August 25, 2013

Victory! Victory!!

Prinny The Swimming Cat

The days have been very busy as the Fall semester approaches.  As I've been juggling preparations to teach a new semester with new students, new faculty, and new curriculum I had a life changing event...  I have learned how to swim!!

I can swim! I can swim!!!  Victory!!! Thank you so very much to everyone who prayed for me and encouraged me over these past few weeks.  It was my third lesson and my teacher had me practicing with a swim belt.  It looked like this:
In my third lesson I was instructed to loosen the belt every time I reached the pool wall.  And pretty soon the belt was so loose it was just getting in the way so I tried without its help.  And the moment I lifted my head out of the water I turned to my teacher.  She had the biggest smile on her face. When I realized what I did we were both jumping up and down in the water laughing! She was just as excited as I was!  I gave her a big hug. I could not believe I had just been swimming for the first in my life!  

Now I never want to leave the water because the experience is so new to me.  When I have my head in the water it is so peaceful. And apparently I'm blessed to have a body that is very buoyant.  My teacher says that I float very high in the water.  That's great news for me since I hope to snorkel one day.

I am an adult who never learned how to swim because of terrible ear infections when I was a child.  I needed ear tubes and then when they finally fell out I didn't know how to swim and was frightened to even get my face wet.

It was sad for me too.  I spent so many years watching friends and family enjoy swimming and I could never join in on the fun.  And I also wrestled with embarrassment.  I simply didn't know anyone who didn't know how to swim.  I felt like the only one.  

Then, one day I saw a youtube video about a woman who was terrified of water and yet wanted to overcome her fear.  And she did! Gill Lacey learns to swim. I was amazed that an adult who feared water could learn how to swim anyway.  So I began to think that maybe I could learn too.  

I started researching as much as I could about adult swim lessons and I learned that there are many adults who don't know how to swim. Suddenly I didn't feel so alone.  Then I began to pray about my desire and asked God to help me.  I started saving money so that I could have lessons.  And because distractions in water were scary for me at that time I searched for private swim lessons.

Once I knew where I would take lessons, and who would be teaching me, it was time to ask for others to pray for me.  I know there is power in prayer and my victory over my fear of water is one more proof to me of how God delights in His children and enjoys giving them good things!

I was very serious about learning so I made certain to go practice in the pool every week.  Sometimes several times a week.  And every time I went I noticed that my body remembered how it felt to move in water.  I was becoming more comfortable.  At this time I was also watching youtube videos posted by Everybody Swim that really inspired me and offered very clear instructions.  I would try to do some of the things I saw if I wasn't too afraid.  ( I'll list the videos I watched at the end of this post for those interested.)

But whatever I did I was always sure to be in clear view of the life guards and close enough to the edge of the pool so that I could grab it if something went wrong.

Now that I'm swimming I will keep working on my breathing and swimming strokes.  My goal is to become a strong swimmer.  And I am happy to practice because swimming is such a healthy exercise for the entire body.  More than that though, I will always remember how God helped me overcome such a tremendous obstacle in my life and how He chose to use the prayers of everyone who asked Him to help me.  

So please let me encourage you to pursue a dream you have always had.  Let me encourage you to believe that no matter what you are afraid of... God will be there with you and He will give you the victory over it if you are willing to trust Him and do your part.

Now when I'm in the water I feel as if God has a huge smile on his face and is in the water encouraging me to enjoy the experience.  I feel like a little kid again!  I'm just so happy and excited! And I realize that every experience of my life could be this new and amazing if I trust Him in the same way. 

Life, I'm learning, is a great adventure that He wants to experience with us. And God never does anything half way. If He's with us on the journey its guaranteed to be incredible.  Miraculous even!

I am an adult who was once unable to swim and now... by God's grace, I can.   What will God help you do? 

" ... I came so that they could have life-indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest."
~ John 10:10

Swimming Without Stress  These videos are very insightful.   
Everybody Swim I focused on videos: Steps 1-5.
Prinny The Swimming Cat A cat that really enjoys swimming!


Denise said...

So very proud of you my friend.

Lizzy said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I second Denise. Proud of you dear.

Even more so that you are putting your trust in God. This is the victorious life he wishes for us all... to trust him even in the places of life that frighten us.

May God continue to open new doors and experiences for you!

la petite lulu said...

Well done! Good on you for learning as an adult - so many people don't, and it's such a shame. My aunty actually didn't learn until she was in her 60's!

Grace Devine said...

Great work! That was not easy I'm sure. And now you can enjoy water and learn all kinds of water sports.

God is great in helping us overcome obstacles. So refreshing to see someone trusting God in their life.

Great blog, by the way. I'll be visiting again. :)

Brenda said...

Well done Sincerity,
I am sure you will go further and learn to snorkel. I used to go snorkelling when I lived in Australia. It is a lovely past-time and enables you to see some beautiful scenes under the water.

Michell Pulliam said...

Love that story!! How awesome is that! He cares about what we care about and He's always mindful of us!! One of my favorite scriptures, I love the AMP version..."I came that he might have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance(to the full, til it overflows)"! Ooooweee! Love the encouragement that you share on your blog! Thanks so much for dropping by...have a blessed weekend!

Michell @Prowess and Pearls


Denise: Thank you! God is so good.

Lizzy: Thank you! Yes, God is definitely pushing me outside of my comfort zone and that is a very good thing.

He certainly wishes the best for all of us. If only our first reaction would be to just trust instead of worrying or trying to do it all by ourselves. :)


la petite lulu: Thank you! Oh my goodness your aunty is very brave. What a great example she is. Thank you for visiting.

Brenda: Thank you. Yes! I would love to snorkel. I have a friend who does this often and says it is a wonderful experience.

I am building up my endurance and courage so that I can go out on the ocean with confidence. :)


Michell Pulliam: Welcome and thank you! It is my hope that this blog is an encouragement to its readers. But mostly that God is honored and glorified.

Maliha Rao said...

Lovely Blog :D Great stuff here!
I am following you now on GFC and I hope you visit my blog and FOllow back too :D
Red Alice

T-Childs said...

I too had a perforated ear drum as a kid and it kicked off especially when I was in water; in part this was possibly the reason why I never learned to swim either. I always stuck to the side of the pool where I could put my feet down and still have my chin over the water! I was terrified of the other side of the pool where the water was higher than me!


Maliha Rao: Welcome and thank you for visiting.

T-Childs: Yes water can still get in my ears so I wear ear plugs when I'm in the pool and it works great.

I'm still a little-bit nervous of the deeper end of the pool but with practice I'm sure I will gain more confidence. :)