diving in

Monday, June 09, 2008 / Comments (3) / by elizabeth

friends-
...this conjunction of souls, like waves which met and break, subsides also backward over things, and gives all a fresh aspect.
-Henry David Thoreau


i'm on the edge of change, and this has caused some inner turmoil. lately my heart has weighed heavy with the what ifs and i don't knows.

my friend elizabeth (the other one) called me while she was driving home from arkansas last night after dropping her oldest son off at [his first every sleepover] camp. earlier that day she watched him take his swimming test. at this camp, each child has to be able to swim the width of the river so that he or she doesn't have to wear a life jacket the rest of the summer unless it's necessary. basically, he just had to prove that he could swim.

elizabeth said that watching him made her cry. [side note: on jonah's fourth birthday the two of us cried because he was turning four. we sat at ihop with teams streaming down both both of our cheeks just bcause it was his birthday]. i've known this child since he was 18 months old, so i got the crying. and now he's almost 9 and about to spend 12 days in the hands of camp counselors where he knows no one and when did he grow up so much and where did those chubby cheeks go?...and...and....and.

yes. transition. life's changes. i understand.

for the test they stationed lifeguards every few feet, just in case something happens. or that was her assumption anyway. but as the kids swam, she realized that the lifeguards were also there to encourage them, to cheer them on, to support them. they called each child by name while saying things like, "you can do this! just a little bit further! you've got this! don't quit now!" for some of thm they yelled, but for others they spoke so softly the spectators could hardly hear.

the reason elizabeth shared this with me is this:
she realized this is just like life. she learned yesterday that God does the same thing...he wants his children to jump in the water, but along the way He sets up guideposts for us. He puts people in our lives to swim with us. while sometimes He uses them to carry us, to swim with us, other times we have to swim alone while He watches...but every few feet we come across another person He has placed there. and some friends are for just one season, but others are for several, or even all of them.

i love that the tone of the words was tailored for the person swimming - they were called by name! sometimes we need to be cheered on loudly (Job 37:2-5), but sometimes we simply need a gentle whisper, a kind word, a quiet reminder (Zephaniah 3:17).

He knows what we need, WHO we we need, and when we need them. His ways are mysterious but His timing is always, always perfect.


3 comments:

Ashley @ June 9, 2008 at 2:31 PM

How very true...it is amazing who He puts in our lives and for such specific purposes. God is really good...

joy @ June 9, 2008 at 7:21 PM

beautiful. thank you.

shultsie @ June 10, 2008 at 12:10 AM

oh boy. this was good. so good. thank you.