Today is a day to celebrate and to remember. A big thing happened in our family today.
At age 4 Lucy had a rather traumatic experience in the pool. Amidst the chaos of managing 4 kids in the pool, the adults on deck didn’t realize Lucy had forgotten to put on her floatation device before entering the pool. Lucy was distracted by her desire to show off a new swim accessory to the kids already in the water. She launched herself into the pool and sunk. The adults reacted quickly, and aside from swallowing some water, she was physically unharmed by the incident. However, the frightening memory crippled her swimming abilities and she became increasingly fearful of being splashed in the face and going under the water. So fearful in fact, that showers were off limits and washing her hair has been anxiety producing.
For months, we’ve been having “shower training” instead of baths to get her used to the splashes on her face. Her wonderful swim coaches have understood her story and won her trust. We’ve seen her swimming abilities blossom, with the exception of going under the water.
Its been a long road. We’ve talked extensively about endurance in learning a new skill, and having courage to try something for the first time, and what it means to be brave and face our fears. We’ve prayed that God would give her courage to face her fear of the water. I’ve wondered how much to push her, and when to wait patiently for her readiness, and if I should just give up for this season and try again later.
We’ve made it a priority to get into the pool to practice with her every day. If we can’t get to the pool, we practice in the bathtub. Most often her response to being asked to practice going underwater is “I’m not ready, yet.”
But, this weekend, hesitantly she said, “Ok.”
Lucy faced her fears. She put her face in the water, willingly. Then, today, Lucy went in the pool without her floatation device for the first time since the day she sunk 2 years ago. Moments later, she took off swimming all over the pool. And then, she jumped. And jumped. And jumped. “CANNON BALL!!!” she yelled. Almost 4 hours later I drug her away from the swimming pool for dinner only after promising that tomorrow we would be back to practice some more.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This is the little big stuff that makes up our family story. The little, big moments we need to thank God for, to celebrate and to commit them to the memory of our family’s story. So today, we remember the day Lucy faced her big fear and jumped wildly into the pool.
My Lucy girl, always remember, there are wonderful, exciting adventures in life waiting for you when you are willing to face your biggest fears. Just keep swimming little mermaid.