Drowning. It isn’t like the movies – no flailing arms, no loud screaming, no thrashing about. Instead, it is insidiously quiet. Drowning is a silent struggle, without wild movements to draw attention, and ends with the victim simply, finally slipping under the water.
These last months, I’ve been drowning. It’s the quiet kind of drowning, with no one, all-consuming crisis that calls attention to my struggle. It’s been characterized by increased flakiness – last minute cancellations, not responding to invitations until receiving a gentle prompt from the hostess, from simply dropping out of communication, out of groups, out of my social circles.
I hate exposing my vulnerabilities, especially when I don’t yet have a perfect ending with which to encourage others. So then, why this confession as I find myself still in this spot – feeling like the water might quietly close over me as I eventually slip under?
Because I’m not the only one.
I’ve stumbled across several beautiful, smart, creative, adventurous women who are quietly drowning. They needn’t speak it aloud; I recognize my own internal chaos in the look of their eyes, in their stories of communication mix-ups, in their confessed seeming inability to “get their act” together.
Because I am currently walking through it, I am sensitive to recognizing the same crisis unfolding in the lives of those around me.
Of course, the pat, easy answer to this particular form of drowning is to “simplify.” But no one wants you to “simplify” your way out of their thing, and it often takes time to extricate yourself from big commitments. And, honestly, some things simply cannot be “simplified,” they must be walked through, lived through — survived.
So. If you find yourself drowning, if you recognize yourself in my words, then know this; You are loved. LOVED. You are loved by the One who counts the stars, the grains of sand, and the hairs on your head. There is no pre-requisite of Pinterest-worthy perfection before Jesus meets you; He has already closed the gap. There is nothing you can do to change his love for you; just as you cannot diminish his love for you, you also cannot earn more of his love.
There is nothing left for you to do except stop, breathe, and revel in that realization.
To this girl desperately treading water in the deep end of the pool, the realization that my never ending to-do list is utterly irrelevant to my Savior’s decision to lay down his life those two odd thousand years ago is a gulp of pure, sweet, fresh air. It is my lifeline, my lifeboat, my saving grace.
Take heart and keep swimming, friends. And, as we move together toward that magical, elusive goal of “simplification,” remember who counts the number of hairs on your head.