Sometimes in life we read something inspirational that impacts us deeply and we just can’t get it out of our head. Well, this happened to me recently when I came across a blog post by a young blogger friend of mine and I just had to share it. We all go through tough times in life that cause us to long for peace, meaning, or happiness in the midst of the pain. It’s where we go to find it that makes the difference.
I found I could really relate to this post, because I too have been to the east coast, and I too, felt very peaceful, happy and alive there. In the past few months of grieving, I have often found myself feeling like if I could only go back there, I would feel okay again. The message of this post spoke to me directly, and now whenever I get that restless feeling on tough days, I repeat to myself, “Jesus is my Sea”.
I hope this wonderful post will bless you as much as it has me. Enjoy!
To The Sea
~Originally published by Dabria Karapita on loltoinfinity.com
The other day, I was scrolling through social media and came across a phrase which piqued my interest.
“To the sea.”
Something about those three simple words stuck with me.
Now, most of you know that I took a trip to the East Coast of Canada this past May, and I loved it. The scenery, the people there, the villages, the history, the food, the experience, and most of all, the ocean.
In fact, I loved it so much that I cried the night before leaving. I stood outside the house we were staying at, under the canopy of tree leaves and stars, with tears streaking my face. I looked up at the heavens, hearing the close roar of the ocean, and prayed to God that I would come back. I couldn’t imagine being happier, or feeling my soul so at peace and full, than I had during that week by the sea.
I was homesick for the sea for weeks after coming back to Saskatchewan. I’d wistfully go through the pictures of my trip I’d taken on my phone. I’d watch the videos of the waves and feel my heart constrict. I would dream of the next time I could make the trip, wondering if it was plausible for me to stay on the coast for a month… or maybe even, after I finished my filmmaking schooling, I could make Nova Scotia my home.
For a long time afterwards, I thought that the East Coast was going to be where I would have to live. It was the first place where my soul felt alive. I was so at peace there, so thrilled by life and yet rested that I was convinced that was where I needed to end up in order to be happy. Even now, as I think back on the days spent touring the seaside, I smile.
But, life goes on, and I simply had to make due with the fact that I was living in the lovely flat land of Saskatchewan, no ocean in sight. I began writing about my experiences on the coast, I attended staff training to work at bible camp, and in between all of this, I was recovering from the car accident that had occurred less than three weeks after flying back from the coast.
Then, in September, I was invited to go along with some other young adults to a conference at a Bible college three hours away from home. I was actually thrilled for the opportunity, because there were some questions that I’d been turning over and over relating to my life and spiritual matters. So, I went to this conference with specific questions I had for God in mind. I went there expecting that somehow, through the experience or the speakers or the worship, the Holy Spirit would speak to my heart.
And I was not disappointed.
See, I’ve come to know that when I am expectant in the Lord, when I soften my heart, humble myself, and remove the distractions that are hindering me from hearing the leading of the Lord, I am then put into place of receiving.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
So here I was, going about the day at the conference, listening to different speakers discuss certain topics, aggressively taking notes, and deep down, maintaining this expectancy that my questions were going to be answered.
And one by one, they were.
I went into one classroom, and the lecture began. The speaker was fascinating, the topic enthralling… and interestingly enough, it was along the veins of what I’m passionate about -Christians involved in the arts.
And suddenly, it happened.
It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced in yourself… but it was an intense need, filled with overflowing joy and excitement, for what God has called me to in life.
And the idea of living by the ocean all my days paled in comparison to walking out that passion in my life, through filmmaking.
In that moment, sitting in that classroom, I realized that I didn’t want my outside circumstances to define my joy. I realized that I wanted, more than anything else, to be where Jesus has called me to be. I realized, with such astounding clarity and awareness in my heart, that I didn’t need to be by the ocean to be happy… although being by the ocean would be an added bonus 🙂 .
So I walked out of that classroom that day with not only my questions answered, but a new awareness and passion for life with Jesus.
And it didn’t rely on my having to live by the ocean.
How often do we rely on outside circumstances to bring us our happiness? How many times do we have this inner picture of what we *need* in order to feel fulfilled? How many times do we say, “Oh, if only I had this, or if only I lived there, if only I wasn’t single, or if only I wasn’t married, if only I was wealthy, if only I had this opportunity, if only… blah blah blah…”
Recently, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about money, whether it be discussion in my family, or issues brought up with others in my generation. Money to pay for this, money is needed for that, money, money, money. Need to choose the right career so you can have money, why have an expensive wedding, it’s a waste of money, and even talks about funerals and how they’re such a wasteful extravagance. I mean, I may agree with some of the points brought up, but come on people! All this talk of money is depressing!
And what’s more is, not once did I hear it talked about being where God wants you to be. Nowhere in these talks of career choices was it mentioned about how when you’re walking in the passions and purpose you’ve been called to, prosperity often follows.
Instead, people seem to have this idea that if they can get their outside circumstances to line up perfectly with their idea of happiness ( a high-paying job with good benefits, the right amount of money in the bank account, the perfect relationship, living in a particular location, a comfortable house designed to spec, owning more than one vehicle, etc. etc.) then they will be truly happy.
But oh so often, people overlook the fact that joy and contentment must START in the heart, not start when their circumstances line up.
Often, they don’t take into account that perhaps there is a heart issue to be dealt with if things in their life aren’t moving forward in a positive manner. Perhaps there is unforgiveness, or resentment, or sin that hasn’t been addressed in your life, and that can be a possible reason you feel as if you’re stuck in a rut.
Another thing to look at is your thought life. What kind of thoughts are you dwelling on? And in turn, what are you speaking into your life? We are living magnets. What we think and dwell on and speak into our life is what we will attract!
So while before that conference I’d had the notion that I needed to be in Nova Scotia to be at peace, I now know that what will be the source of peace and joy in my life will be walking in the plans God has for me.
And my God is a faithful God. He knows the desires of my heart. So you know what, I’m not going to put going back to the East Coast out of the picture. God knows, maybe I’ll end up making some films there! Wherever I am called, I’m in for an amazing adventure with Jesus, and I don’t want to miss a second of it because I was too focused on forcing my own desires in my own timing to see the beauty of the work He’s doing.
Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”
So, as I think on the phrase “to the sea,” I leave you with this final note: I now know that my heart’s deepest desire is that Jesus always be my Sea. He is my happiness.
And I don’t ever want to forget it.
Dabria is a nineteen year old homeschooled graduate. She has had multiple stories published in Polar Expressions short story collections, on a ja!Blog, in a newspaper, and a devotional published in devoZINE youth mag. She is constantly writing things in her head and jotting them down onto paper or her laptop. Dabria also aspires to be a Canadian filmmaker. She is actively involved in her local church, and is always seeking to go deeper in her relationship with God. You can find more of her inspiring writing on her blog http://www.loltoinfinity.com/.