Breathing Underwater

You are in for a treat more refreshing than a snow cone on a hot August day! Guest blogging is Nancy Enlow, a wise woman of God and faithful friend of Hidden Heart Ministry. Years ago, Nancy opened the door for our very first HHM class. When she talks, everyone stops to listen. I pray God speaks to you through her eloquent insights.

I love water – streams, rivers, waterfalls, fountains, oceans – in any form. But, most happily, I love watching the water … on solid ground.

It was a celebration! A vacation we had planned for my 40th birthday! And I was terrified. I was miles offshore, watching the beautiful water of a hundred hues of blue form tiny little whitecaps at my eye level. I was about to scuba dive. Breathe underwater? Every fiber of my being screamed in silent appeal, “Don’t do it! Are you crazy? You weren’t made to breathe underwater!”

iStock_000018539398SmallAs my toes did their final tap dance in search of the ocean floor far, far below, the instructor gave one last thumbs-up to signal the dive, and pulled me under. I took my first breath underwater, and entered another world. All the rules of our physical universe seemed inverted. The sky was beneath my feet, the colors were a new hue, the weight belt held me, suspended in a realm of weightlessness, and I was still breathing! Floating in a space of wonder and beauty unlike any I had ever beheld, my fears left me, encapsulated in the bubbles that were floating to the surface until I lost track of them altogether as my attention turned toward creatures I had never seen nor imagined.

Even time seemed to fold back in on itself as I found myself safely back on dry ground (well, at least back in the boat), and I was overwhelmed by a mixture of regret coiled around my relief. While I was back in familiar elements, I already missed the world I’d only glimpsed; a world that God had created and hidden underwater. Months later, as our family entered a stormy seas phase, and I was a buffeted about on many levels, I thought back to that experience. Learning to lean wholly on the Holy Spirit for all I couldn’t control felt vaguely familiar – like learning to breathe underwater.

As we learn to submit our earthly fears, our emotions, and our trials to the Father, our reliance on the Holy Spirit may feel unnatural (It is! It’s divine!), counter-intuitive, even dangerous, as we long for solid ground and familiar surroundings. During times like these, we are especially thankful for those women who have discipled us, preparing us to navigate rough waters, rather than just holding our breath – instructors who have plumbed the depths, who have the right word to protect and encourage, like a master diver. We need these tested women, who will tell us we can trust the Word and the Lord of all the seas. Discipleship always points us to Jesus. Mentoring is a wonderful method of sharing wisdom through life’s experiences, but discipleship gets us to life, teaching us to depend on power not our own, reminding us that He will be with us, and preparing us to live in a world to come, a world we have yet to see.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you …” Isaiah 43:2