“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

My day started off as any other day. No deviations from my normal routine. But it surely didn’t end that way.

The events of the day changed EVERYTHING.

I was now dealing with a situation that left me broken and numb.

I vividly remember my soft-spoken friend asking, “How are you doing?”

Usually I’d hide behind a simple “I’m ok” or “I’m good”. Instead, at that very moment my vulnerability grew as tears began to flow uncontrollably. Eventually mustering up the strength and courage to utter a snotty-sounding “Not good.”

Over my life I can think of many times negative situations have affected me. Whether it was an argument with my husband, a disagreement with friends and family, or being disappointed by someone else’s actions. Whatever the scenario, it’s caused me to condition my mind to protect my heart. So when I’m feeling some type of way I apply my protection mechanism and quickly respond with a default, “I’m ok” or “I’m good”.

But what was it about this particular day that made me open my heart and give an honest response that revealed the true matters of my heart? It wasn’t until recently I was able to pinpoint the answer. I was living on the shore and not in the deep.

As I was listening to a devotional, the speaker shared how she loved to portray a certain image about her life – an image of perfection. But when she experienced the loss of her newborn her views changed. During this tragedy the Lord spoke to her. He told her she was too scared to live a life outside of the shore and in the deep.

Living on the shore allows us to create yet another comfort zone. It’s where postcards are made and everything is in its perfect place…or at least it appears to be. We feel we have to be strong by ourselves.   Not admitting our struggles and hurts because they don’t exist (yeah right). The shore is the equivalent of the photos we post on social media. It makes for a great image on the outside, but doesn’t capture or deal with the chaos on the inside.

In the deep is where our true security and healing is. Even though it’s confusing, threatening, and scary we can find our peace there because that’s where God is. When we choose to venture out into the deep, our self-dependency is washed away. We can truly cast our cares on God and share our heart without judgment. He is waiting to meet us here and take away every burden we find ourselves carrying.

At that moment, living on the shore just wasn’t working for me anymore. My marriage was struggling and on this particular day everything came to a head, forcing me to go to the deep. I was tired of trying to portray strength when I felt completely weak on the inside. I knew my protection mechanism wasn’t cutting it and I needed more than surface-level security.

Now that I’ve realized this, choosing to live in the deep is the best decision I’ve ever made. My marriage is the strongest it’s ever been. Portraying a false reality isn’t my focus anymore. Instead, it’s trusting God with my whole being no matter how confusing, threatening, or scary it may seem. How else will my faith grow?

So, ask yourself where will you choose to live? On the shore, or in the deep?