Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Transformation - - from Fearful to Fearless

The beauty of a butterfly.  It's incredible really, to see how they go from a caterpillar, with many legs and sometimes fuzz, to an amazingly beautiful creature with wings.   What a splendid God we have that would create something so unique.  The transformation process is so remarkable.  I can't stop my mind from going over and over it.  You see, Caleb and I watched the process up close over the course of the last two weeks or so in school.  I wrote about it here if you want to pop on over and read about it.  Every day we check on the one chrysalid we have left and feed the four butterflies that appear to be quite happy.  So, as I said, I keep thinking about this transformation that's taken place right before our very eyes and it has made me more aware of other transformations and how special they can be.

The bible talks about transformation in Romans chapter 12, verse 2:  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  As with the caterpillar becoming a butterfly there are all sorts of transformations in our world.  Sometimes it's us that take part in a transformation process.  When we come to know Christ we are transformed and as in this scripture we should no longer conform to the world, but be transformed.  As the next verse tells us, when we do this, we will be able to test and approve what God's will is - - HIS GOOD, PLEASING & PERFECT WILL.

I watched Caleb last week as he attended his first ever swimming lesson.  Any contact Caleb had with water was either in the bathtub, a couple trips to the lake in the summer, or a few hotel swimming pools.  When appropriate a life-jacket was ALWAYS used.   This was his first time in a large body of water without his trusty floating device.  He was extremely intimidated and still had dry hair 1/2 way through his 30 minute lesson.  Froggy jumps had him only wet just above his waist, instead of to his chin as requested.  Time and time again Johnny and I watched him shake his head "no" to the requests of the instructor.

When the lessons were over he was so upset.  He didn't want to go back.  He said all the people freaked him out.  There were so many people there that night,  multiple classes in the water, parents watching from every angle.  A lot was going on in a rather small space.  My heart ached for him, because I knew the root of his anguish was fear.  I tried to be calm and just let him think about it all.  I figured after sleeping on it, we'd have a better day.  Only the morning wasn't better.  It brought with it an over abundance of anxiety in the life of our 6 yr old.  It was going to be a long day.....

Half way through school, as he was writing some words for the day, he said to me out of the blue, "I'm scared."  Ahhhh....Fear.   What a nasty thing it can be.   I very calmly and quietly told him that I knew he was scared and it was okay to be scared.  But it was in those times that we are scared that we need to trust God the most.  He is always with us and as long as we keep Him with us everything will be okay.  I saw him thinking about what I'd said to him, but he went back to his school work.

This reminds me of a popular bible story, Mark 6:45-52 where it tells about Jesus walking on water.   There was a bad storm and the sight of Jesus walking on water terrified the disciples.  But in that moment, Jesus calmed the storm and told them, "Don't be afraid, .......take courage!  I am here!"   Since Caleb doesn't know Christ yet in a real and personal way, it is up to John and I to teach him and show him who Christ is and how we all need Him in our lives.   This was an opportune moment for me, as a parent, to share with Caleb that Jesus can calm our fears.  We only have to remember Him when we are fearful and trust Him.

Recognizing his fear, I realized I needed to do something.  I called the pool and asked if they had a different time of day that we could move Caleb to for his lessons.  We were fortunate.  But, of course, we know that God was in this.  Caleb was moved to a 1 hour morning class for Thur/Fri.  Instead of 5:30 p.m. classes for 30 minutes Tu-Fri.  He only had a couple of kids in his class and over all there would be way less people hanging around.

His Thur/Friday lessons went much better.  Fear still had a strong hold on my little boy, but I could see him getting more comfortable in his surroundings.  His instructor was a young man named Jake and Caleb really seemed to connect well with him.  His biggest accomplishment was actually sticking his face in the water, however briefly, one time during the lesson.

Knowing that nearly a full week from Friday's lesson to the lesson this week on Thursday was going to be a long time I decided to take Caleb to the pool today to give him some practice time.  The more comfortable he gets in the water, the easier things will be for him.  I knew this in my heart and I SO wanted my little guy to feel courageous instead of fearful.

We settle our towels on the bench and make our way to the pool.  The water felt so good on this very hot day.  He is beside himself with excitement and begins to show me his froggy jumps, ice cream scoops, and this monkey-crawl along the wall.  I asked him if he wanted to stick his face in the water like he did for Jake.  A definitive NO was his response.   But, even with that, it took him all of five more minutes to dip one side of his face, then the other.  I congratulated him and before I could utter another word, my fearful little man was completely under the water in front of me!!  I mean completely!  His entire head was submerged!!  

Dunk after dunk after dunk!!  He was quite pleased with himself and even said he couldn't wait for swim lessons so he could show Jake how easy it was for him to go under the water.  Talk about feeling proud!!  He even decided to hold his breath and see how long he could stay under.  My little man, who only one week ago was nearly in tears about getting his face wet, was under the water for 4 seconds, then 5, then 7, then 10, then 14, and finally for 15 seconds!!

You have to check out these photo's!  I'm a proud mama sharing a moment of victory!!

No tears here, he wipes his face every time he comes up from under the water...

The transformation Caleb made in such a short amount of time is so amazing to me.  He went from being consumed with fear to fighting that fear and achieving success!!   I'm not sure who was more proud of Caleb - - me or himself!!

God bless,

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