I was causing a plum ruckus at the beach that day.
Being my typical little self, scared to get water in my face and ears, squinting because I had to leave my glasses back at the beach chairs – you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t drowning! I’d lost my balance due to the mesmerizing motion of the waves, felt the sand disintegrating beneath my feet, and before I knew it, I had water flying everywhere, flapping my arms and yelling my head off! Can you say “…a plum ruckus”? 🙂
But imagine my embarrassment when I finally remembered where I was in the water, found my bearings, and simply stood up…in chest-deep water! I was able to water-hop two feet to safety on soggy, foamy sand, and sit my crazy self down somewhere. Even I had to laugh at myself.
But that initial feeling of drowning? That despair in the heart of a drowning moment? Not a laughing matter at all.
Sadly, Quitters, some of us know that drowning feeling all too well. It’s scary, we feel all hope is lost. But what’s worse? Sometimes, we’re feeling this level of fear and despair in trials of life that are really just shallow waters.
“But Kim, you don’t understand…THIS is the end of the world as I know it!” Umm, yes I do understand. Remember, I’m the little girl in 3ft of water who was actually about to drown herself AND anyone who came to help. In my adult life, I’ve felt the hopelessness of loss…the pain is real, the fear is real, but is our reality true?
As I sum up my own conclusions about life’s trials and hardships, here are some ways to help us know if we’re drowning in shallow water and how to quit it:
1. Be still and settle down.
It’s clearly apparent: I can be a loud mouth, jumper to conclusions, driven by emotions – and so can you! It’s hard to assess any situation when you’re up in arms, all over the place, loud, or just plain antsy. Try to quiet yourself and your surroundings. Say “no” to going-going-going; get somewhere and sit quietly in prayer and meditation. The still, small voice has an answer for us, and it’s saying, “Just stand.”
2. Tap into the strength you never knew you had.
Huh? That’s right. Look, there aren’t Mamas going around lifting cars off their children for nothing. There is an inner strength inside you that you’ll never know you have until you call it forth! Tap into your hysterical “never-say-die” vs. “I’m-gonna-die”! Some trials in life come to push you towards an introduction to your supernatural strength! It’s a strength that will become your norm, but you’ve got to recognize it and practice putting it to good use.
3. Get positional clarity from the stories of others (and God).
Have you ever been in your woe-is-me state, and turned on the news to see REAL devastation and disaster? Right. It’s all about perspective, how we perceive our current position. When we ruminate in our sorrows and troubles, we begin to believe ourselves – “No one has it as bad as me!” Quitter Nation, here’s a lie buster for us, ready? Things could always be worse! Look around you – are there others in the same or worse waves and depths as you – still standing tall? God will give you the same grace and strength.
4. Accept honest help from others.
Sometimes the fact is…you don’t “got it”, or else you’d be OK. Have you ever tried to help someone in trouble, they’re financially strapped and you’re a financial planner, they’re stuck in their current job and you’re a career counselor – and they want to tell you how to fix THEIR problem :-)? Quitters, don’t be that guy/lady. Just as you have to stop kicking and swinging when you’re drowning in water, relax your body so the lifeguard can save you – you have to relax your intellect, ego, and know-it-all to accept help from others who can actually guide you out of trouble.
5. Measure the circumstance to your existence – does it hold water?
Ask yourself, “If this takes me under, does it take me OUT?” Can you realistically (check #3) see yourself living past the hardship? Maybe the waves will toss you around, and you’ll emerge different, changed – but you will come out alive! And if you’re living, your purpose is still in play. The trial may bring the end of one thing, but the beginning of something new and better. Bottom line…keep living (see #2)!
I hope this helps someone out there. Sure, it’s a cute list and easier said than done – but with the right mindset, determination, and help – it’s still doABLE. Love is at work cheering us through the deep waters, as well as the shallow waters we’ve made deeper than they really are. STAND UP and see…you’ve got this!