Like usual, I expected the words to come when the wheels of the airplane left the ground. I tried, I really did, but no profound thoughts were anywhere to be found. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t alone, like I had traveled so many times before. Perhaps it was that I wasn’t wrecked with sadness and grief over losing everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where it just hits me. Just a week ago, I signed papers to take my name off of my home of 15 years. I headed down to my home town with a list of things to return to him. This list consisted of house keys, the safe combination, and just a bunch of little things. As I gathered them all up, I found myself wishing he were returning some things to me. My shattered self-confidence, and the last year of my life that was stolen by grief would have been a couple of them. Then I remembered Pastor Matt talking in church about how you can’t go back, you get one chance. Since there’s no going back, why would I want to waste even more time trying to figure out the why of my situation? I keep reminding myself that I did everything I could, and the time has come to move forward. No more looking back. No more trying to figure out what I did wrong.
As I sat there I realized, what I thought was everything to me, was not even a comparison to what God has brought into my life in the past few months. I obviously don’t know what’s to come, and I can’t always control it, but what I can control is how I react when problems arise. I can control how I treat others, even when they are not so nice.
“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I might have a simple mind, because it always amazes me how I can hop on a plane and a few hours later step off into a completely different world. On this day, I found myself in my most favorite place, the beach. As the sand washed out from under my feet I thought about how it’s literally happened like that in my life. The ground I was standing on just disappeared. Everything that I once knew, was shattered in a split second. Sometimes simple thoughts are the most profound. I stood there as the ground beneath me slipped away and thought, “What do you do when this happens? Duh, find a new place to stand.”
When we landed and finally made it to Daytona, my traveling companions were tired. In her defense, Bailey is pregnant, and was worn out. (She also started a new blog while at the beach http://www.gracefullyuncensored.com go check it out!) While they napped I walked the beach. I always have deep thoughts while walking the beach. Standing at the edge where the water meets the shore, I’m reminded that my issues are not so big. There, I feel small. There, I feel not so broken. There, I feel hope for today. I came across quite a few little things on my trip across the sand that made me stop and think. Lucky for you, I’ll share them with y’all.
This little leaf seemed so out of place in such a foreign environment, I just had to snap a picture. It made me think of how I feel 99% of the time. I’ve always felt like I just don’t fit in. I’ve gotten used to being the outcast through the years. I am not afraid to do my own thing. That’s not saying I don’t wish I could feel like I belong somewhere. I just know that I’ve been set apart for a reason, and when the time comes I’ll not be afraid to step out and be a difference maker. Please don’t read this and think I have some sort of highly inflated ego. That is NOT the case here. I simply know without a doubt that I’m not “called” to be a clone of the world. God has pulled me out of that, and given me the freedom to be unique!
I sat in my chair alone on the beach for at least 30 minutes, before the water finally made it up to kiss my feet. Sitting there, where I usually ask God to step in and meet my needs. I realized I don’t really have much to ask for. I’m happy! There are people who I pray for daily, and I did so later on that day. In that moment though, I just stood there thanking him saying you always send just what I need at just the right time. Eventually I got up out of my pretty, blue Adirondack chair, and meandered down the shoreline. At one point, I looked down to see this…
There were at least a thousand sticks scattered along the beach that day, but there were only two like these. I started thinking about how people have these pretty wooden crosses hanging in their homes. The make them in all shapes and sizes. When I think about the cross, I really don’t picture it as pretty. It was heavy and hard to carry. It was rough and most likely full of splinters. I imagine it took everything He had to drag it up the hill, knowing he would ultimately be nailed to it. By the time He got it to the top of the hill, it probably had more than a little of His blood on it, and by the time the day was finished it was covered in the most precious blood ever shed. To onlookers that day it was probably a dirty, grotesque, chunk of wood. To those of us who call ourselves Christians today, it’s a beautiful symbol of our saving grace. Even as He hung there dying, His forgiveness was available to the men being crucified alongside him.(Matthew 27:38) Sadly, only one of them accepted. Some of you may believe like I do, some of you may not(I respect your stance, it’s your decision to make) but for me there is no choice anymore.
Many things in life are like a circle. We call it our “circle of friends”, the “circle of life”, there was even a speech at our wedding about how “a ring is a circle that cannot be broken”. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, circles break. It’s hard, and it sucks. A friend betrays you, your spouse cheats, people pass away or move away, we can’t control everything. When there is a gap in your circle, maybe it’s happened for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, God wants you to step through the gap out of your comfort zone. Perhaps, He has a plan and those people/things were holding you back from it. I’m not an authority, on well, anything really. I just know what’s in my heart, and the clarity I’ve gotten in my situation. For me, in my life, I have to believe He has a plan. It keeps me going. Broken circles, sometimes heal, or occasionally they remain broken until someone new comes along with the missing pieces. I’m a firm believer that God sends the right people into our lives at just the right times.
I could stand in this place a thousand times and every single one I would find myself in awe. But what about those ordinary times standing in the kitchen? What about when you feel like crying because you accidentally burned dinner? Well, get ready for it, LIFE GOES ON! It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of everyday life. We let so many non-issues upset us. We worry about things that will never happen. We stress about things that are beyond our control. Be good, be kind, be honest, and LIVE YOUR LIFE. You can sit on the couch and let time pass, or you can get up and have an adventure. Either way life will keep moving forward. In the times when anxiety and sadness threaten to overtake you, FIGHT through it any way you can. Fight for the pure joy you see in the eyes of the ones you love when you are together. Fight for the chance to make beautiful memories for tomorrow. Fight to make the world a better place. Some days you may have to fight just to drag yourself out of bed, DO IT! Don’t let fear win! If you allow it to, fear will destroy you. Don’t allow it to hinder your journey, look it in the face and laugh! If you woke up today, that means there’s still life to be lived. Get busy! There’s only one today, so make the most of it. Oh, and if ever there comes a day when you feel like you have no fight left, find me! I’ll let you borrow some of mine!