October 8: Deep Calls to Deep: When You Feel Like You're Drowning in Life

I have this irrational fear of running my van off the road into a lake with all my children inside.

Subconsciously, I hold my breath and my chest tightens, imagining how the scenario would unfold. The panic, the sheer terror as the water begins flooding in, the van sinking to the depths with all of us trapped inside, screaming.

Who would I unbuckle first? Who would I save if I didn't have time to grab everyone, and how would I choose? Would I even be able to get out of the car, or would we all be totally screwed?

Not that this doesn't happen to people, but this is probably an irrational fear for me as we live…inland. And not around any lakes that one could, without a lot of effort, drive a car into haphazardly.

That's how it goes with most fears, though, isn't it? It's so much bigger and badder in your mind then in real life. In fact, many of them wouldn't actually play out in real life…at all.

I find that a lot of the time, when I'm overwhelmed by life and the house and my children and my to-do list and crazy schedules, I feel like I'm trapped in that proverbial van of panic and fear. Gasping for breath, clawing at the door, desperately trying to think of a way out, wondering if anyone notices that I'm sinking.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. {Psalm 42:7}

I tend to get frozen in time. I sit there, staring out the window, watching the water splash up over the brim, then proceed to rise. Higher. And higher. And I'm sitting there, sinking.

I look around at the mess of a house we live in on a daily basis, and I wonder, where does one even start to get things cleaned up and organized? And then keep it that way?

How does one get up in the morning, on time, with the first chime of the alarm, when you are still sooo tired, every day? And how does one stumble over to the treadmill in that foggy state, without any coffee??

And how does one navigate the field of parenting and manage to avoid all the land mines littered across that expanse in the process? How do you not lose a leg to bullying, a hand to picky eating, ears to all the fighting, arguing, and back-talking, and a heart to struggles and pain of your children?

How do I balance yet another task, maybe even a good and fun one, without the whole house of cards crashing down around you? How do you hold it all up without the weight of it all crushing you? Pulling you down into the dark deep. Gasping for breath but inhaling only water…

Because ultimately, if you don't get out of that van, there will be certain death.

And I have wondered lately if all the fear and the panic and the being overwhelmed are pushing me towards a place I don't often want to go.

Certain death.

Not in the physical sense, but the spiritual. Death to self.

When I realize I'm sinking, maybe instead of clawing at the windows and desperately trying to figure a way out, I need to just…allow it. Feel all the feels and think all the panicky thoughts, but then bring it to the Lord. Because if anyone can dredge a sinking soul out of the murky deep, it's a God who can walk on water.

And He doesn't just rescue us from the depths of our sin, He promises to make all things new.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! {2 Corinthians 5:17}

But the old life has to die before the new is born. One has to lean into the pain and fear, allowing the van to sink instead of seeking another way or trying to get out. Only then can the Lord resurrect the new, dredge the transformed soul up from the depths.

I feel the Lord gently calling me into the deep, but it's a scary place to go. I know that there's new life on the other side, that there's redemption and purpose, but the process of surrender can be agonizing. Learning to lean into the Lord instead of trying to claw my way out or think of another way.

Father, give me the courage and discipline to just…sink. Where deep calls to deep.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. {C.S. Lewis}