This is a repost of a Caringbridge journal entry I wrote after a family beach trip to Fort Morgan in 2009. Nine years later we were back at the same place and I couldn’t help but recall the freedom I felt on that trip. This morning while having my quiet time and coffee with the Lord, I realized that this trip also gave me the same gift. Freedom from fear. I will post my thoughts on that tomorrow, so look for part two..smile! As for today, once again I give God glory for the testimony of healing..physically, spiritually emotionally, He is good and always faithful!
June 20, 2009 Caringbridge Journal: It’s late morning because we all slept late. We didn’t get to the condo until after midnight so there is little time for me to have an elaborate coffee and quiet time with the Lord. After reading some verses in Isaiah and time in prayer, I could no longer prolong the excitement of “suiting up” and hitting the beach. I decided to wear my black and white paisley “tankini” (as Abby always says) because it would go with my favorite, floppy beach hat. My trusted pearl earrings, white ruffled dress cover-up and black heeled flip-flops all helped to make me feel a little more comfortable with my little secret. It’s not a secret to you all, only the people on the beach. However, before Jeff left I boldly announced “ I think today’s the day, I am going to swim and take my hat off.” At the time, it seemed to be a big step and it helped that we don’t know anyone here ( Jeff is taking necessary classes for his CPA requirements).
Jeff had to go and office and officially check us in and get some groceries.. that is..after getting us, and all our stuff down to the beach!! Abby and Luke were at full capacity, nets in their hands with determination to catch bait for their fishing later (poor little fish). I couldn’t see them as well as I wanted to from where our umbrella and chairs were so I pulled my chair onto the shore. I noticed the couple next to us, quietly under their umbrella and that the lady had on a swimsuit identical to mine. Now, the next scene happened so quickly I will do my best to keep you in the moment as I was.
Luke asked if I would get into the water with him. As I walked passed the other couple to the umbrella…the Lord held me to my courageous statement. My hat blew off, I gasped for air and I felt as if I were completely naked.. standing on the beach.. (only for a moment). It was heart wrenching. I grabbed my hat and looked over at the lady and said jokingly, yet in sure desperation “I guess I will let it all hang out today.” Abby and Luke are oblivious, “Mommy are you coming?” I said a quick “yes”, trying to fight back the tears that were seconds away from flooding my eyes.
The second I stepped into the water, with my back turned to them, I felt safe to let it go. I began to sob from the very core, not cry, weep. In that moment, I hurt for my loss, for my exposure, for my covering or lack of, for all the emotions and pains that chemo imposes while it is clearing out the bad cells. I was quickly reminded of God’s love and how His ways are not our ways. He remains in complete control of our coming and going, even to the point of giving us a nudge if He thinks we need it. In retrospect, that was the best way for me to get over my fear, because that’s what it was, fear. I know that He blew the wind at just the right moment, He picked that hat to be my favorite, He had it all planned, at the perfect time. Luke and I held hands and went under the water together, I felt free. That part of letting go had been done.
I went back and sat down, noticing that the couple had now gone into the water. On their way back to their seats, she said “I meant to tell you that you have great taste in swimsuits!” I was now back to a normal composure and making small talk. Then she said what I believe God had sent her to say “By the way, you are beautiful on the inside and out” a tear slipped down her cheek from behind her sunglasses, “ give yourself some time to grieve, I know you need it, my mother and sister both had breast cancer.” All I could do was thank her and smile. Her last words were “Enjoy your family and the rest of your vacation.” I think it truly began at that time. This whole episode lasted maybe twenty minutes or so. I never saw them again after that first day. Their chairs remained on the beach but I never saw my beach angels again.
I hope you take away from this, that no matter what fear, obstacle, hurt, whatever…God will provide a way! You have to trust Him enough to set you free, from your captivity of fear, to trust him with your future just like it says in Jeremiah. He is mighty to save. Thank you Lord Jesus for loving me enough to set me free and giving me the courage to live each day in expectation of your faithfulness. I pray that for each who reads today, give them what they need to be more like you. Give them a “hats off” moment in the light of your presence. My joy comes from you. Thank you for your redemption, to your name I give all Glory, honor and PRAISE! “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3 Blessings, Suzanne
Day 100 Today’s Verse…
“And do not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is good, and acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2