Wednesday, January 16, 2013
what we learn in swim class
Every single week we go, every Wednesday, and I question why we do it. She has so much fun and enjoys the water so much but as it gets more intense, so do we. God led me there one day and told me to sign her up. It costs 80 bucks a month and that's a bill, but for some reason I cant stop it. I have come to the conclusion that its not the swimming we are both there for, its the lessons we learn. I have learned more about myself and the spirit of God in a few months at swimming class, than in any other thing or person or place in 30 years. And as an added bonus, Grace learns to swim.
Before we got into class I gave her a pep talk in the car. Grace, don't be so hard on yourself okay? Try to remember that you are here to enjoy yourself? And we pay the teacher to teach you, you are not supposed to know how to do everything. Please don't be so hard on yourself. okay? ok. Every single word that God has been saying to me these past few months.
Every week I watch as she does her usual routine there. They get in the water and do some fun things to kinda break them into the pool, create excitement. Then they get down to business and do whatever skill they are working on to and from the platform in the middle of the pool. And today was a reminder that my daughter is every single bit a part of me, and has all the amazing qualities that I posses and also the not so good ones. Shes me.
I watch her start out strong, confident. She gets to about the middle of the pool and looks back. And from the moment she questions herself, hesitates and loses her bearings she is flailing about in the middle of the pool, panicked and scared. No, terrified. She starts bobbing up and down and looking for something, anything that would save her. She gets back to the platform and she screams "I cant do it!!" which is followed by more tears...and frustration. And I believe this behavior is the physical manifestation of the greatest thing God is trying to break me from, and it is presented to me in physical form. Her teacher grabs her and holds her tight while she catches her breath, turns her over, tells her to relax and gently nudges her to resume the rest of the way, on her back. And all the while I hear God whispering to me...YOU cant do it either, my darling, without me.
I caught myself today just broken hearted watching my own flesh and blood, my own heart, suffer this horrible self worth, questioning everything she does and panicking with no way to save herself. I watch her as tears stream down her face and her shoulders get tense. I watch her from the glass, I want so badly to punch through it and grab her and shake her until she realizes how beautiful she is. I want to throw her back into the pool and tell her to try again, but never to stop. Don't stop Grace, don't stop in the middle and look back. Don't lose your sight. Don't hesitate. Don't be alone. Look for your teacher, shes right there and when you feel like you cant swim anymore, she will see you and save you. You don't even have to ask, that's her job.
I don't want her to trust in herself alone. I don't want her to trust in the pool. I don't want her to trust in her arms and legs. I want her to trust in God. I want her to put less emphasis in self confidence and more value on God confidence. And that's why we go. Every single Wednesday we get up and I anticipate her in situations where she loses it, and I treat each and every moment as an opportunity to point her to the Heavens. And sometimes we cry together...every time we talk about how great she is. I hold her tight and tell her shes going to make lots of mistakes and shes not going to know how to do everything...and that's ok. In fact, that's the way its supposed to be. If we had all the answers and all the knowledge the there would be no need for a God. He is everything. Hes everywhere. And hes never going to leave you.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22 :6
and that is walking, no running, full speed ahead to our Lord. Our Savior. That's it.
I never want Grace to think her self confidence is what fills her up. I don't want her to believe she can do all the things that every other kid does. I want her to know that she was fearfully and wonderfully made by our creator who has given her special qualities to achieve his purpose. And she is supposed to enjoy it! I caught myself today finding glimpses of joy in the journey that he has me on and wondering why in the world I have not stopped to enjoy more, the place right where I am.
I wondered myself today why its so hard for me to enjoy my life if I don't know all the answers. You know those interim periods where God has you in a place of need or in a place of silence. The place where you look around and you have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. And you finally raise up your hands to the Heavens and say, okay...I'm yours. I finally have no answers.
We are not supposed to know how to swim. That's why we have a teacher. That's why we have a God. To lead us, guide us, equip us, and redeem us in all things. I never want to instill in my girls that they are enough on their own.
They will fail.
They will fall.
They wont know how to do things.
I want thier hearts to hunger for God. I want them to turn to him first. I want them to live in grace.
Grace, my heart hurts for you. I watch you every day in all the things you do and I just pray. I pray that you would see that you aren't meant to be perfect and in your own time, in Gods time, all that he has for you will come to pass. You will be confident in riding your bike kiddo, not because you wake up one day with the ability, but because your daddy and I take you out whenever we get a chance and let you fall. And then we put you back on that bike and tell you to keep going. And every single moment we are walking right next to you. Our hands are helping to hold you up, and Gods hand will always be on you when we are long gone...And you will be confident that you are safe in Gods hands and be more brave and more sure of Him, and less sure of you. And that will mean that you will walk a bold life with no fear of the deep waters under you or the roaring storms above you. And if he never let you fail sometimes, you would never know the deep love he has for you and the redeeming power he has.
Keep swimming Grace. Dont stop. Dont look back. Thats where the past lies. Keep your eyes focused ahead and enjoy the ride. And when you feel tired or scared or helpless or hopeless, just ask God to wrap his arms around you...and show you the way.