The Tide

I’m not at all a deep water person. I see my family riding the waves when I sit all alone and I’m the watchtower one, keeping head count, strong shoulders popping up from the deep.

They’ll stand and talk, drift away. I glance towards my book, but not for long. I hurry to take account of them again, my family out in deep, dark water hoping for strong waves to ride.

I’ll join them sometimes; but, only for the sake of taking part. The pull back towards the unknown keeps me near the shore. The way the water causes me to plant my feet and pause makes me uncertain.

Still, every summer I get a little closer to letting the tide take me where it may, a little more adrift, a gradual and deeper depth.

As a little girl, I almost drowned and it seemed no one noticed soon enough.

This is why I’m hesitant to go too deep. I resist the pull of let’s go farther out, let’s explore new places and experience new opportunities and challenges.

Take more chances.

I worry over the steadiness of my feet.

Lately,  I took some chances and went out to ride the waves, played around in the deep with other brave and happy swimmers; but, decided no, you should just sit it out.

You’re not quite ready, head back to shore and think about this a little while longer, maybe you can try again.

So, like finding my place from the water amongst all the bodies and chairs, I headed back towards safety.

Stopping where the tide hit the backs of my calves and nearly knocked me down, I braced myself for a minute lest I fall embarrassed by my lingering and dropping back.

I stepped from the cool water and back to my place, the place of feeling safe but, wishing I’d have gone farther.

I settled apart from the others, the sea teasing and taunting me for my lack of courage.

There’s a song Mark Hall and Casting Crowns sings called “That was Then”… Goes on to say “This is Now”.

Standing at the water’s edge
I dropped my dreams when I dropped my nets
No hesitation, no regrets
I followed You
But that was then
And this is now

Now is when you forget how strong you were before because you forgot the one who made you believe you could.

Or maybe now is when you ventured out all cocky without your soul tethered to your anchor.

This morning, I’m acknowledging my progress.

I’d love to say “finally” as if it might never happen again; but I know I’m new at swimming in this ocean.

I can’t ever stay steady focused or brave in my stepping  out on my own.

This is my 499th post and regardless of where I’m going in this writing journey, where I’ve been and who I am now seems to be most relevant to me this morning.

Because, more than becoming a better writer, a more polished and creatively appealing assembler of words, I have grown in my understanding of God in this thing I still call my uncovered treasure from tiny God-planted seed.

I stop now, because I sense my rambling, my lack of creative and skilled elimination of repetition. Apologies, my work is in progress.

I wonder again though, just how far God might take me, how much farther out he might point my steps if I’d stop reminding him that I can’t swim.

Yesterday, I prayed “Lord, thank you for slowing down my success. Thank you for drawing me back. Give me strength to stay near.”

I’ve had some special opportunities in writing and painting happen for me.

Yet, I got caught up in the excitement looking for the next big wave.

Then, the river seemed to dry up, stopped its flow.

So, I prayed.

By day’s end someone commissioned five paintings.

I returned to “boot camp” to continue my commitment to make my body an acceptable living sacrifice and in between these two steps I had the courage to ask for writing help and signed up for a mentor.

Trusting the tide.

“Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:133‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee. her post challenges us to think of what lies we are telling ourselves about ourselves. A very timely one for me.

Read here: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/six-words-can-make-difference/

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