We just got back from the beach. And it was definitely a trip to remember. Has it been rainy where you live? Because it's rained more this summer than any other summer I remember.
Like this week when we were at the beach. It rained EVERY DAY. Except the day we left, of course. Being in a house with two toddlers and a not-so-home-body husband was...fun. Bahaha. Really, it was such a special week.
We packed up most of the house and then a few more things (because #toddlers) and drove the three blocks to the beach a few mornings when it was only sprinkling. We had talked the night before about how Jesus spoke to the storm on the lake and commanded it to stop. Selah got out of the car one morning, put one little hand on her hip, and pointed to the rain clouds and said, "Rain. Stop. Right now, in Jesus' name!" Brandon and I looked at each other and started to follow suit. Would you know within thirty minutes we had about four hours of sun? This happened twice. These little ones, they teach me so much about Him.
Micah isn't a fan of the beach. Sand, wind, and the loud crashing of the ocean aren't exactly the recipe for a fun day for a kid with sensory stuff. But he started walking on the beach without his shoes a few times and we considered that a success. He did end up sitting in the sand and playing, but he was happiest in my lap, wrapped up in a towel and I wasn't mad about it.
Selah, on the other hand, made all kinds of friends and we basically had to drag her off the beach. She had the best time "being a mermaid" with Brandon. She's truly her mama's child. They were all dragging me off the beach too. Give me a book, beach chair, and Coconut LaCroix and I'll love you forever. It's like drinking a Red Bull, but for my soul.
My mom and step-dad also went with us. They are two of the biggest blessings in our lives. We had four extra hands and were lifesavers helping us tote all the beach stuff and then bringing us the stuff we forgot (Mom's are good at that, aren't they?). I ate every morning without having to do it standing. My step-dad made breakfast for us, and it was so wonderful. Also, there were several days my mom took the littles back to the house so Brandon and I could sit on the beach in silence. And it was heavenly to say the least. Being with my people for a whole week was so sweet. Brandon didn't have to work, I wasn't worried about checking emails or keeping up with stuff. We were together. And even in the rain, it was precious.
On the way down to the beach, Brandon and I were praying about a very weighty decision to be made up on the horizon. "There Is A Cloud," by Elevation Worship came on my Pandora station and tears rolled down our cheeks thinking of what was to come. I guess it was fitting it rained all week. It was like a prophetic act in the natural of what was brewing in the spirit. The Father spoke to deep places in both of our hearts that week. You know when things happen and you don't really have the words to explain them? And I'm a words girl. I'm supposed to have words. I just don't have words for how deeply this rainy beach week impacted me.
I've found the Father leads us to still waters right before He prepares us a table in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23). He brings us to seasons of still and rest before we walk into battle. This beach trip rejuvenated my spirit, because He knew what was coming. He brought revelation from Heaven in our tiny room that week with the creaky floors. Something holy happened, something shifted in our hearts and I can't even pinpoint exactly what it was. I just know it did.
I watched a little boy taking swimming lessons in our neighborhood pool one afternoon after we got home. I couldn't help but listen in. He struggled and splashed and freaked out several times. But his teacher, in all the chaos, so gently kept reminding him that he was okay. His teacher called him out to deeper waters and said, "Now you're going to come out to the deep end, but swim like you have been in the shallow." The little boy was terrified, but the teacher kept calling to him, "You're doing great. Just a little bit further. Swim to me."
It's terrifying to swim in the deep. But He keeps saying to me, "Trust me out here just like you did in the shallows. Just a little bit further, you're doing so good. Just swim to me." The deeper we walk into the Father's heart, the more He requires us to trust Him, the more we want to trust Him. I might be splashing around awkwardly in what feels like chaos, but I want to be found out there, in the deep end, swimming to Him. Swimming with Him.
What would our lives look like if we punched fear in the face and just kept swimming to Him? I think a lot more of us would find ourselves swimming way deep in the ocean of His love. It's definitely a risk, there's a decision to be made by us. But when we go for it, we get more of Him. Always. And He is everything. He's well worth the risk. He's the reward.
I've learned the last few weeks that when I open my hands to Him, when I give away everything I have to Him, He immediately gives back to me, more. Abundantly more. But it's a risk opening them up.
Let's swim to the deeper waters, friend, and don't look back. Let's just reach out to Him with open hands, and keep our eyes fixed perfectly on His.
It's better than we could ever dream in the deep.
There is no fear in love.
If you need to constantly be reminded to be brave like me, I made this for you. You can get yours here.
Here's the song I mentioned. Make sure to listen to it when you have time to sob.