Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Wave Tossed in the Ocean

"I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind...still YOU hear me when I'm calling, Lord you catch me when I'm falling, and you ask me who I am....I am Yours."

Compelled to leave my world behind, I went to visit the ocean last weekend. All by my lonesome. To most people being alone is not desireable, to me, I knew it is what I needed most. Yes, it was akward at first, but I quickly learned to appreciate the new experience. The weekend was very short. I really only got one whole day there...and although I left wishing I had one more day, I decided to trust that the things I learned from my trip was what God wanted me to go home with. I am satisfied with that, but plan to return alone next year.

I had every intention of reading books, writing, returning messages and such...the ocean had other things in mind for me. Friday was rainy and cold. I met up with some friends for dinner. It was nice to visit with them and catch up on things. Seeing that sleep was not on the itinerary for me, I chose to wake up before the sun and begin my only day alone. I walked the beach for over 3 hours that morning. I picked up shells, felt the sand and water on my feet, watched the sun rise, and watched the people come and go. Being alone gave me the opportunity to think, to pray, to lose track of time, to notice things that I wouldn't pay attention to if I was with someone else. I met another woman walking the beach. We talked about our shells..which ones we hoped to find...we shared where we came from and found that we were both there alone. I shared some of my story. We parted, and I didn't see her again. I went for a drive and explored the area. When I finally decided to eat I wondered what I would do, being alone. There were no fast food places, so I chose a little diner. The tables were full of people enjoying each other's I chose a seat at the counter..the place for single customers. An elderly woman sat beside me. She comes to Sanibel every year for a few months. I enjoyed her company. What a sweet woman she was...someone I would have never met had I not been alone. I spent the rest of the day sitting on the beach alone...watching the ocean, and the people around me. Before dinner, I watched the sun set over the ocean. I noticed the elderly couples who walked hand in hand into the sunset. I was reminded how much I desire to grow old with my husband.

Sunday brought some new treasures. I walked for miles down the shoreline. It was lovely to walk into the sunrise. I found more shells....and had more time to reflect. After my return to the hotel, it was time to check out. I was feeling like nothing really amazing happened, I found some beautiful sea shells, I learned things from watching others, I prayed, I cried, I didn't do what I thought I'd do, but I guessed whatever I did was what I needed to do. Upon checking out, there was an envelope for me. Inside the envelope was a broken piece of a shell and a short letter...this is what it read... "Hi, Just realized I don't know your name. I found this shell, and wanted you to have it. Like your heart, it is broken now, but if we had all the pieces, we could fix it. You do have the pieces of your heart, and as days go by and good memories sustain you, the pieces will fall into place again - forever cracked in honor of you daughter, but functional and able to love and go forward with courage and faith. May God bless you." The tears began to flow as I realized that God used the woman I met on the beach to give me this message of love. So, God did have a reason for bringing me here.

I also learned that being alone is a good thing to be sometimes. It's not always desireable, but it is a good place to be to hear things that God wants you to hear, and learn things about yourself and others. Sitting before the ocean felt like I was sitting before the Lord himself. The ocean has always meant more to me than just the sand and water. It is a symbol of God's unfailing love for deep and how wide and how vast is His love for never fails to give forth it's waves upon the is teeming with life, it is powerful, majestic, peaceful, fearful, calming....Prayer became a live conversation between me and my maker. Pain was real, sorrow was real, grief was brutal, and my arms were so empty! Yet, I was before a God who decided to remind me of who I am and who He is. He is the ocean, and I am a mere grain of sand on the beach....even so..He loves me as a father loves his little girl. I am His. I am not alone. He shares my pain and my sorrow.

I am thankful for the trip alone. I was blessed by the people that touched my heart. Although the pain is as real and heavy as ever, I am reminded of my Saviour's love. I had the chance to be alone before Him. Coming home, I was reminded of why I needed to leave, but I am also reminded of the many blessings in the midst of sorrow, and I feel like my soul has found some rest.


  1. God is truly amazing and what a powerful encounter you had with the women on the beach. My prayers are with you and your family.


  2. I was just in a group discussion this past week, talking about angels and wondering if any of us had ever encountered one that God sent to minister to us in a special moment or need. Oh, Wendy!! I don't know if that woman was an angel or not, but my sakes!! The beautiful mercies of the Lord, our Saviour, our Father!

    God is truly amazing. I continue to pray for the sweet balm of heaven to comfort your soul. For you are such a treasure!

  3. Wendy, what a gift you have with words! I encourage you to keep writing! We will keep reading, and keep praying!

    Love that song you opened this post with! Beautiful words.

  4. i am so thankful for you. thank you for sharing so much of yourself here.

  5. Thank you for being so transparent, so real, and so honest during your life journey. The Lord is using you to reflect his faithfulness and love through your loss and pain. You are an encouragement and a testimony to the Lord's goodness. God Bless.

  6. Wendy, this is beautiful! I am pleased by your sense of comfort, if only for a moment. Our Maker is amazing beyond words. Praying for you!

  7. I am so glad that you actually stepped out in faith and went on that trip, and that God spoke to you in a very real way that weekend and that you were open to hear Him :) God's timing is soooo much better than our own. I love ya......

  8. wow I came across your blog while I was blog hopping. I am so sorry for your loss. I to have alost a child he was 6 months old. His 2 year birthday is quickly approaching and it hurts so much. Sending you prayers and hugs!!

  9. Wendy, How special for you to have time alone at the beach. I got chills when you described the letter and broken shell you received from that woman. Scripture says we entertain angels unawares, so perhaps God was closer to you on your trip than we can even fathom. I like the use the illustration with my children about the predictability of the ocean. When circumstances seem out of control, we can watch God's creation around us like the tides that come and go every day, and it helps us remember that God is still present and in control. The God who created the mighty ocean is holding your sweet Ashley even now.