beatifully in over my head

I cannot swim.

My parents, bless their hearts, put me in lessons when I was a child. And I just could not do it. I bet they were discouraged. There was one classmate that even told my mom, “Marianne really tries, Marianne’s mom. There’s this other kid that won’t even try. But Marianne really tries, she just isn’t good at it.”


As an adult, I look back and realize that it was because I so feared drowning that my muscles would tense up and I would sink. And I lived the rest of my life thinking I wasn’t able to do things and just living in fear. My biggest fear is falling. Not necessarily heights, but falling. Which is why I didn’t learn how to do many other things (i.e. ride a bike).

But, I digress.

Though I cannot swim, I have a sweet affinity for the ocean. I love the smell of it. I love how the waves completely overpower me.  I love the saltiness. I love the grainy sand.

I also love music that uses oceans as an analogy for their walk with Christ. And there are many of them.

Currently, this is my favorite:

Further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours

Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
And You crash over me, I’m where You want me to be
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head

I did not handle hardship well this season. Instead of leaning into the Lord and depending on Jesus, I turned away and numbed with multiple screens and distractions.

I stayed on the shore. I dug my feet deep into the sand. And I refused to move. The waves kept calling me to come closer. But I moved further away as the tides crept up. Unlike other fruitful seasons, I did not want to dip my toes in the water. Looking back, my fear crippled me, my soul disarmored by my pride. I felt like Job asking my creator why things were happening the way they were. I am definitely not blameless and upright like Job was, so I don’t really have an excuse.

There is a lesson to be had from this dry and desert season. Though I did not endure the way Paul endured trials, God still loves me.

And that is a truth my heart needs to understand. There are no complete to-do lists that can make Him love me more. And in my rebellion, He does not love me less.

The next time I realize, in all aspects, that I have no control over my life, I will welcome the beautiful and overwhelming mess that I become and accept it. To completely surrender under His control and to be swept away from the shore.

Sink or swim, I am free.


For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:20-23


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