The rush of water closed over my head, sucking me under. I struggled to force my way to the surface, careful to keep my feet tucked close, but the force above me was stronger than my efforts. Then I recalled our guide’s instructions.

“Tuck and relax. It’s like a water funnel. Your personal flotation device and the pull of water will shoot you out on the other end if you don’t fight it.”

When you are being dragged down into the dark of the water, the natural reaction is to fight for the surface, fight for air, fight to get out. My instinct had been replaced with knowledge. I trusted our guide, held my nose, tucked my knees and went with the flow. Seconds later my head broke out of the water and cool air filled my lungs, sunlight bathing my face. Not bad! Not bad at all. With a huge grin I gave my husband a thumbs up and swam toward our raft.

The past few months have resembled a maddening whirlpool, churning with speed and pressure, seeking to drag me down, attempting to steal my peace.

Waiting on the unknown for my son’s kidney transplant. Dealing with an aging father whose fall and broken bones left him with a tenuous grip on life. Responsibilities pile up. Travel, home, care of a teenager and husband, trying to meet the deadlines (albeit self-imposed) on my book.

Sometimes the stress of everyday life has me fighting for air, grasping frantically for the surface, struggling to save myself. The more I struggle to save myself, the longer I stay under.

What I need to do is trust my Guide. Follow directions. Relax. Let the Life Preserver and the pressure do what it’s meant to do.

Experience tells me I am free to enjoy the ride. I don’t always remember that lesson well. I seem convinced that worries somehow improve the situation.

The truth is, my life is in good hands. My head will rise up to where I can breathe with ease, letting the Son calm the fear in my heart. He says, “My yolk is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30. Yolked with Christ, he carries the weight of my burdens. Not only that, but he makes me strong. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I’m free to tend to those who depend on me with a genuine smile, give them a thumbs up and board the boat to row some more.

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