Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Deep End (03/06/14)
TITLE: Afraid to Let Go
By Keri Futch
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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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