Fresh from the mandatory shower, I stood there shivering, suddenly engulfed with that familiar stabbing pain of being the last kid to get picked for the school sports team. I was embarrassed by my ill-fitting swimsuit that loosely draped my body due to recent weight loss. My new swimsuit was stuck in shipping no-man's land and I didn't want to wait for its arrival to go to the pool. After all, 50 years is long enough to wait, don't you think? The revelation minutes earlier that school swim teams would be practicing in the same pool as middle-aged, out of shape me, created deep second thoughts about whether I should turn around and go home. But I was already there. And the determination to practice what was being taught to me in weekly swim lessons was stronger than the fear. Sort of.
So there I stood last Thursday evening. Just waiting for the one lane that would open at 7pm, when the the high school swim team took over from the younger ones. The one lane. Yeah, that one: The first one in front of the bleachers where the parents sat to watch their aspiring athletes. Strange looks from a few kids and parents did nothing to encourage me. And then it was 7pm. So I mustered my best fake confidence, marched in front of the remaining parents who stayed to watch the teens, and got in the pool. Show time.
|Tools of the Trade|
Next thing I knew, it was 30 minutes later, and I found myself walking to my locker with a smile forming on my face. Though exhausted and slightly dizzy from the lack of oxygen, I was thrilled. Accomplished. And it confirmed, once again, everything I know about walking through life as a Christ follower with OCD. It's ok to feel fear. It's not ok to let it control me. With my Lord and the ERP treatment He graciously brought to my life, I'm able to do things I never thought possible. But then I guess rescuing humanity from the grave is kind of an impossible thing too. But God did it. He wants to rescue everyone. You can accept His free gift right now. Don't let fear get in the way.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10 NIV