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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Deep End (03/06/14)

TITLE: Afraid to Let Go
By Keri Futch
03/09/14


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The summer of 1981 was a scorcher. The temperature lingered around the 100 degree mark for weeks on end. Southern folks are known for their euphemisms, and this summer provided fodder for an onslaught of them. Most conversations contained dashes of phrases such as: “It’s hotter than bacon in a skillet”, “It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the porch”, along with many others.

My mom and I spent most days in the pool at our apartment complex. I was quite skilled at swimming under water, and could go from one side of the shallow end to the other without coming up for air. The old ladies would comment on what a fine swimmer I was, and it made me very proud. The shallow end was my friend, but the deep end? Oh no, not me. In my mind, the deep end was a dangerous place and I stayed away.

The only time you would find me in the deep end was is if my mom agreed to help. I would go down the ladder and hold onto the wall for dear life. First one hand and then the other would move along the concrete inch by inch until I was close to her. Sitting down on the wall, my mom would stick her legs straight out. I would push off and swim the short distance until I could latch onto her ankles. She would flex and bend her knees with me in tow, and I would glide through the water having a grand old time.

One afternoon, an older boy dared me to go to the deep end by myself. A crowd of kids gathered around, teasing me, calling me a baby because I adamantly refused. That night I felt quite defeated. I told my mom what happened and she listened intently. The next day on our way down to the pool, my mom asked if I was ready to try swimming in the deep end by myself. Nope, ain’t gonna happen I told her. She smiled and changed the subject. When we arrived, I went right to the shallow end, my safety zone. After a while she asked if I wanted to come hang on her legs in the deep end. I rushed over to her, and the game began. Go down the ladder, hand walk along the wall until I was close enough to her, then push off and grab ahold of her outstretched legs. Except this time there were no legs to grab onto! My mom had stood up just as I was about to push off from the wall and I was left to swim as fast as I could back to the ladder.

Once I made it to safety, I marched over to my mom and started to give her a piece of my mind for leaving me stranded. She bent down, looked me in the eye, and pointed out that I had swum in the deep end all by myself. Once the realization sank in I could hardly wait to get back in the water and try it again. I went a little farther each time, and by the end of the day I was swimming from one end to the other. I had faced my challenge with help from my mom, and came through victorious.

As I sit and think of that day, I realize that this adventure is similar to my walk in faith. There are many times where I am content with doing what is safe and familiar. I am afraid of jumping in the deep end. But our protector will not always let us stay where we feel comfortable. Sometimes he will stand back at the last moment, and let us swim on our own for a while in order to show us that we are strong enough to handle the challenge. It may feel as though he has left us stranded in our time of need, but He is always there, watching us with pride in His heart as we overcome life’s challenges. By believing in Him we can overcome the deep end of our troubles, and emerge a better person.


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This article has been read 109 times
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Camille (C D) Swanson 03/13/14
Thank you for this inspirational and well written story!

It made me take a trip down memory lane as I had a similar experience while swimming with Dad, who taught me to swim, staring underwater!

I loved this. Great job, and cetainly on topic.

God bless~





Camille (C D) Swanson 03/13/14
Thank you for this inspirational and well written story!

It made me take a trip down memory lane as I had a similar experience while swimming with Dad, who taught me to swim, starting underwater!

I loved this. Great job, and certainly on topic.



God bless~

Bonnie Bowden 03/13/14
I thought the MC was very charming and wise. Good take on the topic at hand.
Judy Sauer 03/14/14
Powerfully engaging story. You are well versed at painting a picture with words. Bravo!

I really enjoyed this story and with it being in first person I thought it was a personal story of yours which made me read this as if it was nonfiction. However, you have it listed as fiction. Really was hoping that this was nonfiction because it's a delightful story of courage and fear and not giving up trying and achieving goals. This type of quality writing works for fiction as well. Keep up the great writing.
Larry Whittington03/14/14
I got mixed up at first where you were swimming underwater. For me if you had said you swam "across the shallow end under water", I would have understood you did not get out of the shallow end.

I liked your application in your story. This is the way to use common experiences.
Philippa Geaney 03/18/14
I felt there was a lot of great writing in this story. The introduction 'hooked' me (I've read where it is said we must captivate the reader in the first sentence-and you caught me :))
I enjoyed the careful use of word pictures and the encouraging theme running through to the end.
Well done.
Judy Sauer 03/20/14
Congratulations on Highly Commended