Chloe’s Swimming Lesson

  For those needing a little extra courage to take the plunge, consider the story of our granddaughter, Chloe. Here’s the bedtime e-mail our daughter Victoria sent us last night about their outing to the YMCA. Ethan is away in Iraq, so Victoria and the seven girls have taken advantage of an offer the Y gives military families, and this week they’ve gone swimming a couple of times. Victoria wrote:

 Nothing like a quiet house! All the young ones are sleeping. We ate pizza for supper, and went to the Y. It was a good way to end the week. On Tuesday, all the oldest four, with the exception of Chloe, took the swimming test so that they could go into the deep end. Chloe struggled and struggled in the shallow end with me. She finally came over to me and said,”Mom, I’m disappointed in myself that I don’t have enough faith in myself to try.”

 So I told her three things: (1) That even if she never takes the plunge, she is just as special, and I love her just as much as if she passes a thousand swimming tests. (2) That she should use her mind and imagine herself doing it over and over until she believes it. (3) That the Lord is the One who helps us conquer fears because He is bigger and stronger, and He gives us strength on the inside.

 She mulled all of it over, and never took the test. Later that evening she told me she was imagining herself doing the swimming test. She struggled all night with this inner battle, and I just had to let her. There wasn’t anything I could do except let her struggle through the process.

 Tonight we had only been at the pool about 10 minutes and she came over to me and told me she was taking it and marched right to the lifeguard and told him. She swam from the deep end to the shallow end beautifully. I had to quickly wipe my tears, so she didn’t see me cry. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of her. That’s my girl!

 I think Victoria’s advice will work in any pool we’re in.