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 company...so 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 us...how deep and how wide and how vast is His love for me...it never fails to give forth it's waves upon the sand...it 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.