Oceans of Life

ocean

“…together in life, together in death…”

2 Samuel 1:23

I sit here by a roaring fire at beautiful Marine Dunes, just north of Monterey, California.  As I look out over God’s beautiful ocean, I reflect on His vision for me and what He has planned for my life.  The sky and ocean are blue, the roar of the waves, and the wind blowing, I am overwhelmed as I watch and ponder about the glory and majesty of what God has done for me.  But first let’s reflect on the ocean and all its wonders.

The ocean has always been the strength for my life.  I relate my life to the ocean and this is why, when there is turmoil, my first response is, “Take me to the ocean!”  This will bring balance to the turmoil in my life.  Visualize with me sitting on the ocean shore and seeing the vastness of the sea which stretches beyond the horizons.  There seems to be no end in sight, just that elusive line that keeps going further and further out of reach.  I wonder, “Is there land over there out of my sight?”  “Who lives there?”  “Do they have the same questions about their future as I do about mine?”  Even as I wonder, I am at peace.  The ocean reminds me of the majesty of God and how He is never ending and always there and I can depend on Him.  What peace and comfort that brings to my life!  This is why the ocean is “life” to me.  I feel balance and peace when I am sitting on the seashoreI FEEL HIM!

Here I sit on the sandy shores realizing the consistency of God’s great ocean.  When you watch the movement of the tide, the crashing of the surf going in and out without stopping…have you noticed…the waves never give up.  You can see the tremendous effort as each wave strives to reach the shore.  Will the wave finally reach the shore and deposit the gifts it has to share with me?

I have a vision in those times of struggle, loneliness, and despair that may help you too.  Imagine you are standing on the high rocks by the ocean side.  You have a large apron on and the waves are coming at you higher and higher.  Open your apron wide and accept the gift that is being given to you.  Imagine when the waves come, instead of waves of water (which would still be a blessing) there are millions of roses which represent love coming your way.  God is showering you with His love and blessings.  Through this vision I am receiving the gifts the waves have for me.

There are other JOYS at the ocean shore.  It always tickles my soul when I feel the water from the wave come up under my feet and then as it flows back into the ocean, pulling the sand out from under my feet.  It makes me feel giddy.  I remember watching my dog when the same thing would happen.  She would get so excited she would take off running like crazy.  What fun!  I love the shock of the cold water as it washes over my bare feet.  Or hearing someone shouting, “Watch out!”  At that point I just can’t move fast enough and sure enough I am soaked up to my knees…sand everywhere.  Again, what fun!

What fun it is to walk along the seashore looking for those sea shells, or even other unexpected delights.  I remember at one of the California beaches my husband found a rock formation with hundreds of tiny crabs running through the rocks.  Or what about that perfect rock formation that you had never seen before.  On our trip to St. Marteen in the Caribbean there was a small island called Sand Island…very small for an island but there were some of the most interesting rocks that were actually formed by sand. The sand would form itself around an object like a sea creature’s discarded shell, or around a twig.  It was amazing some of the shapes and mysteries that can be found and admired.  Remember everything is of God.  It is His majesty and splendor we were witnessing and you too probably have seen such wonders.

There are wonders beyond our understanding under the sea, and they are magnificent in God’s eyes.  There are wonders above the waves that are magnificent too.  I love watching the lights, at night, that are coming from the ships and lighthouses.  They are always showing you the way to safe travels.  Isn’t that the way God wants to help you in your life?  I personally want to watch for His lights because I know I will be guided through the rough times.  He will also bring me peace in those times of turbulent waters.  You know the type of ocean agitation that could swamp a ship?  The point is to stay the course and God’s lighthouse will lead you into many exciting adventures and help you through the storms.

This leads to a personal experience where once again, God took the wonders in my life, like the ocean’s gifts, but this time they did not make it to the shore.  Instead it waited out in the ocean-blue for His timing and then the gift returned.  I’m talking about relationships.  The ocean’s consistency and faithfulness is God’s example to us of our everyday and special relationships.

It is amazing to me the wonders all around us like the ocean, but we just don’t see it until it’s gone.  We take what we have so much for granted.  In this life…NOTHING SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED!  God has revealed His love for me more than once but several years ago my prayers had been answered beyond my wildest dreams.  I had been praying for someone in my life; that no matter what would be happening, good or bad, she would get me back on track.  You know that really TRUE FRIEND that can read your every thought and emotion, and understand your fears and dreams.  I am talking… SOUL SISTER.  

At one time, I had such a person in my life but it was stolen from me through evil doings.  I had been pleading with God that He would again give me a true friend.  Little did I know that He had something better than finding someone new, it was bringing my SOUL SISTER back!   Little would I have thought that God had a special person for my life!  I truly believe that God originally brought us together knowing that we both were missing a very important part of what He wanted for us.  Her name is Debra-Diane and she is God’s ultimate gift to the missing side of me.

We met back in 1978 when my family was led to Corvallis, Oregon.  We thought we were going there for my husband’s continued education.  During the 10 years, I realized we were there for a much deeper reason.  The main reason for me was to find my “Soul Sister.”  You see, I had never experienced that extreme close relationship until I met Debra.  I really didn’t know what I was missing.

I first saw her smiling face, which put me at ease, at an employment agency. Through the agency I started working for a national bank as the secretary for the loan processing department.  After a short time, I started receiving little notes attached to the loan papers that would come from another local bank.  To my delight the person sending the notes was Debra.  We started our relationship with meeting for lunch once in a while.  The funny thing was that the bank she worked for was across the street from my bank.  Talk about easy access to a new budding relationship.  Our friendship grew to the point that we were not only meeting for lunch during the week but we would meet at each others’ home for a time of food, fun, and that sooo precious girl time.

We also discovered we liked the same things like cooking GREAT foods, crafts, and music to say the least.  You see she was the organist and I was the pianist.  We actually spent time making crafts and her family took beautiful undersea pictures that were amazing.  We decided, one year to enter a craft fair with our goods, at my husband’s work.  I don’t remember if we made a lot of money, but who cared…it was the fun of being together.  I found myself wanting to be around her more and more because of her ability to always look beyond anything negative and take that next step…plus she was always smiling or laughing.  I needed that in our relationship because I was serious enough for both of us.  I believe the other reason we took to each other was neither of us had any pre-judgment of the other.  What a blessing to be accepted unconditionally for who you are…this is a true example of unconditional love.

There may have been those that thought our relationship was perfect.  The answer to this is no…but we would make fun of our differences.  The only reality we knew was that we dearly loved each other.  Disagreements were not going to tear us apart.  I knew, from a family issue many years ago, that something small could end it.  In my family because of a disagreement between my grandmother and great aunt, they didn’t talk with each other for the rest of their lives…this was over 40 years.  There was no way I would ever let this happen with Debra and I.  To keep our relationship healthy we never let our anger last long.  The relationship was far too precious for us to be separated.  We were always willing to do what it took to set everything right.

It is important to understand how God has everything planned even though we may not see the purpose for it.  There may even be a time where you might blame God for your misfortune or the changes in your life versus what God really and truly wants for you.  As I said earlier God had a definite plan for both of us.

It was fun to realize that we were the same age.  A few years later we rejoiced that each of our families was having a new addition…BOYS.  My son was adopted and Debra was right there giving me a baby shower while she was expecting her son.  We wanted so much to grow old together.  We wanted our sons to be close friends and the two families to be as close as if we were one family.  To our disappointment this was not to be.

My husband and I realized in 1988 that God was calling us back to California.  We had been praying for the last several months about where God was leading us.  In our own lives we were dealing with a young child and an ailing grandfather who did not have the opportunity to see his grandson but a couple of times a year.  God was calling us home because of my father.

I was heart sick at the idea of leaving my “soul sister” but my comfort was, I could talk with her on the phone, write letters, have visits either in Oregon or in California, and that would have to do until we could be together again.

There is no point to spend a lot of time about this portion of the story but here are a few details.  For the first few months after we arrived in California I would receive a brief letter or email and maybe a much awaited short phone call…but something was wrong.  She warned me about things that couldn’t be said and if she disappeared there was information with the police.  What was I to think?  This was my soul sister.  I wanted so desperately to find out what was going on…I needed to be there for her but my hands were tied.

I was in the dark, not knowing if she was even still alive.  All I could do was pray for her and send my positive thoughts her way.  I didn’t even dare send a card.  What drama would it cause her to have to endure?  I didn’t want to be the creator of that…so I prayed and thought about my “soul sister” in silence.

Praise God, that He protected her through an abusive and unfaithful life with her now ex-husband.  I am so thankful that He gave Debra the strength to follow His leading and get out of that situation.  I love her so much and she deserves everything God has waiting for her.

To my great surprise in early April 2010, I received a very happy email that she was back and would I like to get connected again?!  I was so excited that we set the first phone conversation just a few days later.  When we spoke that first day it was like the years had passed away.  During the next month, we laughed and she helped me prepare for an event that was away from home.  She was so helpful in the preparation, but the biggest thrill was I saw her again and could wrap my arms around her.  THANK YOU GOD!  The agonizing 22 year silence was broken once and for all…this will NEVER happen again.  THIS WAS A MIRACLE!  My sister is back!  We shall never part again!                   

Our relationship, being returned, reminds me of the ocean waves constantly striving to reach the shore.  It is a never ending battle but with God leading, even in the times of not knowing, it is not so scary.  I think about being on the seashore once again watching as the beautiful sunset drops behind the horizon.  Even in that darkness you still hear the roar of the ocean waves and know the battle still continues.  This reminds me of the relationship Debra and I have had over the years.  Even when she was out of my sight, in the darkness, I knew that God was carrying her through the raging storms in her life and finally bringing her back into mine—God was leading.

Like the ocean…all through the night and day the tide continues to struggle and fight against all odds to return.  Remember how the ocean is rough in a storm, churning and boiling, and tossing everything about till there is no rest.   Once that stormy moment breaks, the waves slow, the foam subsides and all is calm and serene again.   When you wake to a beautiful sunrise, remember God’s glory and promise of a BRIGHT new day.  God is there to help you live a life of JOY.  Having a “soul friend” is His way of giving you someone physical you can hold onto.

God Word says,  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Thought one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands if not quickly broken.”  I love this verse and I know that the third strand that keeps Debra and me together is God.  It was His plan for us, because we are truly “soul sister” now and forever more!

BUT

No matter your situation… God is your ultimate “soul friend.”

          Do you realize that these magnificent happenings are from our Lord and Master?  He wants the best for you!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

Leave a reply

Sign up for
Karen's Korner

A weekly newsletter with encouragement to
"Rise Above Life's Storms"