God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Off The Deep End

on September 26, 2014

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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