So I spent the weekend at the beach.
Well…scratch that…I spent an hour at the beach, and the rest was at my cousin’s wedding.
But I’ll tell you what, an hour was all I needed.
Because, you better believe that I’ve got a medical grade sunhat that I’m not ashamed to wear…in public.
I know you want one 🙂 haha
No, an hour was all I needed for my soul to be recharged.
My sister-in-law and I took a really long walk on the beach, and we talked about how there’s something powerful about the ocean. How it really allows you to encounter God in a tangible way. Nature does that to you.
The rhythmic crashing of the waves, the sun’s warmth on your shoulder, and the salty air kissing your cheek – it’s a total sensorial experience with God’s creation. A physical interaction with the majesty of God.
But seeing my mom walk up ahead, I couldn’t help but think about another thing.
It was low tide, and the water was drawn wayyyy back, revealing all of these shells and corals that were usually covered by the water. You could see sand dollars and the shore’s topography in its full glory and detail.
And in that moment, I realized…that is how God works too.
We all have seasons of high tide and low tide.
Sure, high tide is nice and comfortable and beautiful, but there are things that can only be seen during low tide.
I’ve seen my fair share of “low tide” seasons…from my anorexia, to the Ulcerative Colitis’ year-long-bedrest, to my mom’s stroke. And I’ve learned that it’s only when that water is drawn back that God reveals things to us that can only be seen in that lowness.
Things like trust.
Things like humility.
Things like, dependance on Him.
And I’m finding myself smack dab in the middle of another period of low tide, and I’m just waiting to stumble upon that sand dollar or beautiful shell that He has uncovered for me to find, pick up, and take with me.
The wedding this weekend…it definitely brought up some unexpected emotions.
I think for a mother and daughter, planning a wedding is one of the most special times in their relationship. It goes without saying that I’ve dreamt of planning mine forever.
(And shout out to all the eligible bachelors out there…) 😉
But I got a tinge of sadness, thinking about how it’s going to be when that time comes for me. Ever since my mom had her stroke, her recovery has been going well, but I just don’t what the future is going to be like.
And that shatters my heart.
The stroke has definitely added a layer of complexity. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Flying home on the airplane tonight, for the first time since her stroke happened three months ago, I found myself getting angry. Becoming furious at God for allowing this to happen.
Questioning why. Shaking my fist at God, and catching my breath in fury, thinking about having to one day plan my own wedding and not have the full help and guidance of my mother.
We were supposed to sip champagne at a wedding dress boutique and cry together when we found “The Dress.” We were supposed to giggle about flower girls and bicker about seating arrangements. We were supposed to have long talks about marriage, love and parenting. This and that that I need my mom for.
I was sitting in that little airline seat just getting more and more verklempt by the minute.
And I so I did what any millennial-stuck-in-“airplane mode” does, and started hate-swiping my photos on my phone.
And I came to a photo from our low tide walk on the beach that afternoon. And I realized that this feeling right now – of panic and anger, and hurt – was one of those sand dollars that was uncovered during the water’s recess.
God is working on me right now, in seat 16F, revealing something important.
Maybe it’s a need to relinquish control and let go of all my plans. Maybe it’s to not rely on my own understanding, and trust that God is greater than my fears.
Maybe it’s that I need to have a cocktail next time I get on an airplane.
Or maaaybe it’s God just begging for me to let Him in. Maybe He’s saying, Come on, Caralyn. Shout at Me. Scream at Me how you’re scared and sad and angry. Let Me have it. I can take it. Just let Me in.
Because He wants to suffer with me.
Because He loves me.
And writing that out, I’m realizing that, wouldn’t you know…that’s what Lent is all about : Choosing to suffer with Jesus out of love for Him.
I think that’s been the one thing that’s been missing – inviting Him into my hurt. Because the truth is, I’m not alone in this. And the pain this wedding is drumming up is the access point for Jesus to zero in on my heart and draw me to Him.
He’s waving the flags saying, I’m here! I’m right here! Hello! Notice me! I’m with you!
Maybe God is just desperately trying to get me to let Him in. Allow Him to love me, comfort me, strengthen me…after all, that’s what I was supposed to be doing all of Lent in the first place.
Perhaps this is just His last ditch effort on Palm Sunday. I mean, I always was good at procrastinating.
Jesus wants me to know I’m not alone.
I think I just found my sand dollar.
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