I remember this day. It's one of my earliest memories. My big brother, Christoper, had the chicken pox and my parents thought the salt water would be good for his skin,. They loaded everyone up and we took a drive down to the Jersey Shore for a day at the beach. I don't remember if this was my first time at the beach or not, but I do remember how terrifying those waves were. Christopher had to drag me out there, half heartedly protesting and giggling all the way. But once we got to the water's edge, I felt sure those waves would swallow me whole. I was morbid, even as a child, and I remember being so afraid of what the uncontrolled waves would do to me. Looking back now, it's kind of funny, because do those even count as waves? But if you could see things through my 5 year old eyes...
It's amazing how huge those waves can seem when you're three feet tall.
I think about my parents and how they must have been laughing at us from their beach chairs. Obviously I was in such grave danger that one of them felt it important to capture the moments before my impending death. Ha. But I didn't think like that. I didn't see the whole picture. I just saw the waves crashing in front me and I was terrified. So I clung to that seven year old boy the Good Lord blessed me with and I trusted him with my life.
When I was looking at this photo the other night, it was like a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that my fear as a 27 year old mom in uncertain life circumstances is not much different than the fear the 5 year old version of me felt. I've spent the better part of the last year living in total fear. Afraid of change. Afraid of transition. Afraid of failing. Afraid of hunger. Afraid of our debt. Afraid of our bank account. Afraid of unemployment. Afraid of resumes, interviews, and rejection. Questioning what the hec is happening to our lives and why hasn't anything changed yet? What did we do wrong? How can we do things differently? Did we make a mistake? Are we currently making mistakes? The waves of confusion and fear and frustration just continue to break against my tired heart and I need to just stop and get my head above the water and breathe.
But it's amazing how huge those waves can seem when you're three feet tall.
I know that God is painting a bigger picture. In my life. And in yours. At first, as I was thinking through this post and how I'd write it out, I was thinking that God was like my parents. Sitting on the beach seeing the bigger picture and knowing that everything was going to be OK. But that's not it. He isn't sitting back watching the waves terrify me. He is my brother. Holding my hand, giving me peace, assurance, and strength. He is my anchor. My steadfast. My rock. He isn't watching me from a distance as I desperately try to conquer these waves. He's holding me, clinging to me, feeling each pinch of fear and pain, and whispering in my ear, "You'll be fine. I'm right here. You can do this. Just hold on."
As much as I would thoroughly enjoy (come ON, Jesus!) if he'd just still the waves and quiet the storm, I have peace knowing that he is standing beside me. Beside Zach. Beside Jonah. Beside Emery. He may not be ready to quiet the storm, but he quiets my soul and he gives me rest. No wave can stand a chance against my King. So in that truth, I lay down my fear and cling to the Savior.