Treading Water

A miracle happened. When someone asks how they can pray and they follow that up with specific prayers your faith takes wings. Or, like my friend said over text, “where there is faith, there is hope”. Yes.

It’s not important to share the details. We went from crisis to hope. Heading to an appointment in the afternoon, I received a text, and I asked that person to pray for a miracle at the time of the meeting. Directly following the text, I got a phone call from my insurance company’s case manager. I used to think this was “fluff” and would ignore the calls. What could that person do for me that’s not already going on in a given situation? Taking the stance that if you pray for a miracle and someone calls you, you probably should give it a try or a chance. From that conversation, we understood a new direction and resources that I never knew existed. After the meeting, everything turned around. Attitudes and conversations went from resistance to healing. We went from hopeless to hopeful.

Miracles along the way.

On any given day in your work towards healing you may find a path that is uncertain. The uncertainty can grip your mind in ways beyond what you’ve ever experienced or expected. A friend sends me podcasts from The Lazy Genius Collective sometimes. I follow Kendra Adachi’s podcast and might miss a few episodes so I love when she sends her favorites.

#219 A Midsummer Pep Talk is a great one! I hope you can listen.

You will be in the water. It’s just a season of being in the water.
Hopefully you won’t be flailing a ton, but expecting to be on the shore when you don’t sleep as
much and you’re needed constantly and your body is changing and you live in the weird
Groundhog Day that is parenting is not a realistic expectation. Some seasons you’re just in the
water. And that is okay.
So I’ll ask you what my therapist asked me. What if you just relaxed in the water? What do you
need to make being in the water not feel like an emotional death sentence? What do you need
as you stay in the water?

That answer looks different for everyone. I think honestly permission to be there goes a long
way.
When you let go of the desperation to get out, you have an easier time staying
.”

(Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius Collective, episode 219)

When I was about the same age as my youngest daughter, my parents gave me the experience of a lifetime. They worked hard to provide us with experiences and somehow they managed to financially send me to Hawaii Prep Academy to explore Hawaii and learn to scuba dive. I knew nothing about scuba diving. I was naive and curious. I can tell you that even today that trip is a part of my story when I want to give up. I was a shy, introverted, much afraid young lady far from home and doing what my mind called impossible. So many things happened on that trip that made me a better person. I called and cried to come home. Imagine that phone call to my mom. Bless her. I get it now. Sometimes she was calm and comforting and other times she spoke reality into my anxious soul.

Treading Water

Our first day on the beach we were sent out to tread water for 30 minutes. This little ditty was not on the packing list. If we could not do this, we were not able to scuba dive. We would be in the snorkel only group. I got out there in the water where my feet did not touch the ground and started treading. About five minutes in I panicked. I looked around at the athletes of the group splashing water and laughing. What in the world are you doing? Save your energy! Then I saw people like me with fear in their eyes wondering what in the world were our parents thinking? Was this a way to finally get rid of us? In that moment, I thought of all the ways I could possibly die. I’m serious. I can laugh now, but my mind was gripped with fear.

I can still see that cove, those faces, and my blue one piece bathing suit. Some of us would yell, “How much more time?” to the instructor. He would yell back, “Keep going! You can do it! You’ve got 10 more minutes!” Some students gave up and swam back to shore.

When I decided to not give up, I began to relax more. Oh, I was still worried but determination kicked in. I will scuba dive. He finally blew the whistle and waved us to shore. With great relief, a sense of renewed confidence came over me. From the dangers of the ocean creatures to potential water in your lungs or decompression sickness, I was able to overcome so much on this trip. My seriousness and resilience upped my game. I received the highest score on the scuba exam, led another guest instructor back to safety when we got lost underwater, and watched my friend “buddy breathe” with an instructor when his tank gave out of air. I used to have this beautiful shell I found to remember the trip and everything I overcame. It was a shell I found when we were lost. It was a sea urchin shell and looked like this. My mom displayed the shell in our home for years.

I share this story because it has been on my mind lately. After hearing the podcast, I remembered the point in my treading water experience that I relaxed and became determined. In that moment in 1983, I had someone yelling from the shore encouraging words and setting boundaries. Marc was a hardcore instructor not your therapist. I needed that.

I also needed a mom who believed in me to go and to stay when I had thoughts of running away. How ridiculous to think my mom could have rescued me from across the ocean. I can remember having a calendar and counting down the days in my dorm room. Little did I know that God was teaching me skills of resilience. To this day I still focus on one day at a time when I’m faced with great overwhelm.

If you are treading water right now, I would encourage you to relax and think about what you need to make being in the water not an emotional death sentence. Sometimes all we can see is the massive amount of water around us with no shore in sight. Those are the times you need to really stop and visualize and see what you are doing that’s keeping you afloat. You are doing great things. Talk about them, write them down, and see that you really are capable of doing hard things.

To the parent who doesn’t see the shore or ending, keep treading. One day your child will look through scrap books and stories and see how it’s all connected. It takes a lifetime.

To the instructors and teachers in our lives, keep mentoring even if you never know the difference you’ve made. I still have my letter from my scuba instructor, Marc. I wish I could find him and send him this post. My Ecology teacher, Ms. Borkey, passed away from cancer many years ago. Whew! She put up with us on this trip. She took teenagers who thought they “knew it all” and persevered. I can still see her head shaking back and forth wondering why she thought this trip was a good idea. It was Ms. Borkey. I’m sorry we were so self absorbed we couldn’t recognize your tenacity and efforts at the time. Thank you Ms. Borkey.

2 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your Hawaiian adventure with us! You’re children remind me of you as a teen. Thank you for remind me to persevere and that it’s a matter of how we look at the situation! 💕🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s