I went to see me mom and dad today. And I took the long way home, because I just needed to see what I knew was going to be a glimpse of the ocean as the sun was setting fast. I don't remember seeing much but knew it was there just the same.
I longed to touch the sand, even if the beaches were technically closed and the unknown was out there. Fear and time kept me away. I longed to touch the water's edge, but obedience and responsibility won out. I felt I missed what my heart was longing for. And wonder how much I do the same with the One who created me and the moments I am in.
On the whole journey home, I kept thinking about God's love for me and my love for Him. I know my God is constantly present but how many times am I missing Him because I let responsibilities, obedience to the world and fear and time demands dictate my time with Him.
I can't help but see how vast the ocean is - I knew that no matter how far I looked, even if I had the best technology I would never see land on the other side of the ocean. I also knew that the ocean would continue up the coast farther than the highway would allow. I couldn't help but think of the verse written above, and wonder if I could just grasp a bit of God's love for me.
I'm not going to get into the detail … but bottom line, I feel unloved - more so, unworthy of love; yet I know full well I am. But I'm an emotional being - a feeler and long to feel over know the truth of love. And because I struggle with feeling loved by those who know me, I can't help but struggle with God's love for me. I know it is true. I know He loves me … but if I could just feel it over the knowing.
I visualized my 5'6" body in the center of the ocean water, picturing the miles and miles from my body to the ocean floor. I saw the waves crashing over me, drenching me - almost drowning me. I saw God's love doing the same. I also saw me splashing out of glee of the water around me and splashing the water back up to the heavens … yet, with all my might the water splash couldn't reach. God sees the attempts of my love for him, but He wins … His love totally out does.
I continued my journey home. The road was quite dark except for the occasional headlights that would come and go. Yet even in the darkness I knew the ocean was west of me. I could see the glow for a while, and then eventually that faded. When I rolled the window down, I could smell the salt air, and I could feel the ocean breeze. When I sit in His presence I am reminded that as I go through the motions I may not feel His presence, or even doubt He is with me … but if I sit and look I can see His light around me, I can take deep breathes of Him all around and feel His movement. But I have to make the effort to pursue so I can experience.
The highway that was once parallel with the ocean took its turns and curves and even took me up some steeper terrain. Yet no matter how many turns of the roads I took, no matter how high up in altitude I went, I knew I just had to turn my head to the west and the ocean was there. This journey of life, with all its turns and curves, and challenges and depth of despair … God is still there, I just have to turn my head and see.
There is one part of the drive that has trees that remind me of those in Snow White, where they grab her and long to scare her. I admit my heart races, and I pray my truck doesn't break down at that point of the drive. But I am also reminded just like the ocean remains near, so does God as I face those scary and overwhelming times in life.
Eventually my ocean side highway came to an end, and I had to journey inland. Yet in order to make it home I had to use a bridge to cross over the bay waters (an extension of the ocean I once saw). And when I drove on that bridge and looked all around me and saw nothing but water - it was then I smiled and was a bit giddy as I was reminded how God's love still surrounds me. I saw that even the ocean couldn't be contained and overflowed inland, throughout the bay up the creeks and rivers. I was experiencing then how His love overflows for me.
I was just miles from home, where the familiarity was amongst me, the knowing what lies ahead, the smells I know so well, the expectations, everything I fully know - but too - even the grumpiness, unkindness, and the quickness of anger of those around me - all of which I have also come to know and accept. I was in the midst of what I knew that I had almost forgotten the journey I had been on. I took the time to remember. And as I journey on with the demands of life and the clock and those around me that offer encouragement and some not so much I can remember, see and even experience the greatness of God's uncontainable love. I'm reminded that I am not only loved, but find joy and peace within.
I am hoping that I can return back to the ocean's edge this weekend with the ones I hold dear … as God's love isn't just for me, there is an overabundance for all!