If you follow this blog, you’ll remember that a little over 8 months ago, our then 2 year old came extremely close to death in a near drowning accident that left us all in a whirlwind of emotions.
Personally? I was terrified of everything. I was worried that if we came that close to losing her, what’s to keep us from really losing her? Our family was (is) completely complete…wonderful…no illnesses…happy…fun…you name it. However, after her accident I was (am?) waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because now I realize that it only takes SECONDS for that to happen and lives to be changed forever.
We didn’t go swimming after that. At least, Josephine, Tony and I didn’t. We went to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight stay, but Josie hung to me, refused to take her floatie off even in the splash pad and was TERRIFIED of her face getting in the water. Even in the bathtub, she suddenly couldn’t handle the water on her head or in her face.
We avoided the pool. We were cautious in the bath.
Josie would, occasionally, bring up what happened. Saying, “I go in duh pool. I go down down down. I yelling for you in dare. I goed in a fire shruck (ambulance) to duh doctor.”
I hated for her to tell that story.
Then, one afternoon I came across an ad for Aqua-Tots Swim School and decided to enroll her beginning that very week. She was absolutely furious with me. She yelled and cried, screamed and bawled. She would look at me through the glass of the pool and hold her arms out, begging me to come in and get her from the coach.
It was incredibly heartbreaking, but I knew this was something she needed to do. She HAS to learn to swim. She just has to. And since I didn’t have the heart to teach her myself? I left it up to the coaches. It was probably the loudest class they have ever taught since Josephine NEVER let up on her screams and cries.
Then, one day, after 2 weeks of class, a grandfather of another student was seated next to me. We watched a little class of 3 children; mine crying her eyes out. The coach held Josie and was asking her to put her head underwater. I could hear her saying (yelling), “I DON’T WANT TO! I CAN’T!”. And the coach helped her do it anyway.
Then? The Grandfather leaned over to me and said, “She didn’t want to do it, but she did it anyway and now watch what she’ll be able to do.”
…she did it anyway…
…now watch what she will be able to do…
About a week later, our family was on spring break. Two days into our vacation, Tony and I asked Josie if she wanted to take off her floatie and “do fishy cheeks” (what she calls putting her head underwater). She was all for it. At first, she was simply going under a little while I held her hands, but by the end of the week? She was FULL ON SWIMMING UNDERWATER between Tony and me. She went from being frozen in fear to swimming 8+ feet in length by herself.
Tony said, “What if this turns out to be her thing? What if swimming IS Josephine?!”
Yes, what if swimming IS Josephine?
I was afraid. She was scared.
“She didn’t want to do it, but she did it anyway and now watch what she’ll be able to do.”
So, my questions to you are:
What are YOU afraid to do?
What are YOU going to do anyway?
Perhaps God is your coach and is saying, “Trust me…just do *this thing that you think is hard* and watch what you’ll be able to do next”.
Maybe it’s a job change. Could be that it’s running a marathon. Perhaps it’s an adoption or a big move.
Whatever it is? Just watch what you can do next…
Trust yourself. Trust God. And stick your face in the water.
You’ll never know how happy it will make you.