Lessons from a Near Drowning

Yep, you read that title right. My 2 year old son had a near drowning accident last week and it was the most startling situation I have been in yet as a mother. We like to toss around how “life is fleeting” and “anything can happen.” But, we forget how true those words are until we are faced with one of those moments.

My two year old is quick in not only speed but wit! All day at the pool he was trying different ways to convince me he did not need his puddle jumper (safety vest). And all day I was telling him that he did. He was in a few timeouts as he kept trying to get in the water after taking it off or taking a break. He just did not want to obey. We were getting to the end of our time at the pool and he asked to take them off and stay in the small 1 ft area of the pool. I said okay and stood near by with my sister in law. I turned my head from him for just a minute. Things happen so fast. The guilt still wants to creep in and steal not only the color from my face but the peace I have been claiming in Christ.

In that minute he had snuck passed me and climbed the steps to the full size pool to play with his older brother. His brother told him to stay on the steps and swam away. Of course he didn’t listen and jumped off the steps after him, unfortunately though, his brother didn’t know. So, there he was face down in the water struggling to bring his head above water.

Gratefully, my daughter saw him and tried to swim after him. She couldn’t get him and decided to call for me (praise God!). I turned and ran to pull him up. As I pulled him out of the water he was beginning to pass out. It was awful. I felt guilt wash over me like weighted blanket. To make matters worse, I had taken CPR three weeks prier… did I remember anything? NO! I feel confident I could have done breaths and compressions but what to do in the-in- between vanished from my memory. I felt like I had a neon sign of conflicting messages scrolling back and forth in my head! Pat his back? Don’t pat his back? Tip him side ways? Tip him forward? It was a mess of unhelpful words!

The next 15 minutes were terrible as I tried to help him get the water out of his body and keep him coherent. All the while, guilt eating me up inside. What will people think? Will they take him away from me for being a negligent parent? One minute. One literal minute and that is all it took.


He didn’t drown. He was taken to the ER and was sent home with a lot of stickers and x-ray to prove his lungs were clear. And not a soul even hinted at me being the world’s worst mom. He made a lot of friends and he thinks the ER is a super cool place to go. I am so grateful. And beyond that, I am grateful for what I learned through this awful situation.

Here is what God taught me through this…

Live in what happened, not what didn’t happen

It is so easy. SO easy! To stay fixated on what happened! To pitch a tent in self doubt and grief. I could replay that day in my head for days. I could imagine a million graphic and horrific outcomes. Or, I could choose to focus on my amazing God, who in fact loves my bubs more than me, and what HE did for us that day! He preserved my son’s life and that is where I want to live. A heart and mind focused on what He did do and not what could have happened! Don’t stay in the ‘what if’, Friend, I implore you to claim truth!

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:3

Live in Gratitude

Life IS fleeting and our lives can change in an INSTANT! We have a choice here too. We can stay bogged down by our situation or have praise and thanksgiving forever flowing from our lips. Blessed be HIS name and mighty are HIS works! There isn’t always a happy, for us, ending. But when we trust God and we trust that He does work all things together for our good and His glory, than we can hold life loosely. I have a dear friend who just had brain surgery and tonight her husband joked that she came out of surgery more joyful than she has ever been. Can you literally put yourself in that position and imagine joy just overflowing out of you? Wow! She does exude joy because she is trusting in God and holding life loosely. Trust requires all of us, all in for God. We can’t give him pieces of our life and hold back something else. That is called idolatry. We have to give thanks for what He has done and trust His plan is best for us.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Obedience is Life or Death

And lastly, obedience is serious. I know we all KNOW that, but do we know it? Do we believe it? Do we know in our heart and our head that we truly must obey God and His word? Friend, I don’t know you, but I love you and I blog for YOU! I don’t want you to miss this essential message, obedience is key to life. Not only physical but also spiritual life. Do you have a calling on your time, finances, or comfort zone? God asks us to do different things that He will equip us to do. Step out in faith, today. Do not delay anymore in being obedient. Our spiritual life will suffer if we continue to delay in disobedience. Today is your day to ‘YES’ to whatever He might be calling you to!

I am so thankful that our story ended happily, but I am not naive to the fact that your story might not have the same ending. I love you, Friend, and I wish I could hug you and hear your story. I am always available to listen if you have a story to share. But, no matter your ending I beg you to turn to Jesus and call out to Him. He is the source of strength to even make the choice of gratitude. Even if…, no matter what…, HE IS GOOD! Praise Him and just say his name over and over if that is all you have the strength for in the moment!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

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