When I was a kid, I was always afraid of jumping into the deep end of the pool. The deeper the pool looked, the scarier it became. Because that area of the pool was unknown to me, it just didn’t feel as safe. I felt far more comfortable staying in the more familiar shallow end. But, when I mustered up the courage and jumped in for the very first time, I wasn’t met with all of the scary things I thought before.

What was in my head about the deep end was way scarier than what the reality was.   

As we get older, the fear of the deep waters of a pool looks more like the fear of deepness in our relationships with ourselves, others, and God. Just like the pool, deepened relationships are always scary, uncharted territory. It’s far more comfortable staying in the shallows than venturing into the unknown. In other words, staying surface level with someone is easier than letting them in on who you really are or what you may struggle with.  

The Fear of Diving Deeper

God created us to be relational beings, yet we fear relational intimacy. Fear of judgment, loss, and broken trust holds many of us back in many of our relationships with others and even ourselves.  

What would it look like for us to take a leap of faith and dive into the deep end of our relationships? It looks like honesty and transparency. Two, very scary words.   

With the Lord, we must come to Him with open hearts. That is what He wants from us! When we come to God honestly, we get to deepen our relationship with Him, and in the process, we can become more in touch with ourselves. With God, there’s no fear of rejection or judgment. He loves us no matter who we are and promises us the desires of our hearts if we just open them to Him.  

With others, it looks like having hard or uncomfortable conversations. It looks like opening up to a loved one about a struggle you may be facing or some thoughts you are wrestling with. It’s okay to let people know who the real you is, what you think, and how you feel! When you open up to someone, chances are they will open up to you. That is the first step in forming a meaningful and lasting relationship with someone. Creating space without judgment or shame makes diving deeper a little less intimidating. It might take time to establish trust and to really open up to someone, but deep and meaningful relationships with others is God’s design for us!   

Taking the Plunge

As we do both of these things with God and with others, we ultimately get to know ourselves a little bit better in the process. Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself. As we create deep and meaningful relationships, we learn more about who we really are, and the depths of our hearts don’t become as scary as they once seemed.  

I challenge you to take a step back and look at the areas of your life where you could dive a bit deeper. Maybe your conversations with friends are staying surface level. Or you are avoiding feelings that are festering deep inside that you need to have a conversation about with the Lord.  Going deeper into our relationships is far more rewarding than just jumping into the deep end of a pool. With deepened relationships, we experience connection, love, and purpose. We operate in the way God designed us to be!  

Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power.  We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.

Want more resources? Check out our MercyTalk podcast episode “Longing, Beauty, and Community: A Conversation with Dr.Curt Thompson.” For daily inspiration, follow us @MercyMultiplied on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter