Get Out of the Boat: Oceans Deep In Drownable Water

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adventure

Last summer I co-led my first mission team of seven people to Jamaica to serve at the Teen Challenge Program in Ocho Rios. While there, we were able to share our testimonies as well as hear the testimonies of the men and women in the program.  Our week was a powerful testament to Revelations 12:11 that says we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. GO JESUS GO!

After the longest and hottest week ever, our team headed to the beach for some sand and sun…and apparently, an adventure in snorkeling. Anyone who knows me well knows that right about then I hit the panic button. PUMP. THE. BRAKES.

I pre-decided that snorkeling, for me, was just NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.This girl loves the water but she loves her feet planted firmly on the ground.

And then Jesus gently whispered in my ear, as he so very often does. He said, you’re gonna do this TODAY.

Ummmm what? Oh, thanks for the offer Jesus but I am I’m good… Love you! *sips tea.*

In what seemed like a blur, my teammate offered her and her husband to be my safety water partners. I knew I could no longer ignore the still small voice nudging me to step out from my comfort zone. I got my fins, and we were off.

glass bottom boat ochi

Needless to say this was a huge experiment in TRUST for me – and a huge feat to accomplish! Little by little with Jesus, my encouraging team, and a very, very patient teacher, I was able to float and see more of God’s beautiful creations under water. I saw fish of so many colors – something that I almost missed out on because of my fear of the water. But Jesus gave me the courage and the strength to let go of the rope and hold His hand.

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God continued to teach me about trust even after this trip. I realized that this experience goes beyond trusting God for snorkeling. Life experiences, stress, work, relationships…sometimes when situations occur that threaten to take me under the current, I wonder if I can stay afloat through it all. Wondering if the life jacket will be sturdy enough to withstand all that I am going through, especially on days when I feel extra fragile.

But the truth of God’s word is that He is my life jacket, my life ring, the One who preserves me through all things. His perfect love has cast out all fear, and He came so that we could have life more abundantly. Abundant living isn’t about watching others have fun from the sidelines. Abundant living is knowing and trusting that I can step out in faith and walk in my true identity of all that He has for me. It is not allowing fear to control me or prevent me from trying new experiences. Knowing that when the waves of life get rocky, I can lean fully into Him knowing that He can handle it all.

He showed me how it is all about trusting Him in every situation, something that I am continuing to learn more and more each day. Every day, every step is one that takes me further away from fear and closer to the heart of Jesus and who He has created me to be. Whether my feet are on the ground, flying to my next mission destination, or floating at sea, I can trust that He has me.

 

snorkel2

Where has God called you to step out into the waters to overcome fear?

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About stacynjeffries

Life is a collection of our stories, a collection of moments. I love to tell stories! I think that through storytelling, we get to share glimpses of our lives with each other, to see the world in the other person’s eyes. Through the laughter and the tears our stories offer encouragement and hope to others. This space was created so that I could share my stories of healing, redemption, living fully alive, and finding my voice again. I hope my words encourage you wherever you are on the path. I hope you laugh. I hope you cry. I hope you feel and come alive again. I hope you find your own path to redemption and healing. I hope you find your own voice for telling your stories and sharing your heart with the world. God is with you. God is for you. God sees you and He hears your prayers, and He bends down to listen.

4 responses »

  1. I loved your story about trusting Jesus enough to try snorkeling. I went snorkeling on my honeymoon and saw so many vibrant fish that I wished I had an underwater camera. I just used the snorkel gear without the flippers because it seemed like I was swimming slower with the flippers than without them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so brave LOL. Next time I will make sure that I see more and I want to even feed the fish. God has created some beautiful things. Breathing wasn’t as hard as I thought – it was really just the fear of sinking. But it was a good experience for me to have! Thanks for leaving love in the comments 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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