Fear can feel a lot like quicksand.

It occurs to me late at night as I lie in bed and sigh and roll and shift and think about that last chapter I wrote and what words are missing and what words need to be cut right out. Peter is spread out in the exact same position as his four-year-old son lying on the floor next to our bed. Both of them heaved on their backs with right arm splayed out behind their heads.

I’ve been trudging forward and not moving all day on Monday. There’s a running list exhausting my head, there is a global webcast I’m editing content for, there’s a countdown to connecting women (in) real life that I’m dreaming about, and my creativity won’t come out to play because all this fear is getting in the way. Most of the morning I’d spent flailing and panicking and getting absolutely no where except caught deeper in this fear I can’t swallow past.

Quicksand I think.

In my boys’ favorite travel guide The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook they share this on how to escape from quicksand:

  1. When walking in quicksand country, carry a stout pole- it will help you get out should you need to.
  2. As soon as you start to sink, lay the pole on the surface of the quicksand.
  3. Flop onto your back on top of the pole. Place the pole at a right angle from your spine to keep your hips afloat.

Did you get that last point? They advise you to lie down on top of the quicksand. Not to try and run away. Not to try and pull yourself out. Not to struggle. But to surrender and be still.

4. After a minute or two, equilibrium in the quicksand will be achieved, and you will no longer sink.

Your body a right-angled cross with that sturdy walking stick will float on top of the panicked sand.

I need a stout pole. This is quicksand country.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
~Edward Mote