This Friday was a special Friday. I had swimming lessons together with my class, and it was a challenge. You see, I have different sorts of fear of water. I don’t like it in my face, I especially don’t like it in my eyes, and I really hate diving(mainly because I can’t do it the way it is supposed to be done, and it always creates such pressure in my head that it feels like my head is about to explode, and of course I get water in my nose and throat, which makes me feel that I can’t breathe= total panic)!
We had many different and useful sorts of games in the pool, indirectly practicing the things I had a problem with. When It came to diving, we where told that we should lean forward, as like if we were going to stand on our hands in the pool. I tried that,ended up doing a somersault under the water getting too much pressure in my head, and of course I ended up with intense pain for a while. This certainly didn’t help me fight my fear of getting away from me. It just made it way worse. I gave up, sat down, and became the difficult student who refuses to do what she’s told! And I really did refuse. The teacher thought it best to give me some air and not talk to me for a while. Wise decision there.
Sitting there, it really, really nagged at me. The fear had won. I despise that feeling more than anything in the world. While I was thinking of this, which wasn’t exactly helping my mood, the teacher told us we had 5 more minutes of relaxation in the pool. I had to take a quick decision, and suddenly felt my body get up and walk towards my teacher, my mind slowly following, and then, before I could change my mind, I said to my teacher: ‘Hey, I am scared of the water, especially diving, and when I tried, the pressure really hurt my head. I can see that I do something wrong, but don’t know what. Can you help me, please?’ She helped me by throwing something in the water, 1 meter deep. ‘Can you get that for me?’, she said challenging me. I got it for her, and surprisingly it went well. She even said to me: ‘that was a perfect dive, why do you think you have a problem?’. I explained to her about the previous dive, and we concluded that what got in the way of my diving was for one, my tenseness. Second, I always hold my hand to my nose to protect me from breathing in water, and that could prevent me from going as far down that I needed. She threw something in the water at 1,7 meters deep and again told me to get it for her. I did: this time I forgot to breathe and it just went…badly. She encouraged me to try again and it went very well.
Suddenly the five minutes was up, and my teacher asked the class if anyone would dive to retrieve two rings at 4 meters deep. No one really responded. One guy in my class(who usually is a tough one, and usually is told to tone it down a few notches) looked in the direction she pointed and, I could be wrong, but he looked like he was considering whether or not to get it. I asked my teacher if it would be okay to dive in from the edge of the pool, and if it was okay to dive with diving goggles(yes I know the answer lays in the name, but hey: no swimming/diving experience here). She looked at me, puzzled, and said yes to both of my questions.
‘Then, I’ll take a shot at it’, I said, not waiting for an answer. This was also a moment where my body did everything and my mind was sort of following along behind. Had I thought it through, I would never have done it! I got into the water, closed in on the bottom, had my ‘prey’ in sight and started feeling the pressure to my head again, also I couldn’t breathe or breathe out. I had forgotten to learn the breathing part. I thought that I couldn’t do this, and wanted to abort ‘the mission’. Regardless of what my mind thought my body kept going, and I reached out and grabbed the ring. The second ring was probably one or two meters from me, and I was really short on air. I somehow managed to find enough air and carried on, got a hold on the second ring, and kicked off with my feet from the bottom. I was really desperate for air now! My hands with the rings got to the surface first, and when my head clear the water, I gasped for air and whispered: ‘I did it!’. The teacher was stunned. So was I. Shakily I got to ‘land’, and a fellow classmate of mind, who knew how hard that was to do for me, gave me a stunned high five and said:’ you’re a real tough one! I’m so proud of you!’. I was proud of myself as well.
After this experience I realized that when my ‘body moved, with my mind following on behind’, It was God encouraging me. What a great God we have, for those who choose to get to know Him. It didn’t feel like my will had been taken from me, rather that I was steered in the right direction.He saw I could accomplish something, and I just did it. Had I thought more about it, I would have thought about how afraid I was of it, and I would have given the enemy a perfect opportunity to offer me thousands (alright then, hundreds might be more realistic) of reasons not to follow the path God had for me. You may think: ‘why would that be Gods path for her? Wow, she managed to dive, that’s all. This is some bullshit, that girl’s delusional’. Well, It may seem like an insignificant situation to you, but to me this was huge. Something really huge happened to me in that moment:
- Having lived a life in fear, captured by anxiety, this is a huge step on breaking free from that cage I’ve been in
- I’ve learned that following God, I can do the unthinkable.
- I’ve learned to trust God this way(and do trust me on this: I don’t easily trust anyone, not even God)
- I grew in trusting myself
- I really took a leap forward in faith, and discovered that I(and God) am capable of more that I think
- I learned to dream bigger, and think less(doesn’t mean I should never think things over. But for a girl like me that thinks more than she acts, this is really amazing)
- All is possible with God
- With God, I can overcome every fear I have. It only takes a leap of faith.
It is amazing that when God encourages you, sometimes you don’t even notice untill you’ve suddenly accomplished it!
Okay, I have to admit: 40 minutes. Hopefully I’ll get better at this;)