Deep Calls to Deep

Woman Floating 1

One of the (many) reasons I love South Dakota is that we have well-marked, “in your face” seasons.

When we have cold girlfriends we have COLD. We’re close to the Canadian border so sub-zero temps aren’t uncommon during the winter months. Just yesterday chilly, blue clouds dropped four inches of nickel-sized fluff. It. Was. Beautiful.

A South Dakota summer can humble winter into complete submission with occasional triple digits. We simply turn on the AC and pour a tall lemonade.

Seasons are good. One season makes us appreciate the next. The older I get the more I’m learning to apply that truth to other facets of life.

A person doesn’t have to live long to become versed in seasons of hard. Some of us our born into it, for others it comes later.

Regardless, the truth is——–Life can be hard.

Sometimes the hard qualifies as slaying dragons.
• Cancer.
• Unemployment.
• Addiction.
• Abuse.

All of the above are dragons indeed. But hard is a chameleon. It moves, morphs and manifests itself in many ways. It doesn’t have to be battle with a dragon. It can be something as “simple” as Chinese water torture. The constant drip of tiny-hard that stretches our sanity and jilts our joy.
• Chronic
• Cramped.
• Unattended.
• Misunderstood.

I’m not sure what kind of hard you’re facing today but may I share a secret? It’s a queer discovery that, believe it or not, occasionally finds me wondering during an easy season if I wouldn’t rather have hard. (Before you pitch this post across the room keep reading.)

The deep waters of hard teach me to float.

There’s a reason someone coined the phrase “drowning in tears”. It never mattered whether I cried a river or an ocean—they both served as reminders that I wished I’d taken more swimming lessons.

Turns out that was never the point.

God never intended for HARD to improve our backstroke or butterfly.

He only wants us to float.

Floating is a funny thing. It requires next-to-nothing on our part. Nothing except for being still and breathing. (For the record… I stink at both those things.)

Which brings me full-circle to seasons. When life is going pretty smoothly there are moments I pause and remember what it’s like to float.

I recall how it feels to KNOW I can do nothing. I can only rely on Him.

And I miss it.

I miss Him.

I miss the intimacy inherent in being still and breathing.

Friend, if you are in a season of hard right now I don’t want to minimize it. And I would never tell you to embrace it (talk about salt in the wound).

But if I could tell you one thing it would be this:

He’s got you.

He’s got this.

He really, really does.

Breathe Him in.

Rest in the knowledge that your tears are only creating a pool in which you can rest in His sovereignty and sufficiency.

Could I close with this prayer for you?

“Jesus, There are seasons of hard that feel like a rising waterline. We’re on our toes gasping for what we’re certain is our last breath and we never think to stop fighting——–stop trying, and simply float. Reassure us with your tender Spirit that it will be OK. Remind us that you’re in the deep and you’re using it to call us and even more to carry us.”

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night… Psalm 42:1-3

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:7-8

Your DoAhead Friend,



  1. Beautifully written on a day my heart needed to be reminded. Yet another disappointing cancer diagnosis has been given to a sweet friend that has already battled long and hard. Cindy, I’m a swimmer and I float very naturally. You have me thinking of all the times I’ve taught someone to swim. I always teach them to float also. Often I even teach them to float before I teach them to swim. Our bodies can’t sustain in dangerous waters without a combination of the two. I’m seeing the need to float and it’s reassuring me that God will do the swimming and see me to the shore. Love you girl!

    • The big “C”. Ugh. It’s impossible not to be heavy-hearted when it rears it’s ugly head. I’ll be praying for your friend. I love your comment that we often need to learn to float BEFORE we swim. I hadn’t even thought of that and yet it’s a great reminder of just how important this business of floating is! 🙂

  2. Preach, girl! I also stink at being still and breathing… ooops. Thank you for this awesome reminder today! #livefreeThursday

  3. Great post. Hard times are not pleasant but they do have a way of making us see our need for God. It’s too tempting to think we can manage on our own when life is easy. Difficult times are definitely when my faith has grown the most, though it’s easier to see it looking back than when we’re in the midst of it.

  4. beautiful analogy for resting in Him – a reminder I needed – thank you

  5. Lovely, Cindy. Being still sure doesn’t come naturally especially when paddling seems necessary to keep my head above water. Thank you for your wise reminder to float and breathe! Another great post, Cindy

    • I smiled when you mentioned paddling! I can just see our little Shitzu paddling in the lake. He works so hard to keep his out of the water. Paddling really is hard work isn’t it? The worst part is it isn’t sustainable! Glad to see you here friend!

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