Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. -Deut. 31:6
Funny how being a parent forces you to not only teach hard lessons to your own kids, but reminds you of your own shortcomings where you really aren’t practicing what you preach.
Sadie has done swimming lessons before for two summers in a row now. Neither time has she become totally trustworthy and water-safe. But thanks to her awesome Grandparents, we are at it again and confident she will get it.
Her first lesson happened this week. She was a screaming, crying mess. I figured it would be no big deal like times past and she would move on quickly.
She has been an emotional, weepy, sleepless, little being since.
She woke up this morning after a late night of worry and couldn’t stomach eating any breakfast. She sobbed the entire morning, begging me not to go in the car on the way there.
She clung to me asking me to pray for her bravery. She asked Him to be in the water with her.
Although to you and me, it’s just 20 minutes of swimming, to Sadie it was an impassable mountain she couldn’t conquer.
TJ and I both held firm that the more she did it, the easier it would be even though part of us just wanted to let her let it go.
We said, “Sometimes we all just have to be brave and do hard things.”
She listened, got in the pool despite her fear and trusted in Ms. Sherry. The first five minutes were torture for her. And me.
And then something clicked. I don’t know if it was Ms. Sherry’s constant encouragement, that Sadie was audibly praying for bravery, or that she saw me right on the side like I promised I would be.
She hit her stride and before we all knew it, she was swimming unassisted under the water to grab rings on the stairs to bring to the surface. Every once and a while Sadie would pop up from the water, boldly confessing something to Ms. Sherry. It was as if getting over her fear of the water was purging other uncertainties in her three-year-old life. She confessed to being afraid of the dark at night, or that Jonah liked the water but she wasn’t so sure.
Each time, Ms. Sherry assured her again that she was still good enough despite her fears.
How powerful to watch my child bring to the surface, openly confess, and move forward with no more chains to bind her.
It was the perfect picture of how God longs for us to come to him with all of our stuff, no matter how bad or how messy. He sits ready to not only listen, but to reassure us we are His. When we openly come to Him, He stands waiting to give us the courage we need to move forward boldly and confidently.
Sometimes it means we simply have to do hard things and trust that God is with us in it.
I am so thankful for my three year old and how she points me to our Savior in such tangible ways.