If you came over from Encouragement for Today, I’m so glad you are here!
Today I’m in The Netherlands, a tired, jet-lagged girl from a long journey on the plane. I’m totally outside my comfort zone as God has opened doors for ministry in several cities across The Netherlands, Austria, and Italy with Hearts at Home International.
It’s definitely one of those moments where you feel God asking you to jump into deeper waters and trust Him.
I want to swim. Even when I’m out of my comfort zone. Even when the task seems both wonderful and daunting.
Let’s look together at some things that help when we feel we might sink. . .
Stop looking at the waves
Recently I talked with a woman who was handed an exciting opportunity. As we talked she shared how afraid she was of travel, of the uncertainties on the other side, of meeting with people she didn’t know, and a long list of other challenges.
The more she talked the more I could see fear and anxiety climbing. Suddenly the opportunity was obscured by the mountain she had to climb. The joy was drained from what God had placed in her path. She had completely psyched herself into panic.
“Wait,” I said. “Stop.”
I asked her to consider that 100% of the things that she was worried about hadn’t taken place yet. She was so focused on the waves that her trip had shipwrecked and she hadn’t step foot out of her house yet.
Which led us to the next step.
Tackle one thing at a time
“What is your first step?” I asked.
“I need to prepare.”
“Great, do that. What does that look like?”
“I need to first pray. Then study.”
Just taking that first step (instead of looking at the whole trip or opportunity) gave her something tangible to do. Prayer invited God into the process. Preparing meant that some of the “what ifs” were answered.
How many times, when God speaks to our hearts, do we try to tackle the entire task in one day in our brains?
It might be months or weeks down the road, and yet we are attempting to work out all of the details in our minds in one swoosh move.
Once you’ve prayed and prepared, then you jump in deeper.
Not over your head, but in waters that invite you to swim instead of splash at the shore.
That might be the learning phase, where you grow in knowledge and understanding. Where you begin to trust that God sees and knows something you don’t yet. Where you step out of the usual crowd or the usual to-do’s of your life to stretch to grow.
You are far from the other shore, but this part of the swim is invigorating. And scary. And yet your arms are getting stronger. The strokes are pulling you further. Your gaining your rhythm, and discovering how far you can go.
And what is the last step?
This is a continual process. I hope one day that when I’m a kickin’ old lady that I took time to swim a little farther the day before.
We don’t ever stop growing.
Will we sink on ocassion? Sure, but when you start to sink you know exactly whose name to call and He’ll be right there, reaching out to take you by the hand.
All the best on your current mission/swim. May you know His peace in all circumstances.
Thanks for this great message today. I am preparing to jump out of the boat big time and part of me is excited to trust God with this big step and part of me can’t take my eyes off the waves. Breaking down the steps really was a great visual help for me as my first step is definately more of a safe swim, I know it heads into choppy waters in a few months but I will just work hard and trust God to keep me above water.
WOW–wonderful devotion, Suzie! There are days I look away from Jesus and at the waves and start to sink…and I’m so very thankful that God is right there to pull me up again. THANK YOU for these great suggestions!
Loved your devo!! Reminded me of the “talk” I gave at She Speaks for evaluations, which I later posted on my blog. Thank you for leading me back to my words, but especially God’s truth!! Actually posted my “Look at ME!” post again because I needed to remember to look at HIM and not me! Blessings to you Suzy…thanks for all you do and prayers for all God’s doing through you now as you keep walking in faith!!
first of all I love the name of your ministry.
thanks for the helpful insight and encouragement
I am contemplating buying/starting my own business
Your advise is very timely. Amazing how God does that!
God bless your work overseas and I’ll pray for safety
What an amazing lesson, Suzie. Thank you! It’s all about perspective.
I send you warm smiles and big hugs. May God continue to stretch you for His glory.
Love this Suzie. Needed it again today as we swim into new waters with Aster. 🙂
I am struggling with where to go next as a working mom and wife. I feel like I am sinking and your words today were so encouraging and a reminder that we only need to take the first step and God will meet us to carry us the rest of the way. Thank you!
Happy to read God is expanding your territory. I would love to visit the Netherlands someday. I hope your time there is full of God’s goodness and favor. I pray God continues to give you more and more oceans to swim in.
Thank you for this encouraging post. I tend to think of all I need to do and freeze. Thinking of the next step is so much better. I’ll try that today.
Suzie, you have no idea what your words mean to me today. I too, have been offered an amazing opportunity to serve within my church. I have been praying and asking God to show me that it’s His path for me to take, not just my desire to do this. And then today I read your article and I felt like God was speaking to me through you, so thank you. I’m pretty sure I have my answer. Our God is so amazing 😀
Wow. I loved your Sink or Swim devotional. Especially these lines… “Trust Me in this. Don’t look at the waves; look at Me. I’m not going to let you sink.” and “Jump! He’s there, His arms open wide. He’s your Savior, and He knows exactly what His girl can do with a swim lesson or two.”