The last six weeks have been jam packed! We had our middle school retreat a couple weekends ago called Discovery Weekend. It was a wonderful weekend, and I am sure I will post in detail about it soon!
In the midst of a crazy schedule the last few weeks, God has been so very good to me. Providing me little spurts of rest, fun, laughter, and joy. Little God winks of His love for me have been showing up everywhere. Those little winks are what keep pushing us forward in motion towards our calling. You know, those moments, the “no way that just happened” moments. They remind you of His goodness, love, that He does in fact see you and that you are not forgotten. A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Becca, who I have written about before, and I had a giant God wink together. After some cherishing of the moments, praise, and thoughts, I feel like I can share it. Becca also gave me permission to share. 🙂 It blessed us, and I hope it blesses you!
Becca and I have a standing friend date on Friday’s at 10:30am. We both are blessed to have Friday’s “off” of work generally, unless we are on ministry trips. Usually, our friend dates consist of meeting up with the attire of no make up, ball caps, and work out clothes (gotta love people who will take you as you are). We usually do a brisk walk on land then take the walk to the beach and then walk it back to our house/cars. During that time, Becca and I talk. Not just talk. We talk about life, ministry, God, how God speaks to us, what He is saying right now, we try to decipher pieces of scripture we have been reading, family, friends, love,…you get the picture. Sometimes we laugh hysterically. Sometimes we cry hysterically. Sometimes we are hysterically mad. Sometimes we rejoice hysterically. Whatever it is,…we kinda get it out and the other person listens, and then responds with words of wisdom, counsel, truth, and encouragement. There really is an ebb and flow to it…somehow it works.
This particular week, we had even contemplated not going on our normal walk because it was extremely foggy and a little chilly. We did decide “to brave the elements” and go on our normal routine walk. As we were talking, both of us had experienced really crappy weeks. In fact, we were both in a state of feeling spiritually overcome, confused, and were trying our best to dismantle solid bricks of fear…brick by brick…with tear after tear. Not fun.
We had been discussing weeks earlier the Starfish Story. You know the one,… “Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, ”Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.” The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.” The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
Ok,…now that you are caught up… we had been discussing that story, and how in ministry and life you do make a difference even when it seems as if there is so much work to do. We also had talked about how you have to let the “starfish” go or else they are yours…and the truth of the matter is the people we minister to or that are in our lives are not actually “ours.” They are God’s.
As we were walking toward the jetties (a new phenomenon for me that is basically beautiful rocks on the shore), we both noticed how the sun was coming out and the fog was disappearing. As we made our way up to the jetties, something caught our eyes…low and behold, there was a real, live starfish! We started squealing like the new locals that we are, jumping around, and giggling like little school girls. We were amazed as we watched it’s little fine underneath side wiggle. We climbed some rocks and of course started taking selfies with us and the starfish. After we had kind of settled down, we decided to hop off the rocks back to the sea shore. Just as we were starting to walk away from the jetties, there we spotted more. More and more and more starfish! There were about 4 different ones that were floating around and washing up on the shore! As we both took off our tennis shoes and socks and started to dart like mad women into the freezing water in order to play with the starfish, we were just overcome with laughter. We finally both ended up holding our real, live, starfishes and getting some “real locals” to take some pictures of us with them.
We began walking back shortly after this. Both of us were still overcome with joy from the whole experience, when we heard our dear local friends call out behind us. As we turned around to look at them, there we spotted about 4 dolphins swimming. Again, the burst of giggles erupted. It was in that moment as we swung around to head back home that we noticed that the sky above us was a crystal clear blue. The fog almost had a made a dome like gray circle around us on all sides, but there above our heads was the most sunny, blue sky. It kind of resembled the Hunger Games dome.
Before we left the beach we sat to talk some more and reflect on the goodness of what we had just witnessed and experienced in a short hour and a half time period.
It was in that moment and the hours after that I think we both realized just how much God wanted to remind us of His love for us. That He is alive, well, and working. He is present in our lives. He was winking at us reminding both of us in different ways that He does take our literal mourning and turn it into dancing (and giggling).
A few things I am thankful for in this episode of God winks…
-I am so thankful that God not only knows what I need, but gives it to me even when I can’t exactly put my finger on what I need.
– I know that people can try and refute the word of God and argue…but something that can never be taken away from me is my own experiences with the one true God…like this one.
– I am glad God gave me a witness! It has been great to be able to remind Becca and for her to remind me… remember the starfish day… otherwise, I might would be tempted to think that someone had just slipped something into my Starbucks coffee that morning.
-Lastly, I love that God is so much bigger than me. He can take a Friday morning routine with a friend and make it into a divine appointment.
I encourage you…ask God to wink at you. He has been winking at me a lot lately… sometimes like this I feel like I can share it, and sometimes the timing just isn’t right to share. I assure you He does wink at you reminding you of His love and goodness…speaking to you…the question is, do you notice it and do you hear it?