Since I was a little girl, I have prided myself as the one who gives help, not the one needing it. As a first born of four children, I was a helper to my parents before I even had words. My earliest memories include caring for siblings, often sacrificing my needs of support or care, so that they had what they needed. Being that there were 4 of us kiddos all close in age, entertaining us was a great feat. Out of care for my mom, my father would often take all of us on outings around town on the weekends that were free or close to free to give my mother a break.
I remember a time we were on one of those adventures, we went swimming at an RV park pool in the winter time. Still not sure if we snuck in, or it was cheaper then other pools exactly but there we were at an RV park ready to enjoy the pool! None of us knew how to swim at this time. I think I was around 5/6 years old and we were all hanging out at the shallow end of the pool. I clung to the edge and very carefully, while holding on with a death grip, I entered into deeper waters. I was afraid, but was not willing to ask for help from my dad. I didn't want to take away from his ability to help my younger siblings, I was the oldest, I didn't need the help they did... so I just hung there clinging.
Eventually, my father encouraged me off the edge and into his arms drawing my into the deeper parts of the water. I had those inflatable floaties supporting my arms and my fathers arms held my back suspending just above the water line. I remember the difficulty just being held there in his arms allowing for the support, feeling guilty in some way, but also having fun and enjoying the freedom that support allowed, in this remarkable weightless experience available to me.
Not long ago I experienced a situation in my life where I was really unsure of what to expect and worried that the circumstances were bigger then my ability to navigate it confidently. In many ways I felt myself just holding on, clinging from one moment to the next believing that if I put more effort, energy or thought into the situation I might be able to defuse the intensity of the fear, or in some way control the outcome. In one of my "thought filled moments," I felt like God entered in and reminded me of that memory of being a little girl, floating in the pool, suspended in complete safety in the arms of my father. For a moment I could smell the chlorine air and feel the water inching in and out of my ears as I imagined myself floating and actually relaxing into the peace of this safe embrace.
God walked me through that moment and showed me how hard it has been for me to let go. To trust that his care for me is equally important as his care for all of his children and that I don't have to hold to the side of the pool in life at any time, anymore. Beyond that, I felt him challenge me..."Daisy, if you could fully allow yourself to be held in my arms and trust that I have you in complete safety and love, how would that allow you to live more freely?" "If you knew you were held by me, the God of the universe, what risks would you take? What pleasures would you pursue, how would you love and give of yourself and receive?"
The answer is SO much differently than I have throughout my life.
I often think of that moment, where God asked me into deeper waters, to trust and to allow freedom and joy and curiosity to enter in and I try, I try everyday to let go a little more and let myself be held here, in this great big life with lots of unknowns; suspended by his love and inspired by his deep desire for me to feel the warmth of his love, the safety of his arms and the security of being held. There is nowhere else Id rather be.