Thursday, March 20, 2008

longings of the heart

At CG on Tuesday visitors/new people were asked questions. One had to describe a perfect day - he thought of the beach and the mountains, another had to choose between the two, so even if the first hadn't mentioned it, I would have had the same emotions running through my mind. The moment I heard the word "beach" I felt a sharp pain in my chest. It gripped my heart and drudged up fond memories of my past.

I smiled on the outside but inside I was longing for the crashing waves and calming affect the ocean has on my often overwhelmed soul. It's so beautiful - so dangerous. The great blue depths of the salty water contain many secrets. The wind and gravity of the moon pulling the waves toward the shore in a constant rhythm. I cannot even begin to comprehend how God imagined and came up with such an idea.

I was on the brink of tears just thinking of home, writing this entry tortures my heart. I can't even include the beautiful people I miss so much and would die for that reside at home because that would hurt too much. Simply the place, the creation that God has made brings me to tears. When I was little we would play in the sand at the beach, building walls to block the ocean, we never succeeded. The waves always crashed over the top and we would frantically build up the wall for the next wave. We never expected the wall to last, we built it to see how long it could handle the strength of the ocean. I recall a picture of our mom and my sister and I on the beach in my little pony swimsuits. [This could be a metaphor for life: we can build and build up our treasures in this world but when the time comes... you can't take it with you. However, instead of just barely escaping, God has made it possible for us to store up treasures in heaven that will survive the flames. see 1 Cor 3:10-15]

I ran to the water, biked to the beach, and have been drawn to it all my life. As I got older and was able to drive, whenever I was feeling heavy with emotion; whether happy, sad, angry, frustrated, excited, confused, or whatever... the first place I would go was the beach. I would take off my shoes and walk through the cold water (Nor Cal represent), the waves lapping at my ankles. I would stand on the rocks listening to the waves crash and feel the wind whip through my hair. A friend who listened to my problems, my feelings, the longings of my heart. One who had answers that lay deep beneath the surface.

Once in college we had bonfires at the beach, I was the only one who would roll my pants up and venture into the water. The water was warmer in Central California compared to home but no one else would join me. I was alone walking down the beach praying and praising God for His phenomenal creation. Often I'd build a sand-recliner to look up at the sky on the beach while listening to the sound of the ocean. The stars meeting the ocean water on the horizon is so stupefying. It is so hard for me to understand anyone who could deny a creator when they are right in the middle of His splendor and majesty, when they walk through the waters of the ocean, when they glide across the surface of the water on the waves, the closest I will ever get to "walking on water." I miss surfing, my 3/2 wetsuit, and I still need to air brush and get my board glassed that I made 3 years ago. I miss it despite rip tides, sharks, sea urchins in my foot, under tows, corral, and getting thrashed about like a rag doll in the powerful sea.

The ocean's effect on my life brought me to the east coast. I only applied to schools on the east and west coast so that I could be as close to the ocean as I could. Unfortunately I did not realize the beach would be so distant from Midlothian prior to my arrival. I know it's all part of God's perfect plan for my life. When asked if I wanted to live in Colorado, I laughed and said "are you crazy? There's no ocean." Colorado is breath taking in it's own way but God has made me fall in love with His tide 'there's something about the ocean, that makes me rise up and praise' (lyrics from 'ocean' by ten shekel shirt, one of my favorite songs).

The mighty ocean, with more drops in it that we could ever count; the beaches with more fine grains of sand or pebbles than we could even fathom. The prayer of my life - as the song goes, "how many times have I turned away? the number's the same as the sand on the shore. how many times have you taken me back? and now I pray you do it once more. Please take from me my life, when I don't have the strength - to give it away to You."

Lord keep me strong, I know where it is that You call me. I know that if I follow You that is where I can best serve You and glorify You. I do not want to take anything for granted, I do not want to fight You. I want to glorify You through my life and follow You to the ends of the earth. Thank You for everything You have given me, my memories, family, and friends. I thank You for all You have created, especially the oceans at this time. Please help me to be content with where You have called me. Please ease these longings of my heart. Please make my heart to long only for You.

1 comment:

Miss Michelle said...

Jilly-O! Stay strong my friend. The wonderful thing about the ocean compared to so many other loved ones in our lives is that it will ALWAYS be here waiting for your return. Maybe it's not so different lol cause so will we!