An eye for deeper waters

olivia 2


When the words for A Daughter’s Worth poured out of me, God’s soft spot for young women seemed clearer than ever. Before page one was even written, my heart ached for girls seeking value in boys, popularity, body image. I watched them struggling to matter. I saw them drowning in the fight. And I knew the answer to all this angst was a loving Heavenly Father.

Strange thing is, as the book took off, God revealed what I probably already suspected; female insecurities can linger. Twenty-somethings who taught the study began emailing about their own Christ-worth being challenged. It happened to me as well. As I discussed A Daughter’s Worth with hordes of teens, my own identity issues bubbled up. And I was forty-something.

Two scriptures have always soothed my wounded self-esteem at any age: One says that God heals the heart (Psalm 34:18). Another, that I’m special to Him (2 Corinthians 6:18). These verses help my feelings; they should. But in light of these assurances, I must go deeper: If I trust God’s ability to make me new, then why keep circling those insecure waters? What am I missing in the shallow pools of “poor me” living? When will I throw off the floaties and dive confidently into the waves, swimming strong and steady with my Savior?

Granted, new believers—and most teens I’ve met—wade through a “who am I now?” adjustment. It’s a necessary period of self-awareness. I mean, it takes a minute to comprehend that despite formerly swimming in sin, we’ve now been mercifully washed clean. We are His!

But if we long-timers are truly transforming, then where’s the “more of Him and less of me” growth? Some of us are still nurturing shame instead of praising our Forgiver. Some of our Bible studies devote more time to bemoaning personal issues than understanding (or applying) scripture. Some of us pray solely for easier circumstances but never for God’s glory through trials.

Please know I’m speaking to myself here. Just yesterday I journaled this: “I’ve belonged to God for decades. It’s time to trade shallow, self-absorbed faith for the holy esteem of King Jesus. All eyes on Him ‘cause I’m sick of looking at me.”

Want to stop swimming in circles of self? Me too. Here’s my prayer: “Lord, I need a mature faith. I want the adult swim. So it’s time to look squarely on you, the Savior beckoning me to deeper waters. Please show me how to get there. Please give me wisdom, endurance, power, purpose. Give me more of you. And don’t let me return to shore, Lord. ‘Cause that ship of shallow has sailed.”


Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water.”

“Come” He said.

Matthew 14:27-29


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6 thoughts on “An eye for deeper waters

  1. Phyllis Lofton says:

    Thank you for this post, Ava. Even at age 69, I find myself still sometimes nurturing the shame instead of praising our Forgiver. I’m praying, too, for a mature faith and to dwell on Him and not myself.

  2. janycewilliams930 says:

    Ava just found your page. Deeper Waters I can identify with the article. For a season I think we all allow ourselves to get in deep water. Love your work.

    Thanks Janice

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