As my head emerged from the water, I knew I was in trouble.
Stupidity, meanness had brought me to this place of cold and death. Pride and humiliation had combined to make me step off the bank into the icey depths. But, I don’t think I thought about dying until I resurfaced and saw them standing on the bank.
It dawned on me then that my brother had maybe been in the same situation all those years before. He had stepped into a November river, been shocked by the cold, and then died. Maybe he saw us figuratively standing on the bank. He certainly died alone. Maybe he saw nothing but his pain.
For me, the sight of my children there, watching me die, was enough to bring me back, to not submit to numbing lethargy, to not give up. I swam back to the bank and pulled my soaking wet, frozen body out of the water.
I know God gave me strength. I know I had a choice.
I think maybe there is someone out there who needed to hear this story today. Someone addicted, someone struggling with pride and fear, with stupidity and anger, that just needs to hear, “Don’t quit!”
Pride and fear, being stupid and mean toward others are forms of quitting. So is giving in to addiction. Love, courage, understanding, humility, kindness, they take work,strength that is beyond our human frame.
God will give you strength. You will have to choose.
I know I need Him every second of every day. I know I have a choice, every second of every day. So I say to you, and to myself.