Keep Swimming

There is just something wondrous about the ocean; the soothing waves, the salt-ridden air, the beautiful landscape and the horizon of which the sun kisses at the end of each day. For me, its a place of calm, of clarity…a sense of belonging.

When I was about seven months pregnant, I was in desperate need of some calm and clarity. I jumped (well, waddled) into my car and headed for the coast. I drove to a new site, not knowing what to expect. The choice of an unfamiliar location ironically fit the season of my life during that time. I was living the unexpected- although I certainly had a hardy dose of denial about it. I was desperately trying to rewrite this chapter in my story but I was failing desperately. My family was falling apart.

I parked and I started walking. I walked and I walked and I walked some more. Pleasantly enough, the landscape just kept getting prettier. It was unexpectedly beautiful, unlike my current mindset. My life had seemingly become an ugly mess but here I was, unknowingly walking into something beautiful.

The wooded pathway I walked, full of twists and turns, led out into a secluded, section of beach. Although rocky, the big picture was breathtakingly beautiful.

I suddenly became brutally aware of how exhausted I was- both physically and emotionally. I planted myself on a huge rock and I came undone. I sobbed, I wept, I completely lost my cool. And then something remarkable happened-I prayed. For the first time in years, I genuinely talked to God.

I prayed for strength. I prayed for peace. I prayed for guidance. I had been micromanaging my life for so long. It was in this moment that I realized something; it was okay to let go. It was okay to stop trying to micromanage my life. It was okay to accept the outcome of my life, no matter what that may be. This was no longer my burden to carry.

Teary-eyed, I looked up and something even more remarkable happened. God painted me a perfect visual that day-one of which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The beach I was sitting on was full of rocks and obstacles but the oceans crystal blue shade provided a sense of clarity. I looked past the ocean into the horizon. I noticed that there was a lighthouse in the distance. That lighthouse signified hope. The message I received that day still gives me chills.

The terrain I was on was rocky, the water was deep and hard to tread but full of clarity. All the while, the lighthouse was right there…providing light in the darkness, providing guidance in the storm. A safe haven of hope was always there, even when it felt so far away.

I wanted to share this story so that if there is anyone sitting on that rocky beach right now, begging for hope, begging for answers…please know that the rocky part doesn’t last forever. It hurts and it bruises you but as long as you keep swimming and keep believing in that hope- you will get through it.

Today I feel free. I live with true contentment. I have peace. I have joy in my heart. I made it to the other side of the beach and I am immensely blessed.

No matter how far away the rocks become, I will never forget the glimmer of hope that was paid to me on that day. I never, ever stopped believing in it and I never will.

So if you find yourself in some pretty deep waters-keep swimming, friend. Who knows, you might just find yourself somewhere unexpectedly beautiful.


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