Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crashing Waves

I laugh at our vacation beach pictures because most of them shout "we are having the time of our lives...wish you were here!"  The truth is, our vacation required a lot of patience and well, work.  Taking a one year old anywhere takes patience and work.  Taking a one year old to a place he really doesn't love brings that to a whole new level. We even came home a whole day early due to our exhaustion!
The first night we walked the gorgeous sunlit sand, sweet Asher screamed his head off.  He wouldn't even let us put him down. We knew he might be a little undone by it all, but we weren't really expecting the terror that was etched on his face. Eric and I looked at each other, laughed, and said it might be a pretty interesting week. 
The second day wasn't much better on the little fellow.  He was battling an ear infection and the words sand and sea weren't making it any better.
The third day we were determined to make Asher take some baby steps.  After all, he can't be a member of our family if he doesn't like the beach....right???  I was beginning to wonder if he had been switched at birth. We started building a sand castle right where the waves come in.  Asher would run to us, stay until the next wave came in, and then run away screaming as fast as his little chubby legs would carry him.
The fourth day, any time we put him down, he would start running.  Away from the water and towards our beach house.  As fast as he could.
The fifth day, we decided it was high time for him to get in the water. Eric scooped him up so he would be safe and sound.  Asher wouldn't even have to touch the water, but we wanted him to conquer the fear of the waves and be in it so to speak.  He screamed his head off.  I looked at that boy, shook my head, and said to myself, "Eric is holding him....what on earth is he afraid of?"
Boy, howdy, the Spirit of the Living God was all over me in that moment.
God has carried me kicking and screaming into oceans of unknown.  I yell at Him and tell Him I absolutely do not want to go there.  He has carried me kicking and screaming into oceans of suicide, miscarriage, depression, financial hardship, crushed dreams, cancer diagnoses, isolation, and rejection.   Each crashing wave becomes a new part of my story as the salty brine leaves my skin more rough and worn.
I think of Asher in that moment and wanted him to know that everything was OK for one reason only: he was in his daddy's arms. There wasn't a single wave that would reach Asher that wouldn't go through his daddy first.  Isn't that what God was trying to tell us all along?
"When you go through the sea, I am with you. When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames will not harm you.  I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. " Isaiah 43:2

Why do we fear when He has redeemed us and now calls us by name? Why do we scream when He never, for one second, has dropped us or made us leave the security of His strong arms?

If 37 years have taught me anything, it is this:  we are going to go through the sea, whether we like it or not.  Your waves are going to look differently than mine.  It is what we do with the "I am with you" part that is going to define our journey. Is God alone enough for us in those heart wrenching seasons?

He truly longs to be.



Trina said...

This is beautiful. Thankful to happen upon it by Heather's share!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words of wisdom. Sorry Asher had such a hard time. I know how much you love the beach. Hopefully, he'll come around quickly! :)