I found myself on the first day of a summer vacation with my family in Palm Springs, grasping onto the warm, hard edge of the pool with such determination that no one could pry my little hands off. You see, I was actually moving around the perimeter of the pool without completely letting go of the edge. You might think that’s pretty normal for a four year old that doesn’t swim.
I would tell those who dared get in my way to MOVE or else…. (Not sure if I actually said “Move, or else” but I made sure to let them know I was not going to let them get in my way). They gave me looks of annoyance because they could clearly see I had one of those ugly white life preserver rings around my waist, and was being way too cautious in their opinion.
They didn’t realize earlier that day, I was sitting with my dad by the pool, when I decided to take a step further into the cool, inviting water. Suddenly, I felt hopeless; I was flailing about gulping in large amounts of water… I was drowning! As you must realize, I was rescued and lived to tell about it of course. This frightening experience altered my perspective in life and set me up to be fearful and cautious. Through the process of inner healing, I realized this was a root of trauma in my life. This healing of fear created the determined lady I am today. It gave me strength and the power to declare I am not afraid, because there is No Fear in Love!
Our heavenly Father loves us and won’t ever let us down! He is perfect in all ways; He always has the best plans in mind for us, and will always walk alongside of us and comfort us. We are all given unique circumstances; the outcome depends on how we adjust to them and whom do we trust. For me at that time, it was the side of the pool and the styrofoam ring. I needed the extra insurance as you can understand.
My ever so wise mom, enrolled me in swim classes that same summer. I became an accomplished swimmer who not only stopped fearing water, but fell in love with it, and became the “the little fish” in the family.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Now moving forward in life about three years ago, when I received the fatal diagnosis of my husband’s brain tumor in the ER; it felt like I was in the pool drowning once again, but there was no hand plucking me out of the dark, depth of the abyss this time!. It was only by the grace of God that I was able to survive through the diagnosis and his passing. Survive.. yeah, right? But, you’re thinking….I didn’t have the diagnosis… I was going to live! But….it truly felt like I was dying with my husband! My heart was completely broken in two. GRIEF… It’s heart wrenching!
Do you remember watching the movie ET? ET was dying and Elliot was actually dying along with him because they were so connected. They actually became one and felt each other’s pain and joy!
Andy and I became ONE when we were married. That is what Jesus desires of marriages and it completely defined ours. So, his diagnosis was my diagnosis… I felt like I was dying… I would drown without the man that carried my heart. Yet, I did survive and became stronger because of my loss in many ways. Scars from circumstances tend to do that to a person if you allow it. God is a mighty healer! I am an overcomer and a widow who will not drown in sorrow nor circumstances.
Jesus is my Life Preserver; He dwells in me and I choose to live day by day in His Glory, without fear, so I can love and bless others!
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
Leaning into God,
Debbie resides in Murrieta, California and is an empty nester to her two beautiful adult children. She and her husband, Andy, moved to the valley in 1990 with their six month-old son and within eight years adopted their daughter from Odessa, Ukraine, This fulfilled a dream God placed in Debbie’s heart, when she was only eight years old. Her amazing children are now in their twenties and flourishing in God’s magnificent love! Her adoring, soul mate of 25 years passed away from brain cancer: GBM – Glioblastoma Multiforme in May 2013. This changed life drastically, but Debbie does not want to be defined by her widowhood and her loss. She’s rather be defined by her gain in becoming tightly woven with Jesus, through this journey and loving others through their circumstances; joyfully or sad.
Deb embraces life by enjoying hiking, cycling, traveling, and fellowship. She is attending classes to become a life coach, where she feels God’s leading once again. She loves spending time at the ocean, watching the rhythmic movement of the waves roll in and out. Most of all, she is learning to surf over those waves; big or small like “Gidget” when life’s circumstances coming rolling toward her! Through this season of life, Debbie found a new passion to love on others and to connect with God’s community. Ultimately, so that the Kingdom of Heaven can be seen and felt here on earth.