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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Teach Me To Trust
By Judith Gayle Smith


Learning to trust . . .

“I love swimming, the joy of the splash.”

Okay, not really swimming, I flounder like a confused drunken seal in less than five feet of water. Nose flooding, eyes twitching and flinching encounter the lukewarm smothering wet surface. I panic and splash furiously, desperately seeking firmer footing at the four foot mark. Terrified, eyes, nose and throat burning with chlorine, I cling to the security of the side wall lip of the pool, gasping for air and shivering with fear.

Chlorine overwhelms me. So does self-loathing and disappointment. I have to go to the bathroom - badly. I manage to soggily climb the shallow wide steps to exit the pool. My soaked, incredibly heavy swimming suit is dripping almost obscenely, making the sopping walk to the showers embarrassing and unbearable. Maybe some other day . . .

My normally brave mother was absolutely terrified of heights. She never permitted her elegant toes to part the calm waters of a swimming pool. She instilled in me the dubious safety of preventive avoidance. The very thought of diving off a narrow board brings swirling dizzying nausea to burn my nose and throat.

Heights do thrill me and it was years before I braved flying. It was so beautiful, so freeing, the land below so delightful. I think that because my handsome, protective and adventurous boyfriend flew me over Disneyland in his sweet little Piper Cub plane I was able to sideline my fear.

Sheer childhood angst - climbing past the first rung of the “monkey bars” panicked me. Clambering up the playground slide was dizzying, but I climbed it for the thrill of the immediate plop into hot, soft sand. Spiders spitefully bit me as I unwittingly sat on them. My hands painfully remember the biting pinch of the rusty chains as I pumped swings to shaking maximum velocity – remember “cherry bumps” - trusting the warm, welcoming sand below.

Shakily maneuvering down a hill is terrifying. Loose gravel and sharp little stones bloody my shaking knees. Scraping knees going uphill is no better. I require the safety of handlebars and brakes. I rolled on only one skate, keeping my right foot ready to stop my wobbles. I refuse to ice skate – just knowing those nasty sharp blades will cut my leg as I head to the public indoor skating rink.

I crave the safety and balance of a sturdy adult tricycle. Three huge shiny solid wheels beneath me are very much preferred. Riding a bicycle even with training wheels? No way. And don’t even get me started on motorcycles, especially those that careen madly, dangerously sideways to turn corners.

Sounds like security issues. Trust issues. I trust only what my hands and feet firmly affix themselves to. Don’t dare me to fall back into arms prepared to catch me, unless I fall into His Arms.

And I do. Trembling with fear overcome by adoration, I shakily yield myself to His death, burial and resurrection. Counting on my oh-so-patient pastor to keep me from truly drowning, I slowly, fearfully yet trustingly succumb to what feels like the incredibly deep smothering full immersion – my face is fully covered by my dreaded nemesis – water. I am taken slowly down and then, gulping huge lungfuls of air, I am quickly, joyously resurrected from my watery grave to the cheers, smiles and grins, and “praise the Lords” as a new, trusting and most grateful soggy creature in the Christ.

I am swooped to heights I never before could fathom nor even imagine – my limited childish understanding unable to fully comprehend the depths and heights of His unbelievable love for me. God gave His precious Son for me that I may fly with Him to His Home – to spend eternity at His blessed side, taking in all the wonder and joy of His being.

I have discovered the safety of the foam rubber “noodle” that incredibly buoys my floating frame, so that I splash gleefully around in the pool, bravely to the nine foot level. It is amazing that such a lightweight item supports me and frees me to SPLASH!

Thank you my Lord for saving me, for raising me up from a watery grave. For loving me and freeing me from sin, fear of death, fear of pain and loss. My life is in Your Hands. Thank you for presenting me spotless to our Father.

KJV 1 Peter 3:21
KJV John 11:25
KJV Romans 6:4
KJV Romans 10:9
KJV Jude 1:24-25

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Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 04/12/13
Oh I can relate to yielding my life to Him. This is excellent, in my humble opinion. You described almost drowning so well, and be saved by His loving arms.
Great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/13
This was a nice story. I really liked the way the MC overcame her fears. It really shows how God can get us over our fears. The transition from the pool to the heights seemed a bit sudden and I'm not sure how the Bible verses at the end fit into the story. I think you could easily make them part of the story, but it feels a tad disjointed not to reference them in the story. I think especially the Jude verses would be easy to include with a line like: Though at times, my fears threatened to overwhelm me, Jesus refuses to allow me to stumble. The line in the beginning about liker a drunken seal was hysterical! Keep writing you have a wonderful gift.

I really liked that you ended it with a prayer. There are many people who have no idea how to pray and your beautiful heartfelt prayer shows them. I like devotions that start with real experiences and then move to the message in the Bible. You did a really nice job with that. You also have a delightful sense of humor.
C D Swanson 04/13/13
Fantastic job with your story, especially descriptive wise. Nicely done, and beautifully written.

God bless~
Alicia Renkema04/13/13
I loved your beginning! You do an excellent job at describing the panic one feels when water of any kind over takes them. I have to agree with Shann, I did feel like in the middle things really took a turn (a nose dive if you will) and I felt you started to weave a little to and fro of where you had originally started out. You have an amazing knowledge of scripture, and if you would weave it in so it fits with your descriptions and dialogue as Shann also points out, I think the result would be fabulous. You really do have a breath-taking gift at being able to describe things and make folks laugh. I always look forward to what you write. Blessings...
lynn gipson 04/14/13
You did an excellent job describing this one. Your words put pictures in my mind so vividly. I love the praise for being raised out of a watery grave. Great writing!
Danielle King 04/14/13
In my opinion you are a gifted writer and it seems that your imagination is without limits. This piece began well, but I felt that the paragraph starting with 'Heights do thrill me,' until the paragraph starting with, 'Sounds like security issues,' didn't seem to flow as part of the story you began and ended with. However there's a great message in there and your whole piece is immpeccibly written. (Hope I spelt that right.) Keep writing.
Christina Banks 04/15/13
I love your descriptions at the beginning of this piece. The lesson conveyed was meaningful. Nicely done.
Myrna Noyes04/15/13
I love descriptive pieces, and you are very good at helping us see in our "mind's eye" what is happening in your story! I had some fear of water, too, as a child and teen, and had trouble learning to swim, so could relate to your experience. Your lesson on trust is a blessing!
Bea Edwards 04/16/13
You gave so many wonderful examples of how our Father teaches trust! Perhaps next time think of methods to maintain flow and cohesiveness so your audience doesn't have a chance to get lost. Thank you for letting us share in your struggle. Transparency is a gift!
Beth LaBuff 04/18/13
Your comparisons are wonderful. I so appreciated your message. Your swimming pool descriptions were such fun. This was great!