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He will make a way

2013_TammyStrait_ironmanswim

Toes barely touching the water I look out at the horizon. The mountains cast their shadows deep into the lake; a cloudy grey sky threatens rain. We link arms, my brother and I. Barefoot, we stand on the beach. A bond about to be forged in the deep, cold water; the miles we are about to travel. We gaze in silent surrender to that distant place. Knowing, and yet not knowing, what lies before us.

Adrift in the moment we lose track of time. A cannon blares and we dive. A mass of bodies pierces the stillness of the once calm lake. A thundering storm erupts beneath the water and we are separated. Calm, silent surrender is immediately overtaken by panic and fear. Alone. Kicking, thrashing, drowning. It’s happening. I’m going to die. I roll onto my back coughing water out of my lungs and stare fixedly at the clouded sky. As if looking directly into the Father’s eyes I cry out: “Lord, where are you? Please. Help.”

An army of arms closing behind me, I turn quickly and begin my stroke. Stay calm. One, two, three, breathe. One, two, breathe. Rhythm, timing, uninterrupted in prayer: “Lord, go before me. Make a way.”

Much of life can feel like drowning. Arms flailing, legs kicking, we struggle to get our head above water. Pushed and pulled down by others trying to get by, ahead. We coach ourselves: one, two, three, breathe. One, two, breathe…

So many times we’re scared to leave the safety of the shore.

Or we stay in the comfort of the shallows.

But we’re called to go deep.

We believe if we train hard enough or practice long enough, we will succeed on our own. That hours spent in the pool will help us when we face open water.

But when the water gets deep and our feet no longer touch, we realize that our strength is not enough. Our weakness becomes frighteningly real as we face the unforgiving depths of the darkness.

For me, nothing captures the faithfulness of God like my swim on Ironman morning. People ask: what was it like? I pause because there’s no way to describe it without sharing the intimate presence of a faithful Father.

Amongst thousands of bodies equally frightened and terrified of drowning; He went before me. He made a way.

In that moment I realized….  {click to read the rest of this post at (in)courage!}


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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • emily August 1, 2013, 6:16 am

    Lovely post and such a beautiful picture of how He goes before us. We just have to trust {so much harder to do than say!}. Congratulations on an awesome feature and for allowing the Lord to use you!

    xo,
    emily

  • jessica August 1, 2013, 1:06 pm

    if you ever go to bed feeling like you’re not inspiring – know that you are! at least i certainly think so. you’ve inspired me to write again, get closer to God, and get moving! wish you were closer so we could be in bible study together.

    • Tammy August 1, 2013, 2:58 pm

      oh i’m so honored to hear that jessica! i wish we were closer and able to be in community too. i’m so glad our paths have found their way together after all these years! xoxo

  • Connie August 1, 2013, 10:40 pm

    Tammy! What a beautiful peace of writing. I love how you relied on God to get you through your fears and how you are encouraging others to do the same. I love your story and insightfulness. It brought tears to my eyes.

    ❤Connie

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