“If you really want to do this, you will need to pass my test.” Words to me from my dad. “You need to swim from this end of the pool all the way to the other end – without taking a break.” We were at our yearly family reunion and this was a public pool for the whole facility so it was a big built-in swimming pool. As a girl of about 10, it seemed like a huge task…but one that I was willing to take on. If successful, I would be able to jump from the high dive. This particular swimming pool had two diving boards. The low board, and the coveted high board. Every year I would bug my dad to let me jump from the higher board, but was always told that I was too young. But that particular day I swam the whole length of the pool with no rest. After getting the nod from my dad, I went to stand in line to wait my turn for the high dive. When it was finally my turn, I climbed the ladder with excitement, got to the top, and froze. It seemed so much higher up there than it did from the ground. I was terrified. Unfortunately, there was no turning back. The next person was already at the top of the ladder and was waiting for me to take the plunge. I didn’t know if I could do it. What was I doing up here? But then I remembered…this was something I had bugged my dad to do for years. He tested me to make sure I could handle it. He made the determination that I was ready for this moment. I also knew that my dad would be watching me the whole time….ready to rescue me if need be…and I jumped!
“No matter what happens, you’re going to be okay…” I’ve been thinking about this all week…because it’s been one of those weeks. Well actually it’s been a few tough months. My husband herniated a disc in his back on December 11th and has been in excruciating pain for the last two months. It’s been decided that he needs surgery to fix it. Here we are finally…the week of surgery and I got a stomach virus and some crazy rash that covered my whole body, our daughter had an “accident” with a curb in the snow and not only blew out her tire, but did damage to her undercarriage, and tomorrow, the day of surgery, they are calling for a possible foot of snow. What can I say other than…it’s going to be okay? Right?
Our idea of okay is sometimes different than God’s idea of okay. When I first learned that my son was gay, I heard God whisper almost immediately that it was going to be okay. At the time, I thought okay meant that we were going to figure out why it happened, get him help, and he wouldn’t be gay anymore. I didn’t know any better. I understand now that what God meant is that I would be okay with the fact that I have a gay son. That it wouldn’t matter. That he is still the same intelligent, witty, young man that I dearly love. God knew that I would be okay, I just needed to lean on Him and trust Him through the process.
After that first terrifying jump off of the high dive, I forced myself to climb back up that ladder to jump again. Eventually it wasn’t scary anymore and it became fun. There are moments in life we choose , like jumping off a high dive, and there are moments that just happen, like needing surgery. There are days we are late for work, days that nothing seems to go right, and days that make us feel like we just can’t do it anymore. But just like my earthly father tested me to make sure I was ready for the challenge of jumping off the high dive, you have a heavenly Father who tests you to make sure you can handle what life brings you. He knows that you are ready for the challenges. He knows that you will be okay because He never takes His eyes off of you.