The Deep End

I had the honor of leading my church in some Communion Thoughts as we broke bread and passed the cup to one another this morning. I’ve had a few people ask if I would post them here, so here you go… I hope you feel His presence as you read these words and reflect on His sacrifice and the life that He has brought us. I am so thankful for my church and the opportunity to share a little of my heart this morning. May you cannon-ball into the deep end of the water. 🙂

What do you think of when you think of faith? I heard a metaphor the other day (from Glennon Doyle Melton) of faith being described as a swimming pool. Okay, imagine a pool inside your mind. This is the faith pool. There’s a shallow end, and a deep end. The people in the shallow end talk about their faith A LOT. I know, because I’ve been in the shallow end. In the shallow end you can talk and talk and talk and come to a great many conclusions and decisions and still maintain your hairstyle and even avoid smudging your makeup. This is important because you never know when someone will pull out a camera. You can just hop in, and hop out. You can stand around in little circles and people-watch. You can catch up on all the latest gossip and news. There aren’t many commitments in the shallow end. You can spend an entire comfortable life there, really, just standing around being heard. You never even have to learn to swim in the shallow end.
I’d say that a lot of the people we hear from in our day-to-day lives are hanging out in faith’s shallow end. There’s nothing wrong with this. There is so much grace there. Mainly these people just really like to talk and be heard, therefore we hear from them a lot.
I think the reason we don’t hear from the people in the deep end as often is because they’re actually swimming… and it’s harder to swim AND talk. In the deep end, you have to keep moving. It’s hard to look cool. There’s not much chatting or safety in numbers in the deep end. And it’s impossible to get any solid footing. You just have to trust that the water will hold you, and sometimes you have no other choice but to flail about and gasp for air and get soaking wet, head to toe. You must keep swimming, you must keep moving, and I think that’s the point. That’s the dance of faith. It’s not stagnant, it’s dynamic.
These people aren’t as loud when you compare them to those that hang out in the shallow end of faith, you have to keep your eyes open, but you’ll know when you find them.
These people, these deep swimmers, are my heroes. They aren’t necessarily the heroes of the world, they’re hardly ever the poster-child of stardom. They don’t look like heroes are “supposed to look.” Sometimes, they are overlooked entirely. But, still, they are heroes.

Finding these deep-dwellers of faith has been the biggest blessing of my life. My cloud of witnesses is vast, and I have been immensely blessed to have relationships with people of great faith.
In fact, if everyone stood up who has been one of these people in my life whom I think of when I think of deep faith, I believe there would be way more of you standing than sitting. I think of my church when I think of deep faith. I also think of a couple people who aren’t in the audience this morning. One of them would be my mom. I’ve never met someone who had the faith that she had. I feel immensely blessed that I got to sit under that faith for the first 9 years of my life until she went to be with Jesus. Since then, my cloud of witnesses and people of great faith standing next to me has only grown in size. When I think of these deep-dwellers, I think of my second moms who have surrounded me and been through the fire with me. If I had my phone beside me right now I bet you I would have a text from more than one of them saying they were praying for me as I stand here talking to all of you. I think of my youth ministers, and I think of amazing teachers that I’ve had. I think of my small group, and I think of the Highland Shepherds. I think of dear friends and I think of family members, here and in Heaven. I have been blessed with so many names that come to mind when I think of people swimming in the deep end. I hope that you have names such as these swimming around in your head too, and I hope that you have the chance to be one of these names for someone in your life. Don’t be afraid to dive in.

Thanks for reading, and a big thank you to Glennon Melton from for the great metaphor and some of the wording here. I love the visual of faith being like a swimming pool. On that note, dear blog readers, I hope you all have a great summer… Filled with many dips into the deep end. 🙂



25 thoughts on “The Deep End

  1. I was telling Jana that this was one of the best communion meditations I’ve ever heard. She agreed.

    So glad you posted it.


  2. You’re amazing, Carlee! I so wish I had been there to hear this. You inspire and encourage me!! I want to swim in the deep end. Love you!!

    Sylvia Mack



  3. Hi Carlee. I found your blog via Val’s Facebook. You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you so very well. I was a children’s ministry intern at Highland in 2004 and remember you as being just the moat precious, sweet, kind, faith-filled, joyful, and loving little girl. I am so pleased and blessed to see that you have continued to grow in faith and are able to express both yourself and the heart of God so eloquently. Blessings to you as you graduate and move on to your next adventure!


    1. Jennifer, you are AWESOME! I would have been 7 or 8 years old back then. I love that you remember me… How cool is that?! Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave such an encouraging comment. You are so very kind. Loves.


  4. Carlee ~ Thank you for this wonderful reflection! It was one of the high points of Sunday with the Highland Family!

    Michael Harbour – ACU Honors College


    1. Dr. Harbour, what an amazing comment! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! I’ll be an incoming freshman at ACU in the Fall, and I hope I get to chance to know you. I already know you’re an incredible man. Thank you, again. Have a fantastic week!


  5. Carlee, I thought you served the church so well yesterday. The whole time I was watching you thinking, “She should go into ministry!”
    You’re one of the most kind, bright, well-written people I know, and I love your heart for the LORD. Thanks for sharing this Carlee!


    1. And here I sit tearing up in Economics class. Jonathan, thank you so much for these kind words. It truly means so much to me… more than you could ever know. Thank you for always encouraging me for the past few years that I’ve had the privilege of knowing you. I’m looking forward to spending more time with you in the future!


  6. I’ll be honest: I go into Senior Sunday with low expectations (this is probably a character flaw on my part). I was blown away by the wisdom in your words, though. Thank you for sharing.


  7. Jana told me about this. Absolutely amazing! I wish I had the courage and the heart to find words like this in myself. Thanks for sharing.



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