God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Off The Deep End

Step by step she climbed quickly up the ladder. As she lifted her feet onto the diving board, she began her confident stride. I watched from the side of the pool. This girl seemed like a pro, until something changed. Her stride began to slow. She stopped abruptly. Her feet frozen to the middle of the board. The chill of her fear rose from her toes all the way up to her doubt etched face. I could almost see her tremble.
The middle. It’s a tricky place to be. Too far to go back now, yet so much still lies ahead. It’s easy to get stuck there. Fear grabs on and won’t let go. Questions linger. Discouragement sets in.
I don’t know if the girl standing on that board knew she might be standing face to face with fear today, but here she was unable to find the strength to take another step. I watched the drama of the moment unfold as I sat at the side of the pool. I had come today to watch my daughter’s swimming lesson,  instead my eyes seemed to be glued to that board. This girl needed help.

Slowly, silently help came. No one took this girl’s hand. No one forced her to jump or talked her down the ladder. Instead, the swimming instructor came as close as she could behind the girl. She didn’t touch her or talk to her. She simply became the girl’s shadow. The girl could feel the strength of the one behind her. She took a step forward, then another. Each time she moved her “shadow instructor” followed. Quiet strength gave this girl the momentum to go on. A few seconds later the girl stood so close to the end of the board that her toes almost curled over the edge. I knew she would jump.
Instead, she took a step back. The shadow did, too. Her instructor patiently moved with her as she took step after step backward until she reached the ladder. The girl stepped down the ladder until her feet touched the ground beneath it. A smile spread across her face as she joined the other girls. The swimming instructor never spoke a word to the girl, yet her actions spoke straight to the girl’s heart. “I am here. I will never leave you. It’s okay to be afraid. I will walk with you.”

Do those words sound familiar? If they do, it may just be because Jesus speaks those words to our hearts though the bible. In Matthew 28:20 he says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” I don’t know what fear you may be facing today. You may be wondering what to do. Maybe you are stuck in a situation and can not see a way out. Do you move forward or walk away? God hasn’t let you go, Dear One. He’s right there with you. He never left you.

Sometimes when I feel fear, my first thought becomes, “Where is God?” I feel abandoned and alone. This simply isn’t the truth. God is always with you. He doesn’t leave just because you think He isn’t there. He’s a stubborn God full of love and mercy. He loves you so much that he’s willing to walk with you during your epic fails, yet doesn’t want you to stay fallen. He wants to lift you up on your feet and help you take the dive into the unknown. He knows the thrill that awaits you. He doesn’t want you to live only to survive, just doing the things that are safe. He wants you to dive. He wants you to thrive!Listen, Dear One, you will feel fear. Fear comes with every opportunity that is laid out before you. Ask God to give you wisdom today. Don’t doubt. He will give you the wisdom you need.

While you are waiting, take another chance. Look around. Is there someone today you could loan a little strength to just by being present? Maybe it’s a child who needs a listening ear or a friend who needs to know she isn’t forgotten. Sometimes the best way to help our fear is to loan a bit of our strength to someone else. It’s okay if you don’t have all the right words. You will be amazed at what you can speak to someone’s heart without using any. Give someone the gift of you today. Put down your phone. Step away from that computer and just “be” with that with that person.

Whatever God has laid on your heart today, don’t be afraid to take the next step. You are never alone.

 

 

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What Would You Do?

 

 

It was a beautiful day at the zoo. A memory making, sunshine filled, smile inducing kind of day. I sat relaxing in the shade as the kids climbed on the giant tree themed playground. Parents sat all around in nearby chairs. So many families were enjoying the day that some stood around due to the lack of places to sit. Two families standing in front of the tree caught my eye. One woman commented to another, “I think she’s lost.” The other turned from packing a stroller and looked up, “Yes, I think she is.” “That’s great”, I thought. “Just look at those safety conscious moms.”

What happened next shocked me. I felt like I had just become part of a scene in the “What Would You Do?” tv show. A show in which people are tested with different scenarios to see if people will chose to do the right thing. My eyes searched for the child. There she was. She was probably five. I expected the two women to take her hand and help her. I saw something quite different. The women gathered their children and left. They did nothing to help this lost child. NOTHING.

My attention turned to the little girl. She didn’t look distraught. No tears were on her face. She began to wonder her way into the building attached to the playground. That’s when I knew she was lost. I sat stunned. I still could not believe those people had done nothing. A few moments later, it finally hit me. I felt like I’d just been punched in the stomach. A sick feeling crept into my body. I did nothing. I could have taken that child by the hand and helped her. I let her walk right into a potentially dangerous situation. She needed help. I didn’t give it.

I kept waiting for the “What Would You Do?” guy to step in at this point. The guy who brings a microphone and tells you, “It’s okay none of this was real.” He never came. Someone did come. The child’s parents. They walked out of the building and called their children. One came. Another came, but the third was no where to be seen. The parents looked at each other and quickly went in the building to find their child. I still couldn’t get over it. I began to pray for the parents. Can I tell you it felt like way too little way too late? I could have stepped in. I didn’t.

All of this happened in the blink of an eye.

Sometimes that’s all we have to make a difference.

The Blink of  an eye.  

That’s why I need God. I can’t be trusted to chose right as a reflex. I just can’t. I’m a lost child, too. I’m lost without God. I’m lost without his love in my life. I can’t bridge the giant chasm between me and my creator. All I can really do is take the dive. I can jump off the cliff that separates me from him and be caught by the net of his mercy and grace. That’s the kind of love to get all tangled up in.  The kind of love that makes you want to be so close to the one who saved you that you don’t really know where He ends and you begin. The kind that speaks to my heart, hears my soul, yet still loves me more than I’ll ever deserve. That’s the kind of love everyone needs. Why would I want to keep that to myself? Why would I choose to see a lost child and not step in?

Someone needs to hear why I hope, why I love, why I live now. I want to have a reflex reaction with the lost. I want them to be found. The time is short, I may only have the blink of an eye.

I don’t know what happened to that child. (Just a moment after the child went in the building, her parents stepped out. They quickly went in to find her. I didn’t see the reunion.)

I do know what will happen to the person who doesn’t know Jesus. No happy reunion. Forever separated from God. Just like this little girl, a lost person doesn’t always look lost. She is the woman next to you in line or the mom you just met in PTA. He’s the guy sitting next to you at the football game. He may have the biggest heart. She may be the best mom. That doesn’t make them any less lost. He needs you. She needs you. Hold out your hand. Lead them to the most loving Father they will ever know. Lead them home. You could change a life forever in the blink of an eye.

 

 

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