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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

23 March 2012

Unfinished Business/Letting Go

From the very beginning, I've been drawn to water... to the sea... to a babbling brook in the Carolina mountains... to the Great Lakes...  

With family visits to the ocean or our dilapidated family cabin on a small Indiana lake or to the massive Great Lakes, my love for the water deepened.  In the waters I sat by, I sensed the awe-inspiring presence of the Creator of the Universe. In the early years I rode my father's shoulders down Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park wondering if there was an end to that huge Great Lake ahead of us. In elementary years I hiked along brooks & streams in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina only a few hours away from my mountain home - hearing the whale cry in the night hours as we camped on the beach & visiting lighthouses dreaming of pirates gold.

We were collectors in those days -- grabbing up bits of driftwood left behind, shells abandoned by sea creatures, broken shells, pieces of glass worn smooth by the ocean's tide.  Each trip resulted in a cache of treasure for my collection at home.  My mom's plant beds became the home of sand & shells that could no longer be held inside.  Large pieces of driftwood decorated our walkways and garden paths.  What I couldn't seem to part with though was the sea glass. It was my most treasured find when we visited the shore.  Small bottles of collected sea glass decorated my nightstand, window sills & shelves.  They spilled into the bathroom counters & window sills in the kitchen. 

My life has taken me away from the sea - to cornfields & cow pastures & the whistling of the wind in the old shag bark hickory tree outside my home. I miss the sea. I need the sea. And today, I walked beside the sea greeting the rising sun when a glimmer caught my eye. My heart leapt - filled with that joy I'd felt as a little girl when I spotted a piece of sea glass.   And seeing the reflection of that sea glass delivered by the tide brought me back to the complete joy of a 6 year old. I bent down & picked it up. I was holding a piece of the sea.

Turning it over & over in my hand, I noticed it was too smooth & shiny and that there were some sharp edges. Only a part of it had been polished by the sand & surf - but, not enough to make it "done". The thought of dropping it back into the sea made my hand grasp it more tightly. This was the only piece I'd found in my brief visit to the sea. And, this was my last day to walk the shore. Again, I looked at it, knowing that it was unfinished.  But, I just couldn't let go.  A third time, my mind cried out the truth - it would never be finished if I didn't let it go.  My hand opened & the glass washed back into the sea. It needed more abrasion from the sand & surf to soften the sharp edges - to frost the outer appearance - to allow it to become the best it could be. Only when I let go, did I feel peace.  Holding on to things (and people) too tightly and protecting them from the friction of sand & surf (life) - prevents them from being "finished".  Only in the letting go, can we allow God to finish & perfect. 
"Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places made smooth... "  Isaiah 40:4

(written 16March2012)

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