I took swimming lessons a really long time ago. I clearly remember early summer mornings at my lessons. It wasn’t hot yet, so the pool water was freezing. The instructors made me and the rest of the budding swimmers wriggle out of our shorts and t-shirts, down to our bathing suits. They blew the whistle and we jumped. Ice cold water made us squeal. One of the first things a swimmer learns to do is tread water (after you become a pro at blowing bubbles without water shooting up your nose). So, to warm up our tiny bodies, we would tread water. It seemed like we would float there forever, waving our arms and kicking our legs. Your feet can’t touch the floor, the instructors would call out to us. I found that focusing on an unwavering object helped me stay afloat. But little legs get tired quickly. The second my feet were allowed to stand my body up, straight and secure on the floor of the pool, I felt better. Stable.
Dustin and I sat in our car in the parking lot of the grocery store earlier this week and talked. Sometimes our Camry is where we do our best communicating. Treading water. We agreed that’s what life feels like right now. Always swimming. Never going anywhere. We aren’t allowed to stop. If we take a break, give our tired legs some rest, we will fall behind. Then again, we were never ahead. We’re just trying to get by. Working, wishing, waiting for the day when we can stop and breathe. Two more months, we tell ourselves. Finances will look better then. We’ll find a place to live by then. We’ll have a better grasp on what life in Pennsylvania looks like by then. Except, we’ve been saying “two more months” for many months, now.
There’s a reason that treading water can be a good workout. It’s exhausting after a long time. You use your core, your leg muscles, your arm muscles and your back muscles to keep your head above the water. I don’t think we’re the only people working hard just to keep our head above the water. We aren’t the only ones who are tired, spent and running on fumes. I’m starting to realize that my exhaustion is making me lose focus.
Lately, I’ve been focused on finding a job for myself. I have been focused on finding the perfect home for our family. I’ve been focused on Titus and his health. I have been comparing my situation to others. I’ve been comparing Titus to other babies. I’ve been comparing my husband’s career to other careers.
I lost focus on what’s important. I’m Peter. Instead of walking on water, I’m treading water and sinking quickly (Matthew 14:22-33). I took my eyes off of Christ at some point and I fixed them on other things. Peter saw the wind and became afraid. I saw my circumstances and started to worry.
I wish I could say I’m all better now. I wish the was an easy, no-mess fix to simply trust God more. Unfortunately, it’s day by day. Every moment is a battle. I’m called to walk on water, not sink. I’m called to trust, not worry. I’m called to faith, not fear. You have the same calling. Just look up.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior