Last weekend, we loaded up the van with out family of five, a cooler full of snacks, towels, and our folding green canvas chairs. We wound our way through the northeast part of Colorado Springs before arriving at Rampart High School, the location for Faith’s swim meet. After unloading the van, we move inside the high school to find wall to wall people stacked together like pickles in a jar.
Holy crowds. Are all indoor meets going to be safety-hazards full of people?
The place was so packed – especially the pool area – that we set up camp in a hallway. We pick up a program and scout which heats Faith will swim. While we wait for her warm-ups to start, we look around at the pool. She points to the little white platforms at the opposite end of the pool and swallows hard.
“Whoa, Mama. There’s the blocks. They look awfully high.”
Faith’s practice pool doesn’t have blocks, and this first swim meet will be her baptism-by-fire experience with them.
I crouch down, patting her back,
“Don’t worry baby. It’ll be like diving off the edge. It’ll just take you a bit longer to reach the water, that’s all.”
I hope I sound convincing.
After warm-up laps in the pool, her team lines up to practice from those blocks. Faith moves to the back of the line. But even the back of the line reaches the front eventually, and so she slowly inches herself onto the block.
She bends into position, hands at the edge. Even though I’m a fair distance away, I see her take a deep breath. In one motion, she moves her arms above her head and springs forward.
She dives again and again in both warm-ups and races. And each time she jumps in, I cheer like a crazy person. I’m anxious to tell her I’m already proud of her performance.
Three hours later, Faith finishes her last swim. As we pack up our things and walk into the bright outdoor sunshine, I think about how we all did a whole lotta waiting for three minutes of swimming.
Later that night, after she’s had her fill of pizza and ice cream, I tuck Faith under her purple butterfly comforter. She wants to relive the swim meet, and I tell her again what a joy it was to watch her and how proud her family is of her.
As I snuggle in next to her, I see a picture of the Father leaning in towards His daughters, His eyes watching as our toes leave the block and we dive bravely into something new. He’s already rejoicing over us simply because we did our best, regardless of the outcome. And during the waiting, waiting, waiting – because we stand there shivering fearful or because His timing hasn’t given a divine Go! – He is anxious to have us lean into Him during all the inbetween.
And when we dwell there, He’s anxious to tell us,
“Girl, I’m already proud of your performance.”
Giveaway winner: Using random number generator, the winner of the giveaway Holley and I hosted is – believe it or not – comment number one: Carolyn Marie! Carolyn, check your inbox and get back to me. Congrats, girl!
First I have to say welcome to the swimming world and the waiting. We have been doing it for three years now and it does get better as they get older. There are not as many teenagers that swim in club meets so teh packed house is not as packed. I am glad Faith had a good first meet and that you all survived! I also have to tell you how much your writing inspires me and you seem to post the right stuff at the right time. Love you frined.
Thanks friend. I kept wanting to talk to you about it on Saturday, but watching your boy shine at the gymnastics meet was just too exciting!
I appreciate you. So much! Love you.
I love how you drew a parallel here. The imagery we just beautiful. Thanks for this sweet message.
Thank you, Lisa. Really. xo
Jessica N says
Always love reading your posts! What team is she on? Falfins? We’ve started looking into swimming for my son.
karina allen says
Lovely!!!!!!!!!!! 1) You said Faith’s comforter is purple with Butterflies! Those are magic words…my FAVES!!!!!! 2) The whole thought of God as father is always one that is harder for me to grasp than other aspects of His character. I didn’t have a father growing up so I am not always good at relating to Him as such. But, I do love that He rejoices over us when we do our best and bring Him honor. His heart is always for intimacy with Him, to move with the wind of His Spirit. That just makes my heart want to please Him more!