended those words more for me (and you) than He did for her! She is seven years old, and I know she'll outgrow those fears with positive peer pressure and a constant stream of empowerment and encouragement to challenge her limitations. I am 32 years old, however, and some of the fears I have require much more than encouragement.
Overcoming fears, of any kind, takes a decision. You have to decide to see the life past your fear and pursue that life with courage. When I found out I was pregnant, I was afraid. when I arrived at the junction of forgiveness and reconciliation, or forgiveness and good riddance in my marriage, I was afraid. when I launched my blog, I was again afraid. But, in each of those circumstances, I chose to see the life, love, hope, healing, joy, peace and adventure beyond my fear and, as Joyce Meyer says, "do it afraid." For 2018, my theme and focal point is 'depth' and I've made a choice to explore the unknown and submit myself to the places that are uncomfortable, unknown and even somewhat intimidating. I've made the choice to rid myself of the self-doubt, insecurity, hopelessness, crazy making and instability the chains of fear have attempted to disable me by over the years. I'm diving into the place beyond fear, where new life awaits!
As you jump into your week, and a brand new month, make the choice to call fear a liar and go for what it is that has been deposited in your heart. You owe it to yourself to jump, dive in and submit to the waters of life. On the other side of your fears could be the love, promotion, education, healing or general breakthrough you've been waiting for if you'll just have the courage to learn to boldly navigate that which once kept you from living your absolute best life. As you make those choices and changes, the beauty that shines from the inside out will illuminate your entire being, and enrich the lives of those around you.