n the first day of swim lessons this summer, one child joyfully jumped in while the other flat refused to move beyond the first step of the pool. Our sweet boy, the kid who had begged to take swim lessons, suddenly came down with a deep fear of the water. His wonderful instructor tried everything she knew to get him to move off the ledge, but he just would not let go.
I was at a loss as to what to do. Then it hit me―patron saints. That’s it! “There must be a patron saint for swimmers,” I thought, “that he could ask to intercede on his behalf to help him feel unafraid.” After dinner one evening, the kids and I sat down and learned all about the patron saint of swimmers, St. Adjutor. And as I read about him and how he tamed a whirlpool in the middle of a lake, saving many of the townspeople who fished and swam there, I could see the excitement about swimming slowly come back to our son. The next time at the pool, just as he was about to enter the water for his next swim lesson, I whispered in his ear, “St. Adjutor, pray for us.” He smiled, got in, and let go of the ledge.
There have been many times in my life as a mom that I have had to reach out to the saints for additional prayers and guidance. Whenever I feel lost as to what to do, swimming around in the sea of life looking for answers, the life and works of the saints have been, and continue to be, my life-preserver. One could even say that the saints are similar to the lifeguards we see each day at our pools and beaches. Our saints are always on duty, watching over us, praying for and with us, helping us to swim back towards truth when tumultuous waters have led us astray.
Being a mom is not easy. There are times that I, too, am afraid to let go of the ledge and to swim out into new waters, fearful of what may happen out in the deep end. It is at these times that I am most thankful to God for placing such strong men and women of grace and wisdom into the life of his people. We are all blessed beyond measure to have a team of lifeguards who help us to let go of those ledges that hold us back from Christ, and from the spiritual experiences which help us to bring great life and joy to our families.
If you are holding onto a ledge right now, afraid to let go, I encourage you to pick up a few books on the lives of the saints and to spend some time in prayer with them. Be assured, mama, that with a little help from the saints, you, too, will find the strength to let go of that ledge holding you back from swimming into the arms of Christ.