The following has been sitting in my journal for a few years, but this morning after my quiet time with the Lord, I really felt an urge to share. Well, I was ready to post, but wanted to add a link to another post to clarify something. In doing so I lost my entire post. I felt the frustration rising up in me but was reminded what this post is all about, was able to calm down, and here I go again…
One day a few years ago my daughter and I got caught in a rip current on our day trip to the beach at South Padre Island. About an hour before the incident, I encouraged Briana to go make friends with a little girl about her age, who was attempting to ride her boogie board. Briana was hesitant, but for some reason, I was insistent. Bri walked up to her shyly and asked her if she needed help with her board. Within minutes, the girls were laughing and playing as if they had known each other for years.
I walked out into the surf to cool off. Briana introduced me to Sara, and shortly thereafter, Sara’s mom, Mari, joined us in the calm surf. The four of us chatted and laughed for awhile. We learned that Mari was a former Marine (Mari, is former Marine correct, or is it once a Marine, always a Marine?), that Sara and Briana were the same age, and that they lived in San Antonio just like us.
Briana was playing stand-up comedian when I noticed a look of concern on Mari’s face. She calmly told Sara “Come on”, gently grabbed her arm, and pulled her closer to shore. I noticed the water surrounding us began to churn more quickly. Bri was right next to me, so I grabbed her hand and told her not to panic, which probably wasn’t a very wise thing to say to a 10-year old in such a situation. I spouted out a popcorn prayer when I noticed the fear in Briana’s eyes. I once again encouraged her not to panic even though I was beginning to feel the same. Mari, as calm and poised as could be, rescued us from the pit and returned us to the safety of the sand.
Days later, I was reflecting on the event and realized how symbolic it was of the way I was living my life. For years I had been allowing the waves to surround me – the waves of bad decisions, the waves of anxiety and depression, the voices of darkness feeding me lies that I continued to believe, and the waves of doubting God. I often felt like I was trapped in a prison of my own making, which now I believe I was. Instead of calling or waiting for the capable savior to rescue me, I would get caught up in trying to handle things my way. When things would go horribly wrong, I had a tendency to pray measly prayers and panic rather than waiting on the Lord to calm the storm and save me. I unfortunately took Briana along for the ride, which was so unfair to her young, tender heart.
Shortly after the incident at the beach, the depression that I had been struggling with for years reared it’s ugly head and I found myself battling the darkest moments of my life. You can read more about that in My Story.
I still from time to time get caught up in old patterns, but the Lord strengthened me in many ways during my dark cloud of depression. It is a process that I will probably go through for the rest of my life, but the Lord is reminding me of His power and of the invisible ways He is working in our lives.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16, NIV
For information about rip currents, please visit National Weather Service Rip Current Awareness Page