it's the sound of that splash that keeps haunting me.
the one that made us both pause and look at one another before he sprang into action and raced around that pool.
it's that splash that pulled me from my chair as i watched her struggle to stay above water that was too deep, clothes that were too heavy and reach for something, anything only to find thin air.
it's the picture of that struggle, as short as it was...before his strong arms reached in and pulled her out and held her close. it's watching my girl struggle and begin to go under that leaves me cold with how short, how fragile, it all is.
and my mind goes to that moment, the one calm and serene, dressed in a white robe and stepping down into the water and waiting for the moment to die.
i was 12 and i wanted to be identified as His and with my arms crossed and my eyes closed, i was laid under that cold, clear water and lifted back up to a life called to be different.
i wish i had understood more all those years ago, what all of that meant.
i wonder if it would have saved me a world of trouble and grief.
because no one tells you, once you've been plunged beneath baptisms water that the real struggle, the thrashing and the fight, happens as soon as the water begins to evaporate.
as though that old nature, the one that so easily entangles and snares tries to drown a person standing on dry ground...
it comes in all shapes and sizes, the memories of wrongs done can come flooding back and that pain can sneak in, try and wrap it's ugliness around a heart made new and a life marked as His.
it becomes hard to breathe.
when choices are made beyond your control and everything falls apart and suddenly you are told that you no longer look good,
it becomes hard to breathe.
when your soul is already weary from what you are carrying and you find yourself at odds with your daughters all day and your tongue is filled with words that will silence them but will break their hearts,
it becomes hard to breathe...
and the smallest one?
the one nestled deep inside of me...
this one dances.
this one dances in water and gives into the warmth, the dark that surrounds him or her without knowing the day we will meet face to face, without having any knowledge of anything outside the sound of my heartbeat and the woosh of my blood.
this one has no fear held secure in my body and dances with trust in a moment marked with oblivion. and while everything else is going on around this sweet baby, the only thing he or she is really learning, the one thing that is truly leaving an imprint, is the sound of this heart.
and He teaches me gently, reaching into my mess and pulls me, thrashing and desperate, close to His Heartbeat that pulses out a rhythm that i am coming to know, learning to trust.
reminding me that the life i took on, when i became His own, isn't one that will always make me look right or religious or good.
if that has become my focus, then my master is no longer my Lord.
but will i trust Him enough to take whatever He allows, and live a life of faith that grabs hold of His Goodness and believe that He works it all out for our good when we love Him?
that can mean surrender in Him when everything else seems dark.
because sometimes when it's the darkest,
we can hear His Love the loudest...