I was feeling so confident.
The surf instructor, May, gave us our lesson on the beach, with a fabulous Aussie accent that makes everything sound light and easy and oh-so-fun.
I can see some kids in the water, coasting down on the waves. They bounce off with a big splash; some add a little flair. The wind is blowing my hair. The sun is beating on my face. The new baby, the only one I am responsible for at this moment, is in childcare and being snuggled to pieces. I smell the sea.
You call me out upon the waters; the great unknown, my feet may fail
What a great moment, for me and the Handsome Hubby. He is so lucky to have me with him. I could be reading in our posh room at the resort, and here I am instead, being so fun and hip.
In oceans deep, my faith will stand
She assures us (me) that we will only be going into water up to our chest, or a little lower. We draw a board in the beach and practice our “pop ups.” I never achieved it on sand.
And I will call upon Your name
The butterflies have steel wings as we pick up our surfboards and begin marching towards the water. The cold water barely penetrates the suits, so we are surprisingly warm. I’ve got this.
And keep my eyes above the waves
Twenty, maybe thirty, yards in a wave hits me. And it’s for real. Down I go, under the water. I cover my face to protect it from the massive projectile I drug in with me on purpose. It hits my shoulder instead.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace
It’s really salty. I know that, because I drank it all. And it’s in my nose, my ears, my eyes. I come up sputtering and the lovely May and her star pupil (my husband) are looking at me concerned. Just standing there. Like it takes no great effort to remain upright with thousands of liters of water going the full force of a steam train. They casually mention to “jump with” the waves. I’m fine, on we go!
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
He literally starts surfing. Just like that. End of story. I’m quoting Bible verses under my breath and in my heart about fear and perseverance. May holds the board for me, and I ride in on my tummy. As long as I don’t see the wave coming, I do okay. If I see it, I casually mention that this isn’t a good one- maybe the next? She is obviously a connoisseur of the “good wave.” She looks at me doubtfully.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Finally I stop looking at the waves coming. I don’t look ahead. I keep my eyes on the beach and listen when she tells me to get on. I got halfway to surfing- that is, she held the board until I got on and I almost achieved an upright position each time after the wave took me and she let go. I keep trying.
Let me walk upon the waters
Eventually, I run out of steam. I didn’t mention that you HAVE TO PLANK, each time you surf. You get on the board and hold that position until you “pop up.” Well, when you’re afraid to “pop up,” you hold the plank much longer. I keep putting “pop up” in quotes, because I don’t think I can move anything fast enough to qualify as a “pop.” I’m more of a “slowly lumber to my two left feet” kinda girl. The waves just weren’t long enough to get me there. Another five minutes and I would have had it. You know, if I weren’t completely terrified.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
I keep going under. Every time now. I never realized that I am actually afraid of water. I won’t do water slides, tube rides, diving boards, deep ends, big water parks. I just realized that the common bond all these things have is water, and here I am. So this probably won’t end well. Huh. The handsome hubby surfs by and gives me a thumbs up.
You’ve never failed, and you won’t start now
If you aren’t familiar with the song, it’s beautiful- and about God. It’s one of my favourites to sing at home and at church. It went through my mind the whole time. When a worship song refers to waves, or the deep, or any water references really, I guess I never really understood the magnitude until now. We were in water up to our chest which was already pretty overwhelming for me, but then the waves came, and they can knock you right off your feet. You can’t stand through them- you have to roll with it. They’re strong enough to propel you, and nothing you say or do can stop it.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
I’ve prayed this prayer; I’ve given up my own plans. I want to go where He goes. I want to hear His heart and feel His voice, and go to crazy places and talk about His love and see Him MOVE in undeniable ways. Some days it’s all so overwhelming I feel a rising up in my spirit that I just need to thank Him and worship Him for His almighty power that I see in my life so obviously, and the lives of our children. So I praise Him- and then I throw in another load of laundry. Or make another meal that at least one person doesn’t like. Or pick up another eleven things off the floor (I should be so good at the “pop up.”) And I kinda wonder if this is all I’m good for? These ridiculous, easy, boring things? I drown in the fact that nothing is ever all-the-way done.
Sometimes, the waves aren’t even the hard things. Sometimes they’re the mundane, easy things that just have to be completed (or started) and you’re the one to do it. Sometimes you have to keep your eyes above the waves of monotony, because you know that’s exactly where God called you to be.
And my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior
How amazing, that He meets me there. In unloading the dishwasher. Changing a diaper. Resolving a dispute. He has people working for Him, all over the globe, and He is no less with me. So how can things be so annoying, so dreary, when He is there? Keeping my eyes above the waves of laundry, dishes, arguments and chores will be my goal this new year- for it is holy ground.