Survival in Life’s Deep End (Never Swim Alone)

Our kids aren’t automatically thinking about survival at the pool; they just love the thrill of swimming, splashing, and doing cannonballs.  They particularly enjoy the deep end of the pool.  There, they jump in, get out, and jump in again.  And, again and again.

Survival in life's deep end (never swim alone)

What’s in your deep end? And, what’s your survival plan?

We were recently at the pool without Stephen, who is a much stronger swimmer than I am.  That man has some serious treading skills!

As Avery and Carson headed to the deep end, I reminded them, “You have to be extra careful.  Dad isn’t here.”  Of course, a lifeguard was on duty.  The kids are good swimmers, and they were safe.  But, we as parents are always thinking survival, aren’t we?!  We naturally want to protect what is most important to us—our kids!  Their survival is our top priority.

God is like that with us—His kids.  He cares about us deeply, equips and trains us for survival in the deep end of life, and is always close by ready to help and protect us.  In fact, the question is never whether or not God is with us.  The question is, are we “swimming” alone in life or under the close supervision of our Lifeguard?

Life’s Deep End Can Wear You Out

It has been a “deep end” kind of year for me.  Going back to last summer even, I kept thinking that I would get a break sooner or later, that I would catch up and feel rested.  But that break never came.  One challenge after another occurred.  And, I had to keep jumping in, again and again, to meet and resolve those various challenges.  Thankfully, God was with me the whole way.  After all, I learned long ago the value of never swimming alone in the pool and in life.  I need God—my “Dad”—to watch closely, to keep me safe, and to remind me that my survival is of great importance, my spiritual survival most especially.

What’s in Your Deep End

Have you been enjoying the rest and relaxation of shallow waters lately?  Or, have you needed to exert a lot of energy to deal with your own deep end challenges?  How did you do it?  Did you heed the “never swim alone” survival tip?  Or did you just keep swimming alone?  Maybe you’re in the deep end right now.  How are you doing?  That’s a lot of questions, I know.  All are meant to encourage you to take a step back and examine your own survival efforts of late.

But I’m a Decent Swimmer

You, like me, may be a decent swimmer.  You may think, “Shannon, what are you worried about?  We’re going to be just fine.”  Right.  So far, so good.  I’m hopeful that’ll continue to hold true.  But, as someone who some years ago literally felt the panic of running out of energy in deep water, I have enough healthy fear, or caution, to realize I’m not 100% capable 100% of the time of ensuring my own survival in this life, be that in the deep end of a pool or in the “deep end” challenges that we face as we go along in life.

Survival Rules in the Deep End

The American Red Cross has a great list of swimming safety tips.  The top two tips are: 1) Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards, and 2) Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.  Those are great survival rules for deep water and in life’s deep end.  They can be the difference in whether or not we live to swim another day, literally and figuratively.

Scripture to live (and swim) by

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (Isaiah 43:2)


Thanks for reading!

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Scripture references in this article are from the New Living Translation and linked to

By |2018-09-27T16:32:23+00:00August 8th, 2017|All posts, Encouragement|8 Comments

About the Author:

Co-author with @DrGaryChapman (the 5 love languages guy). Teacher @WakeForest. Counselor @TriadBaptist. Wife, mom of 3, daughter, sister, friend. Writer. Encourager. Dreamer behind Repurposed Life Ministries, Inc. Peace-loving. Jesus-seeking. I hope you'll subscribe to receive Hope to Build On by email each time I post a new entry. Thanks for reading! Shannon


  1. Nancy Lee August 9, 2017 at 1:30 am - Reply

    All of us experience being in the deep waters from time to time. As you get older, the body slows physically and mind too.It’s hard to go against the currents. Staying spiritually in shape is the best thing an older person can do. In God’s Word, I read promises and He lets me know I’m gonna make it. Why? Because God says so. It’s GRACE. Thanks Shannon, so much for this encouraging article. Keep on writing. Love you.

    • Shannon Warden August 9, 2017 at 1:37 am - Reply

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts, Nancy! I always appreciate your insights! I love you, too!

  2. Sharon Chandler August 9, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Thanks again Shannon for your insight. You “hit the nail on the head” for me with this article. It immediately brought tears to my eyes. It has been an over whelming past few months for our family as well. I love the scripture verse you shared and the visual impact of it. I am also reminded of the many family and friends that God has placed in our path as prayer warriors and “arm lifters”. Through all of the deep end experiences our amazing God has placed people and Pastor Rob along as life perservers to strengthen and encourage us. You, Dr. Shannon, have been a big life saver with your smile, hugs, and meaningful words. We survived!! Praise our Lord!

    • Shannon Warden August 9, 2017 at 11:52 am - Reply

      That’s a great feeling, isn’t it! To look back and remember the struggles but also see how God came through. Y’all are tough, Sharon…survivors for sure! I’m praising God with you!! Thanks for reading and sharing your wisdom!!

  3. Connie August 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I’m seriously in deep waters….. Super encouraged by this. You are an amazing writer!!!

    • Shannon Warden August 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Hang in there, Connie! Thanks for your encouragement!

  4. Lorene Nelson August 11, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Love this Shannon – hope that you are doing well!

    • Shannon Warden August 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Lorene! I am and hope you are doing well, too!

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