As a young girl, I loved to swim. I seriously think that was one of my absolute favorite things to do. I loved to pretend to be a mermaid, sitting on the bottom of the pool, seeing how long I could stay under without coming up. As an adult, though I love to swim, I am terrified to be where I can't touch or see the bottom. I love to swim, but I am just not as brave as I was as a young girl.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43. This morning, the part of the chapter that says, "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown," just holds a special place. It made me think over the course of my life, and how such a simple promise holds completely true.
Several years ago, I found myself in a situation that was beyond my control. While not being physically in danger, I realized I was between a rock and a hard place. Life situations continued to escalate, and at the time, I did go to church more to escape my house than to search for God. Almost four years ago, I realized that while church was my sanctuary, it was also so much more. I could pour out my heart, my fears, my failures, my whole life to God and actually know He could help me with it. At that point in my life, I didn't see how it was possible, but began seeking him fervently for what I needed to do for my entire family. The waters I was in were so deep, not only could I not touch bottom, I couldn't even see the bottom. Or the shoreline. Or any lifeboats. And I was scared senseless. Over the course of the the following two years, God became my foundation. My life preserver. You see, He didn't allow me to get to the shore, but He kept me from drowning.
The last few days have been difficult, to say the least. I had some health scares that pretty much stopped me in my tracks. And while I had a few hours of afraid, I didn't drown. I knew I had people behind me praying, not because they knew the situation could be bad, but because they knew I was standing in the middle of a river full of difficulty. This week has been one trial after another. Part of me knew it was because God is moving big in my life. The other part of me thought it was time to let go of my firm footing and just let the water overtake me.
Isn't it like us to just wish the current could just carry us someplace calmer, quieter, where we can just lean back and float a bit? Again, it made me think about my life. The quiet, calm moments and the crazy, overwhelemd drowning moments. While I love calm, quiet and serene, in those moments, I am not dependent on God to keep me up. I can honestly say those are the times I am hit or miss with my Bible reading. Those are the times when I am confident in myself, and my abilities. While self-confidence is good, feeling independent of God is not.
This morning, I had a really, really, really bad Mommy moment. No, I do not need to add any change to therapy jars, but I realized I have got a long ways to go before I can be happy with where I am. One of the girls has been sick this week, and add really tired to the mix, she was unhappy, grouchy and overy rude to every person in the house. I snapped. I am so weary of hearing how bad I am, how ugly her sister is, and how no one in this house loves her. Yes, I know. Exhaustion and crankiness meant her words were not true. I get it. However, I also know she cannot be mean to people to make herself feel bigger or better. After the issue was somewhat resolved, I laid down with her on her bed and started praying over her. I have never felt such peace and love between the two of us. This little girl has the same strong, independent, leading qualities I have. While that makes me happy, it makes me sad, too. I know we butt heads because we are so much alike. Especially because we both haven't been sleeping well. Because, like I said, we are seriously alike. No sleep, no caffeine, and we should probably quarantine ourselves away from each other and every other person in the house. :)
Anyway, after leaving her room, I wanted desperately to pick up the phone and get confirmation that I was still a good mom, just having a rough moment, just as she is a great girl, just having a bad morning. I wanted to cry on someone's shoulders about the difficulties I am having as a single parent, trying to maintain consistency, but still be liked because I am not the "fun weekend" parent. I wanted to be told I could do this, not really because I could, but because I have no alternative. Pride kept me from picking up the phone, and instead putting praise and worship on. The last thing I wanted was to have to verbally talk this one out. I started praying, instead, and immediately felt such piece and strength surround me.
A song came on about being in deep water, and wanting to go deeper. Dig deeper, and jump in. It made me realize only when I am surrounded by deep water do I know who holds me up. When I am floating calmly, I forget that it still isn't in my ability. When I keep finding myself in water rushing around me, threatening to make me slip and fall, and maybe go under for a few seconds, those are the moments I realize how important a solid rock to stand on is. I want to be in deep water, because there I experience trust. I experience faith. I experience an invisible life preserver, giving me confidence not that I can do this on my own, but instead that I will not go down. I might not do it as well as others, I might only barely make it out. But, His promise remains, I will not go down.
I won't go so far as to say I have loved every moment of my life. Many times, laying in bed at night, I wish I could re-do parts. I wish I could erase some of the weakness, and stand firm for the things in my life I knew weren't right. However, it was in those deep water moments that I can see how amazingly big God is.
Middle of the nights when I was afraid to fall asleep, middle of the day moments when I don't know how I kept my kids fed and clean, not to mention the house and the laundry. The second that I realized I had a monstrous problem that I could do nothing about, but knew something had to be done. Those seconds when I realized how worthless I truly was to one of the most important people in my life. Those long months waiting for babies to arrive, safe and sound and alive. In those enormously terrifying moments, He held me up, even though I couldn't see it. I didn't feel like I wasn't going to drown, but I didn't. Looking forward to a future unknown is often scary and terrifying, with so many questions about how it is all going to happen, or if this or that will work, or any number of the any other things going around in my head. But the amazing thing? The peace I have about it. I know God is in control and working for my good, even if I can't see it all the time. Even when I totally mess it all up, He will restore it and use it towards His purpose for my life.
Ok, so apparently, I did a total blonde thing... Wrote the whole thing out and never pushed the button. Gotta love Saturday afternoon distractions. :)