If you haven't followed my progress with learning how to swim, here are a couple of links:
I cannot believe how far I've come since the first day I decided to learn how to swim. It's been a year and a half now. When I started I couldn't float, put my face in the water and had a panic attack every time I used a kick board in the deep end.
I can float
swim on my back anywhere I want to go
swim on my side
swim face down in the water
freestyle for short distances
To be honest, the deep end still freaks me out, BUT not nearly as much as it did when I first started. When I start to focus on all the things I can't do, I forget how far I have come.
The pool where I have taken lessons since the beginning is closing. So, my friend and swim instructor has given me the goal to swim freestyle the length of the pool and back before it closes March 11th. Last week, I started taking steps to overcome my fear of swimming in the deep. I used a kick board with my face in the water looking down in that deep blue water.
On the way back, Tanya took my kick board and told me to kick off the side to freestyle from the 9 foot mark to where I could stand. I kicked off and frankly, I could feel the adrenaline (maybe panic) kick in. I came up for a breath to hear someone screaming..."DON'T PANIC!!!" I just kept going and I swam way past the 5 foot mark. I did it! I could focus on how I didn't keep swimming until I got to the end, but I faced a fear. I didn't drown! I swam in the deep.
To me, there are major spiritual lessons found in my journey:
- We need to surround ourselves with people who can see our potential and push us to reach it. Those people not afraid to scream..."DON'T PANIC!!!" when our situation seems to demand anything but calmness.
- Don't let fear keep you from doing those things God has called you to do. "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
- God is with us no matter what we are going through. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Whatever the situation, trial, fear, change...He is there!
- Don't worry about how deep the water is...keep swimming. My friend reminded me, your feet never touch the bottom when you are swimming, so it doesn't matter how deep the water is.
- "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Isaiah 43:2 This has always been a special verse to me, but the first line have really spoken to me throughout this process. I know I will cling tightly to this promise for the rest of my life. (Especially the day, I'm swimming the length of the pool!)
God is with us!
The deep waters won't overtake us!
Fear and panic will not overcome us!
God will lead and guide us as He as always done!
Swimming in the deep is scary, but it's exciting!