The Power of a Cannonball
This summer was going to be different.
At our YMCA pool, you have to be fully in the adult pool if the kid or kids you’re with cannot pass a swim test. This means that you can’t be sitting on the side with your feet in the water, or in my preferred spot, sitting in a pool chair. You have to actually get completely into the water. Here’s the thing about the Campbell County YMCA Pool in Fort Thomas, Kentucky: it is absolutely frigid.
For the last two summers I have fought water entry tooth and nail. For years during any cold pool situation I would slowly try and emerge into the water inch by inch.
I’d start with my feet on the steps into the pool. Then my ankles. I’m going to have to do this. I don’t want to do this. This is going to be awful. Why can’t my kids play in the kiddie area some more?
Slowly: hands, elbows, shoulders. In goes the neck and head and if my kids haven’t pulled me down at this point, I then fully immerse myself into the water. Then I just keep moving until my body adjusts and it’s not so cold. Somedays I never fully make that adjustment!
But this summer was going to be different.
This summer, I changed my mind. From the first time we visited the pool, I decided to go for it. The truth is, even though I had virtually convinced myself for most of my life that it is easier to do the whole “creep in the water thing”, it’s really not. I have to get in eventually. I can’t simply sit on the side and watch.
So this summer, when my kids first asked to go to the big pool, I decided to surprise them. They got their puddle jumper and goggles on and were preparing to go to the steps and I said, “Hey guys, watch this!” And I cannon-balled into the water!
I decided that this summer was going to be different.
I had the privilege of telling the story above at the 2019 Bloom Retreat, where over 120 women in church planting gathered in Charlotte, NC to dig into the topic of identity through the lens of 1 John 1:5 – 7. I opened the retreat with this story to encourage women to fully immerse themselves (or cannon-ball, if you will) into our discussion about identity and the retreat itself. As I thought about this story as it relates to church planting, I couldn’t help but think about the Exponential 2020 experience as well.
Wherever you are on your journey with church planting, Exponential is an incredible opportunity to learn and grow, as well as build relationships with others on similar journeys. In addition to the powerful Exponential Conference itself, I love getting to be a part of the Stadia Village, where I get to meet new church planters and teams as well as connect with others who I may only get to see once a year, but who understand the joys and challenges of life in church planting. It is truly one of the highlights of my year.
For women in church planting, the annual Bloom Breakfast at Exponential East will feature Jenni Catron, author of The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. The Bloom Breakfast is also just a fun morning to engage with women on the front lines of church planting and incredible cheerleaders of church planters–all in the same room!
I want to share one more detail about my pool jumping in experience. So as I cannon-balled into the water, two things happened every single time. Even through the muffled sounds above the water, I could hear laughter. Contagious laughter! But another awesome thing happened. Isaac, my seven-year-old, water-loving son, was almost always right behind me. In the time it took to cannon-ball and resurface he had jumped in too. Mom’s in the water, so I’m going to be in too. Let’s do this together.
As I shared at the Bloom Retreat in September, when we embrace who we truly are, we invite others to come alongside us on the adventure and jump in too. The Exponential East conference is a great way to jump right in too! I encourage you to check out all that our Stadia Team has to offer at Exponential East at https://stadiachurchplanting.org/events/exponential/. You don’t want to miss it!
Heidy helps empower women to thrive in all areas of church planting. Prior to church planting and her role in Bloom, Heidy worked for 10 years in Leadership Development and Higher Education. She and her husband Josh planted Movement Church in Newport, KY in March, 2014 and have two amazing kiddos, Isaac and Clara Jo. Heidy is also passionate about storytelling and making any event or activity just a little more fun.