Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You Don't Have to Sink or Swim

I was talking with someone today about an unpleasant circumstance that she has found herself in.  She told me, "Right now, it's sink or swim for me." I have probably heard that euphemism hundreds of times in my life but I guess I never gave it much thought. But when my friend spoke those words to me today, they pierced right through my gut.

"No, no no", I wanted to say.  As believers, we never have to choose between "sink or swim" in a bad situation. Truly, we can rest and do neither for a time.  There is great peace to be found in getting quiet before the Lord and not panicking.  Fear drives us to panic and panic, to foolishness. That's when we either frantically swim for what we think is the far off shore, or we give in to despair and sink.

I recall a time when I found myself in a situation that literally took the breath out of me.  In one moment of time, it unexpectedly caught me by such surprise and was so life altering that I could hear my heart beating and my mind was swirling.  I could make no sense of what was happening to me. Have you ever been there; in a place where you felt you had no control over where your life was headed and you were at the mercy of something bigger than you?  That the only options you had were to sink or swim?

During this time, I immediately pulled myself inward.  I went to a safe, quiet place and sat on my heavenly Father's lap.  I didn't speak of the issue to others.  I didn't run around trying to get advice from anyone who would talk to me.  And I didn't stop my life.  I literally stayed in His presence every step of every day.  I surrounded myself with praise and worship music, with Scripture.  Sometimes, when I was alone, I would get down on my knees and cry out to Him in despair, in anguish, even in anger.  And then, I would get quiet and listen to my heart.

His sweet presence never left me.  I did not feel the need to "swim" for safety, because He was my safety.  As I stayed there with Him, my heart quieted, my mind felt peace and my direction became clear.  I slowly and carefully started sharing with people what had happened to me (I didn't tell people who would have pulled me back into anguish and fear) and they were amazed at my peace and confidence in the midst of this horrible situation.

Dear One, if you have been handed something that's heavy and heartbreaking, don't panic, don't react too swiftly, taking the chance of sinking.  But rather, take some time to sit with Him, pour your heart out to Him and wrap yourself in His presence.  His love is a balm that can heal any wound and make life sweet again.  You are His child and He is your Father.  You can stay there, on His lap as long as you want to.

Take some time to visit Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience and see what others are saying about faith.



From His lap,



56 comments:

  1. Hi Erin, I have to admit to not being a religious person. Would hate to be dishonest or misleading. But I love the idea of faith in whatever someone believes in. It keeps us going, gives us strength and pushes to do better, be better. I am sorry you had something horrible happen to you in your past but I admire your strength and courage to move forward. I adore your blog. It is very uplifting and a joy to read.

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  2. Erin, I truly loved this. I feel like "sink or swim" is the same as "flight or fright," which I so often in my life have found myself feeling. When something awful happens, I feel I need to DO something to make it better right away, or run away (however that that would manifest itself). Only recently have I recognized this pattern, and now I am learning to "Sit with it." What a blessing to be able to step back rather than forge forward without a clear thought or plan. It's a gift really, to know you can do this. I love the image of being "in his lap." Thank you.

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  3. Aw, Kim, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoy my blog. I would never try to push religion on anyone. I don't consider myself religious, maybe just spiritual. I get all my strength from Him!
    You bless me!
    ~Erin

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  4. Bless you, Michael Ann. I didn't figure this out until I was OLD!! LOL! But it's never too late. Isn't wonderful to be able to rest in Him.
    Thank you so much for stopping by.
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  5. This is so beautiful, and so wise. I'll be sharing.

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  6. Brandee,
    Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad my post blessed you. It was a hard lesson to learn and I didn't learn it over night!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  7. I couldn't agree with you more on this blog post.

    One day someone asked me if I was religious and I told them yes and they asked how do you pray. I told them to just talk to him. Call on him and he'll listen. Praying is not hard.

    There is never a time in my life where I've felt that the Lord wasn't by my side. I've had some scary things happen in my life and I've always felt his presence.

    Thanks for this blog post. I will be following your blog and visiting alot.

    Members to Remember-VB

    www.charmiesmind.com

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  8. Wonderful words of strength and wisdom for your friends situation Erin! :) If we give all we have to God, we can receive all He has to give! I know that when I experience a day with abounding disappointment, annoyance, anxiety, or heartbreak, I just need to open my hands and leave them open to receiveHis love and grace. :)

    Blessings and love,
    Denise

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  9. Erin,
    Beautiful post. What came to my mind was "Rest in Peace". I know this is usually only used when someone has passed, but why? When Jesus is our Lord, we have the ability to rest in peace daily. We just need to learn how.
    Jesus says in Matthew 11:29,(NLT)

    Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    This verse ties the two together...
    Philippians 4:7(NLT)

    Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    I remember a song from Christian music back in the '70's. It says "I'm not religious, I just love the Lord!"
    I say Amen.
    If you don't know Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life, seek Him.

    In Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV), God says,

    And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

    Rest in Peace, beloved. :)

    Love,
    Susan

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  10. So refreshing Erin! I have found myself teetering between all three approaches at different times. I've had moments where I'm sinking and actually it was the best thing I could do because as I was going down I found His strong, eternal arms were holding me. It has given me confidence to rest knowing his arms are there, instead of wearing my heart out thrashing about in the deep.

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  11. Charm,
    You are so blessed to always be aware of His presence in your life. Thank you so much for stopping by! Don't you just love voiceBoks?!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  12. Amen and amen, Denise! You always have a good word! Thanks for stopping by and blessing us!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  13. Susan,
    Thank you for the Scripture references. I love it that you thought to use the one in Matthew for the living and not just the dead! You always encourage me.
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  14. Beck,
    Surrender to Him is always the best path to choose. His arms are strong and kind and loving. I love to stay there!
    Thanks for visiting.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  15. Hi Erin - I am, unfortunately, one of those people that needs to learn some things the hard way and what I've learnt is panic DOES NOT HELP! And what you describe, going inward to spend time in the safety of God - now that is the way to do it. Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

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  16. Thank you, Tracy! Believe me, I have panicked plenty of times and it's gotten me no where fast, except for straight down. Resting in His arms is where I want to be!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  17. Wonderful post...great reminder that we never have to sink or swim for He is always there keeping our head above the water. ~Love & Hugs, M

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  18. Oh yes, M. Always!! How have you been doing? I hope all things are well. You are a blessing!
    ~Erin

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  19. What an absolutely beautiful post! Praise God that with Him, we no longer have to make that choice :) Thank you for inviting me inside your world through these beautiful words - many blessings to you, Debbie

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  20. Debbie,
    Thanks so much for visiting! You are invited anytime! Thank you for your kind words. They really blessed me today!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  21. Resting in Him and rejoicing in continued nuggets for my heart.

    Thanks for splashing with me. So delighted that I have found another mom with whom I can learn and journey.

    Be blessed bunches,
    Sarah

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  22. Sarah,
    I'm so happy you visited here! You are a blessing! Love splashing with you!
    ~Erin

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  23. Erin, such a great thought! I never thought about it either. You are so right; we don't have to do either. Just rest in the Father. Loved this! Thank you for sharing it.

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  24. Lynn,
    It's so good to hear from you! Just rest in the Father. I love that too. I hope all is well with you!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  25. This is beautiful. I had never thought about not having to make that choice to either sink or swim...when all we really have to do is like you said and "sink" into HIS loving arms! What a great analogy. Thank you! HOPE you have a great weekend!!!

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  26. love this "we don't have to sink or swim" So, so true...we can float on His grace!

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  27. Deb,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Doesn't it just give you peace to know that we can rest in His arms. It's the safest place to be.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  28. Shannon,
    I really like the way you said that. Thanks for blessing me!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  29. This is such a beautiful post with so much truth. I'll keep this with me all day today ;)

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  30. I'm so glad it blessed you, Elisabeth! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  31. Thanks for such a great post. I love how you use pictures to help out with a story too :)

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  32. Thank you, Mrs. Diner! So happy you stopped by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  33. Thank you, Shannon! I'm so glad my post blessed you. Thanks for stopping by to visit.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  34. I have been a sink or swim kind of person for most of my life. I grew up in a house where both of my parents had come from church going families but we never went. I only went on occasion when my Grandmother would come to visit. As a became an adult I found myself searching for something more, and I found it in God. I'm still learning....

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  35. Kristy,
    It seems as if whenever we are searching for something more, that desire only gets filled by God. He is the source of joy, peace, love and comfort. I'm so glad that you found Him. You can enjoy Him at church, but you can also enjoy just carrying Him with you everywhere in your heart.
    Blessings, Dear!
    ~Erin

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  36. Just what I needed to read <3 Thanks for the push to see my situation in a positive light. I put God first and the rest will fall into place

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  37. Michelle,
    We all need a little push sometimes. My day was yesterday...more like a shove! Thanks for stopping by. I'm grateful my post blessed you!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  38. My initial short thought on this is that when a person has this thought "sink or swim" the acknowledgement itself gives the person the strength to move forward. Keep moving forward. It can be a fast forward like a big risk or a slow & thought out one step at a time movement. A great point to ponder,Erin!

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  39. That's very true, Nan! I just like to rest with Him and get my barrings before I start out! But I definitely see your point!
    You bless me!
    ~Erin

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  40. Oh dear Erin, this hit the spot! You're right, we don't have to choose whether to sink or swim. We should just let God direct us. I want to learn to trust Him more, with the future and with all my petty worries. thanks for the reminder

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  41. Pepper,
    I'm so glad you stopped by!! I want to learn to trust Him more! In fact, that's what my next post is about! You are a blessing!
    ~Erin

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  42. Beautiful post. Thank you. I needed to read this today. My Father's lap is calling me.

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  43. Taylor,
    I'm glad my post blessed you. Stop by anytime and enjoy your time on your Father's lap!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  44. I think I'm in the quiet place right now. This was beautiful and I very timely for me. Thank you for sharing.
    Deborah

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  45. Deborah,
    Thank you so much for visitng. I am praying for you as you go through this difficult time. Spend as long as you need in the quiet place. He will sit there with you.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  46. This nugget is a good one. What a great example of leaning on the Lord to get you through a tough place instead if running, or swimming, away.

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  47. V~,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I hope that I always remember to stop and spend time in His presence in every situation so that I can move forward in Him!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  48. I like how you put that, it's true, those in Jesus Christ, do not need to sink OR to swim. We just need to rest in Him. :)

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    1. Amen, sister, amen! Thanks for visiting my blog, Sarah!
      Blessings!
      ~Erin

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  49. What a beautiful post! And wonderful words of wisdom! Such serene moments when we just let go and let Him.

    Warmest regards,
    Joy
    http://www.PardonMyPoppet.com

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    1. That's so true, Joy! Just let go and let Him! Thanks for stopping by!
      Blessings!
      ~Erin

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  50. What an uplifting post. It is so important to be receptive, particularly during our times of need. Simply lovely!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Barb. I'm so honored that you took the time to visit here and leave a comment!
      Blessings!
      ~Erin

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  51. Beautiful. I love how you said you pulled yourself inward and then sat in your Heavenly Father's lap. Since I rediscovered God and my church 6 months ago, my fear of the unknown has virtually vanished because I know that no matter what my crosses may be, I will not be alone and I will make it.

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    1. That's awesome, Andrea. I'm so glad you've found your way back to the Lord. You will never have to walk through anything alone!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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