Treading Water by Sarah Markley

Man, this woman is INCREDIBLE. Everytime I open her blog into a new window, there is another entry. Staring me in the face. The topic lately has always been something that I am dealing with/struggling with/thinking about at that very time. Then I read her words and say a silent "Amen, sister." She has a gift, a gift of writing exactly what I need to read.

TREADING WATER - by Sarah Markley
I stand on the platformed high dive. What is probably only a 12 foot drop, seems to me, at the age of seven, the length of a cliff face.
To move from Goldfish to Porpoises jumping off the high dive is a requirement. In 1982 they call it a rite of passage. I call it cruel and unusual.
I already feel stupid because my same-aged best friend is already swimming laps with the swim team and I’m stuck on the side of the pool during lessons blowing bubbles under the water.
I see my father treading water below. He’s only in his mid-thirties, still really strong with a back that is tanned from the summer. He’s waiting patiently for me, squinting up in the sun. He’s gonna catch me, or close to it. At the very least he’ll be there to mop up the pieces of me that smack the water.
I can’t do it. The high dive is a magnet that is stopping me feet where they are. I gently peer over the edge.
My father still waits for me.
I jump, my face already wet with tears as I hit the water. The bright afternoon disappears instantly and I’m lost in the black WHOOSH thunder of the water. It’s in my ears, in my eyes. And it’s very, very dark.
I go much deeper than I had ever expected. Than I think even my father had expected.
For a split second I forget what to do. Do I kick? Swim with my arms? Which way is up?
I begin to kick and my father somehow has me in his arms. I don’t know if he’s swam below to get me, if he’s simply reached out to grab me or if I’ve swam up to the surface. It doesn’t matter because now I’m safe

I’m safe. And I’m a Porpoise.
My Father asks me all the time to take jumps that require faith. Lately He’s been asking me to deplete all of my faith. And when I think I’ve given it all up, he asks me to give a little more. And then just a pinch more. And then, Sarah, how much MORE faith do you have?
Because I’m here, He says. I’m treading water and I’m waiting patiently for you. Yes, I know the water is dark. But I’m here in the middle of it. And you will go deep. Deeper than you ever thought you could go and you will be disoriented, you won’t know which way is up. But then I will catch you in My arms and you will be safer than you’ve ever known. And you won’t have to tread water in the middle of the deep end because I will be doing it for you.

But you have to jump.

Can you do it?

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