So far 2019 has felt like a surfer in the ocean, pounded with wave after wave. Let me explain.. Life is the ocean, we are the surfers, and God is our surfboard, but it’s how we chose to swim throughout life that matters.
You can either chose to swim with or without God. No matter the elements that come, He’s still holding you. Through the waves, as a firm foundation, no matter how high they can get. In the calm, He’s holding you too; but it’s how we handle it. It’s easy to be anxious, even worrisome, but resting in His arms is one of the most humbling things. Doubting and questioning God’s wisdom when the waves keep coming is a lot easier to do. Why is He causing such turmoil in my ocean? Go find someone else’s ocean to mess with!
With family and framily (friend family members) going through so much, and health solutions falling through, it has been hard not to question God through this time.
After an accident in 8th grade, it has left me with health concerns I’m still facing today. This is a difficult post to write; believing some things should remain private, but after the news became public knowledge, I thought I’d write my perspective to help draw a full circle. With constant pain and headaches, it came time for jaw surgery. Terrified, yet excited to be pain free, but quickly learning that God’s timing is everything. As much as I want something to happen, He still can say no, He will say no.
March 16th was my surgery date. I was admitted, and as my IV was being put in, another nurse notified us that my insurance had taken back their approval, and surgery was not happening.
My heart sank to the ground, but it didn’t shatter. Surprised, relieved, yet heartbroken all in one moment. I watched as the color drained from my parent’s faces, and my mom broke down, lost for what’s next. I felt at peace. In that moment, I realized God has had me since the start. From the injury, through years of pain, 5 surgery dates falling through, and when 2 doctors retired on us. He has held me through it all.
I’ve been struggling with hearing God’s voice. Something I’ve been ashamed to admit, but I think all of us go through seasons of hearing His voice more than others.
I’ve been reading over James 1, focusing on trials, temptations, listening, and doing. 3 of those 4 I’ve been following; but listening, my ears have been clogged towards God.
I imagine two people going to a concert. The girl goes for the music, the boy goes for the girl. As the music’s blasting, he’s leaning over trying to talk, but she’s so caught up with the music, she doesn’t really hear him. That’s how I’ve been lately. Wanting to be in the presence of Him, yet so consumed with my own wants and desires, I don’t listen intently to what he’s trying to say.
We’re called to have faith without doubting. Dang.. it’s really hard. V21, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” I was talking with one of my mentors, Mr. Penley, about what it means to ‘humbly accept.’ He said, “it means to lay all our own desires at the feet of Christ, and to accept Christ’s gift of life, by putting aside our selfish ambitions.” At first I was angered, refusing to give up my selfish desires when God has created so many hardships lately. Not accepting that wanting to have surgery on my timing is selfish.
In the midst of this, my mom’s dad has significantly gone down in health. With surgery not happening, the next week, Kelvyn, Elise and I jumped on a plane and spent nine days laughing till our bellies ached, going to the beach, puzzle making, football reruns, and soaking up time with my grandparents. The trip was emotionally difficult, knowing my grandpa may not remember our time with him, but just being by his side, cheering on our Florida Gators in the 2006 National Championship game, just holding his hand was so so meaningful.
Sometimes I don’t want to get back on the surfboard, rather have a pity party for myself. Letting the waves hit me, and pointing my finger at God saying it’s His fault, when He’s only an arms length away.
Through these past few months of surgery dates, coming and going, there has been lots of pity party’s. But watching as my Gramps has been joyful as his memory slips, reminds me of James. God creates trials to teach us perseverance and maturity. We’re called to find joy through the trials, and Gramps is an example of that.
Elise is an example of finding joy in the little things too. She’s down to climb trees, pray intentionally, and dance in point shoes on the beach. Gramps and Elise reminded me that waves will always consume us, but rather than finding the bitterness of the situation, to rely on God’s strength through it. Some circumstances you can’t change, but you can change your perspective on it.
I know the constant headaches, and pain I have won’t be relieved for a while, but learning to surrender my broken-heart at His feet is key.
Friends, I’m not sure what waves you are facing, but my prayer is for you to find rest and comfort in His arms through the chaos. His timing is truly the only way. So I’ll leave you with a question.. Is God your surfboard? Are you going through life keeping Him at arms length, or are you going through relying on Him?