We recently went on our first Spring Break vacation. A huge shout out and thank you to the Henry family for inviting us to join them at their family beach house in Gulf Shores. We had an amazing time. It was filled with lots of rest, relaxation, reading, good food, laughter, and specifically for me; a healing and redeeming moment.
As a teen and young adult, living in California, I loved going to Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk, however, three specific memories had stolen my love of the beach and ocean. One memory had to do with heart break and two had to do with fear (deeply ingrained fear situations). Living in Tennessee for the past fourteen years I had not realized my lost love of the beach until we were invited to join our friends. When we realized all of the necessary details would work out for us to join them, I suddenly felt conflicted. I wanted to go and enjoy time with the Henry family, but there seemed to be something I couldn't move past; a negative feeling.
Within a few days of being at the beach I found myself alone one afternoon. I brought a book to read and as I began to read I felt myself feeling a bit restless. I was unable to focus on the book so I decided to take a walk along the ocean. I began to think about the three memories as clearly as if they had just happened (these situations occurred about twenty five years ago...this shows you the power of the mind and the depth of the situations). I sat down on the waters edge and allowed the waves to gently roll over my legs. I felt a deep sadness and heaviness when suddenly I felt the Lord telling me, "Albagor!" (which I learned in Israel means no fear in the Hebrew language). As I recalled the memories, it was as if God was saying, "No more fear! I am the One who created the beach, the ocean, and all that is in it, this is My creation!" I knew in my heart God was redeeming the memories that still held power over me, power I didn't even realize until that day. As I sat on the oceans edge I began to cry and let go of the memories that haunted me for so long.
One of the memories involved recalling myself in a moment of desperation writing, HELP ME JESUS, in the sand with my toe. I knew in an instant I needed to write, There is always HOPE!, with my toe to reclaim the fear involved in that particular memory. When I did this I felt a sudden release and peace.
The next day as our families were settling in for the night to watch a movie, I felt the need to go outside. I had every intention of staying on the porch and listening to the waves crash onto the shore. Before I knew it, I was walking down the stairs and heading towards the beach. This is very unlike me. I do not like walking in the dark, especially in a area that I am not that familiar with. It was as if a magnet was pulling me towards the ocean. I began to walk faster. Once I arrived I went straight for the water. I took off my shoes and let the waves splash my bare legs and feet. I felt the Lord say again, "No fear!" I felt peace and contentment as I looked up in the sky at the stars and the moon and heard the waves gently crashing on the shore all around me.
After a few minutes I realized I should go back to the house, I never said I was leaving, I only told them I was going to the porch. As I walked back with continued peace, I saw my husband on the porch and he was worried about where I had gone. I apologized for worrying him and told him I felt I needed to face the ocean alone...just me and God. I needed to walk in the dark towards the water. I needed to feel the water. I needed to trust God and have, no more fear. My husband hugged me and asked if I wanted to walk back to the beach with him and I said, "yes". We walked along the ocean for almost two hours. As we walked back to the house I knew in my heart that not only had the Lord redeemed my old memories but He gave me a new one in it's place.
God is a God of redeeming qualities and He has a desire to bring healing to all of our past to help move us closer to Him! There is nothing to big, to old, or to scary for God!