Belly Flopping Into My Fear....

When Scary Became My Story

  Getting over my fear without doing anything scary was like trying to learn how to swim without getting wet.  It was not possible.   I spent the first decade of my marriage reading all about relationships, parenting, communicating, faith; the list could go on.  Yet, I never truly allowed myself to swim in the ocean of experiences.  I never learned to treed in the water of despair or even dog paddle through my pain.

  I lived in a state of constant fear, believing I could first learn how to swim with out getting in the water.  I feared I would drown in my own experiences, triggered by the things in front of my face, namely relationships of all kinds. Rejection was like a wave that whispered in my ear and prevented me from entering into the pool of life.  I could explain to others how to swim, dive, dog paddle and float.  I on the other had was only good at on thing, the belly flop, no amount of book knowledge was going to teach me how to swim, and getting wet was the only way. 

  One day while standing to close to the edge of the water I found myself face first, belling flopping into my fear.   I was splashing around unable to catch my breath, almost drowning in the depths of my discomfort.  In the matter of minutes, I was forced to sink or swim, the choice was before me, life or death.  I waved an invisible white flag, silently hollering for help, hoping that someone would see that I could not swim.

  The hands of my husband reached out to me; all of a sudden, I was facing my greatest fear, I was scared that he would find out that I was a fraud.  Two choices presented themselves before me,  I could go down as an accidental drowning victim or allow myself to be fully known, exposed to the truth that I could not swim, the waters of  my life were taking me down.  In a moment of clarity, I gave myself permission to take his hand.  A decade of deceit was coming to the service and the truth was about to be revealed.   I had pretended to swim in the sea of life for so long that I had even convinced myself I knew what I was doing, until that fatal day when my husband found me almost dead.

  As he rescued me from the waters of my life, it became evident that the fear of rejection was false and the evidence before me was real.  The very same hands that pulled me out were holding me tight; he did not reject me but embraced me.  He did not laugh at what I did not know but was willing to help me learn how to swim (live).  This was the moment in time, when the scary became my story and I faced my greatest fear.  Getting over my fear without doing anything scary was like me trying to learn how to swim without getting wet, it was impossible. Today, almost nine year later, I can honestly say, “I can swim.”
  This article is dedicated to my husband.  The ancient teachings instruct us to live life together.  Two are better than one, if one falls down the other can you up.  Thank you Tony for being my hero, my husband, my friend.  You have taught me how to live in the moment while trusting God with our future.  Not only did you become my lifesaver but my life preserver.  You are truly an amazing man of God and I thank Him everyday for you in my life and the way you point me back to Him.

  • Who do you have in your life that would reach out and rescue you if you were drowning in despair?
  • Do you deal with false fear appearing real?
  • Who do you know that would teach you to swim rather then swim for you?
  • Do you struggle with pretending to be at the cost of loosing your life?

  We were created for community for this very reason, for this season, for this lifetime .  God did not expect us to live this life alone.  We need one another.  I challenge you today,  if you do not allow yourself to be fully known, then it is the time.  Give yourself permission to be exposed, invite safe and healthy people into your life to teach you the lessons you need to learn.  The fear of the unknown is scary but drowning is even worse.

@The Front Porch


Jill Beran said...

So, so good Cris! Didn't even know I needed to hear this today, but God spoke!! Thanks!

Renee Swope said...

I love this my friend. What an amazing picture of Jesus coming to our rescue. Your's and Tony's story are such a testimony of God's redeeming love and transforming power!! Love you both - so big!!

Cris Nole said...

Thank you my friends for your words of encouragement. This was my favorite blog to write and I know as the words came out of my heart and onto the screen I fell in love with my husband even more. God is so very good. See you both in July!