I went to California last weekend. More specifically I went to the ocean. What I mean by that is…. THE OCEAN!
I stepped off the pavement and into the deep, soft sand and in that millisecond peace entered my soul. A quiet joy spread through my heart and a satisfaction that finally I had made it home. Finally, 20 years later.
Saturday we spent the entire day in the ocean. A WHOLE day.
I lived my whole life near the ocean. Then I moved near the mountains. Twenty years. Almost twenty-one…Twenty years of never feeling as if I were home. Twenty years of homesickness. Twenty years of trying to make Colorado my home in my heart. Twenty years of striving to find the beautiful in the mountains when all that I wanted was an ocean spread out in front of me. Twenty very long years.
There was so much good and wonderful in Colorado. And obviously that was where God wanted me. I worked hard to keep my mind and my heart submitted to that idea. But I must say I often failed miserably at it. My heart and my soul were always at war.
Then we moved to the desert. It certainly wasn’t the ocean, but at least it was not the mountains.
I wrote of my homesickness for Colorado. It didn’t surprise me that I missed aspects of my life in Colorado. It did surprise me that a part of me felt like I was homesick for Colorado. But I was glad of it. It proved that to some degree I had overcome a battle and learned to bloom where I was planted. I left with good memories and I left not still hating the state.
Until I stepped onto the beach. Until I heard the roar of the surf, smelled the salt air, put my foot in the ocean. In that moment I stopped being homesick. It’s been a week and not one pang of missing Colorado. Because I remember where my home is. I remember where my heart is. I remember where my soul finds rest.
When I look out on the ocean I feel peace settle in the deepest recesses of my being. I see the vastness of the ocean that He created and I know He is so much bigger than what I can see. I see the power of the ocean to bring life. In the crash of the waves I hear his call and in the whisper of the waves going out I hear my name.
The beach, the ocean, the water is always where I have felt the most alive. I have not one bad memory attached to being at the beach. In fact almost any good memory I have happened at the beach. It is the only part of my childhood I can remember without a stab of hurt or fear.
I have to wonder if that is what it will feel like when I step into heaven. Will I feel like a lifetime of striving is finally over? will I step into eternity without a pang of homesickness for this life?
For 20 years I felt like I was in captivity. Freedom finally came in my soul when I stepped onto the beach and I knew I could and would come back home any time I wanted.
I could not wipe the smile off of my face the entire weekend. I couldn’t stop the joy in my heart. I could feel nothing except peace and happiness. There was no looking for the beauty, I was IN the beauty. The last 20 years didn’t matter because I was here now.
I know now that I am not crazy or rebellious. I know now that God gives us places and things and people in the world that bring us peace. He is good that way. He knows the craziness we live in and He knows that sometimes we need the tangible. We need to touch, to see, to taste something that grounds us deeper in Him. For me that is the ocean.
God is good, and He is big. And all that bigness and power loves me.
How can you not want to run to the one thing that lets you see God?