You know that scene in Finding Nemo where Dory and Marlin are swimming deep into a bottomless, dark cavern? Marlin, Nemo’s Dad, has no idea where they’re going or what will happen next, yet his friend Dory is happily singing “Just Keep Swimming!” The two of them together sum up my special mom split-personality perfectly. Some days I am overwhelmed by changes, unsure of where I’m going and what will happen next. But other days, when I’m at my best, I can happily sing to myself, “just keep swimming!”
This past month has been chock full of changes: We moved across the country (leaving behind friends, activities, and a sweet Mid-West lifestyle), I fractured my ankle (which cancelled my Marathon training and hopes), I experienced a death in my family (currently texting funeral director while I type this), Nick started a new school (after homeschooling for the past 3 years – can you say “separation issues”), I stopped homeschooling for the first time in 13 years (who am I?), my oldest started college (parenting an adult is harder than any other season, FYI), and, trust me, the list goes on. There have been moments in all of this where I wanted to just stop in my tracks and stare into the abyss, like Marlin, or maybe even try to swim backwards a little bit.
And I actually LIKE change. When it comes one change at a time. Or when I get to plan and prepare for the change. I’m usually the change initiator. I love to change my hair, home decor, routine, anything to spice things up. But sometimes change falls like a ton of bricks. When you feel like you don’t have the energy to even dig out of that pile, as I have felt lately, all we have to do is “just keep swimming!”
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.