Swimming (part 1)

Nearly Drowned

beach

If you have ever swam in the ocean you know that feeling of cold water on your toes when you first step into the ocean. You push through and get to waist-high water, the point where you have to decide whether to push through and actually go for a swim or to retreat and go back to the beach. I believe in life God gives us the same choice, to push through and go for a swim with Him or to go back and watch other people swim. About 7 years ago I stood in the waist-high water of my life and God gave me the choice, swim or go back. I decided to go for the adventure of the swim and started working in ministry. But just like swimming in the ocean, swimming in the waters of life ask for a skilled swimmer, a skill that is only learned over time and by a lot of practice. As the ocean has rip currents, undercurrents and high waves, so does life. After 4 years of working in ministry I started to feel the exhaustion of trying to keep above the waves. I no longer felt like I was swimming, but I started to just prevent myself from drowning. And with every wave that came it became harder to keep my head above the water.

Then after 4 years I moved to Sydney, joining Hillsong College, which meant, to stay in the analogy, swimming into deeper water with more currents then I had before. I kept trying not to drown, but the exhaustion become more and more physical, to the point where I couldn’t keep my head up anymore. I was  at drowning point, still trying, but the waves took over. It was here that God told me to stop, so in the middle of the waves I stopped trying to keep my head up and I washed up on shore, completely exhausted.

I FELT LIKE A COMPLETE FAILURE, ‘CAUSE I WAS UNABLE TO SWIM IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE LIKE ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE. I SHOULD’VE TRIED HARDER…

I asked God what He wanted me to do, where He wanted me to go, but God said “Rest”. And so I did, or at least I tried. I tried to make sense of where I had ended up and how to move on from here. I tried to find a way to deal with this great sense of failure that I carried with me all the time. I hid from people, didn’t want to be in contact with most people from back home or College, because I was convinced they saw me as a failure as well. I felt to ashamed to admit to them that I had stranded and had no other goal in life at that moment then to REST. This period of rest became months of sitting at the beach, crying and asking God what was wrong with me, and how He could love such a failure. I would stare at the ocean and just see my failure…

 

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