Last week, Brooke texted me and said, "Let's go to the pool after you get home from work." When I got home and walked through the door, June was ready to go, but Brooke still had to feed Sunny one more time. So, June and I left before them, and loaded our pool things into our Madsen Cycle and pedaled off down the street.
June has always been a hesitant kid, therefore it takes her a while to get used to things. We are continually challenging her to be brave and strong in the midst of anything new. Sitting in the back of the new bike took a little convincing and like always, once we were riding she enjoyed herself and I could even hear her little voice yelling, "Look a bird! ... Look a squirrel! ....Look, Daddy, a bird AND a squirrel!" After our ride across town, we arrived at the pool, and the floaty that has produced lots of tears the last two summers came out. We have never put it on her successfully and always decide, "let's not fight this battle today."
But, I was riding the high of watching her bravery in the bike, so I pressed the issue and said, "We either put it on or we go home." After a few fake tears we got it on, and we walked down the steps of the pool hand in hand. June's normal experience in the pool is either with Brooke or me holding her in the water the entire time so, when I let go, and she bobbed up and down I exclaimed, "Look June, you are floating!!" To which she replied, "I am floating in the seaaaaa!!"
After two hours in the pool and some pruney fingers, I told Brooke I don't think I've ever seen our daughter smile so much for so long. She kept swallowing gulps of water because she couldn't stop smiling. It was amazing. (The smiling part, not the swallowing water part.)
Lately, I have felt like God is pushing me toward something, but I have no idea what it is. And like my daughter on the edge of the pool, I don't want to put on the floaty. I've never worn it before, and to me, it is the unknown -- what if it's scratchy, or too tight, or the clip pinches my skin!? It's scary, the unknown, and I would rather keep things the way they've been. June always enjoys the water in my arms, but I knew, with this floaty, she would enjoy it more. Better yet, someday, when she can swim without the floaty, her enjoyment will be even greater. And as her father, I want to guide her there.
And this is why I love being a dad because I know God loves me more than I love June and Sunny. I know that He wants me to put on the floaty in this season of uncertainty and second-guessing and trust Him. It's always easier said than done because I like the way my life is. I have had some great years doing what I do, but change is coming, and I can lean in, accept it and let God guide me, or I can stand, crying at the edge of the pool, and go home without getting to swim.
When I think about God saying to me, "We either put on the floaty and you trust me or we go home." I pick trust! And I want to pick trust. I believe the tension and frustration in my life is because I am not picking trust, simple as that. I needed a text from Brooke that said, "Let's go to the pool today" to show me that I want what I gave to June yesterday. I want the new thing my father has for me because His better is better.
Today, I am choosing to put on the floaty. Even more so, I'm choosing to get in the bike in the first place and trust that the ride "to the pool" will also be for His glory and His purpose.
If you find yourself in a season of second-guessing and uncertainty, I would challenge you to join me -- let's put on our Nemo floaties, walk to the edge of the pool, and jump in.