Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Day at the Beach...OR, Why I Laugh at Me.

Last Saturday, I finally made it to the beach, for some solitude and time with God.
I had been feeling tired, stressed, and busy, and thought the best down time I could ask for was at the edge of the beautiful sea, with my journal, and my Bible.

When I got there, I began the long trek down to the shore from my parking spot.  I had a shoulder bag, carrying my phone, Bible, journals, and a large towel.

Upon reaching the beach, I realized that it was carpeted with pebbles.  No sand anywhere in sight.  I wandered along, trying not to trip over the piles of pebbles (we all know I have that capability), and kept walking, looking for a decent place to create my own Bible study world.

The only area I found where there was sand was beneath the cliffs (and near the warning sign for the cliffs:  warning, unstable cliffs, falling rocks, etc.).  I decided that if God was going to end my life on that day, at the beach, then He would ensure that the rocks falling from the cliffs would be swift and accurate.  I took the risk to sit there.
I spread my towel out, kicked off my shoes, smiled at a fisherman who was standing nearby, and sat down.  I pulled my phone out to check my messages, and laid it on the towel beside me.  I took a deep breath, and watched the waves rolling in and out...

And in...
Um...that wave is still coming....

Yep.  A wave broke at the shore, speeding directly at me.  I kid you not, it did not go anywhere else.  I jumped up, and thought:  PHONE!!  Right as the water hit my beach towel, I scooped up my phone and ran.
I stood beneath the cliff and surveyed the ruins:  a sopping wet, heavy beach towel, wet shoes, and a wet shoulder bag (thankfully, waterproof, so nothing was destroyed). 
I glanced awkwardly at the nearby fisherman, who was laughing at me.
And, I shrugged my shoulders at the passing beach goers who pointed out to me that I got caught by a wave.

Duh.  I'm fully aware of that.

I stood for a moment, surveying the beach, looking for a safer place to go.  As I looked, I realized that I was standing near the carcass of a very large bird.  Disgusted, I scooped up my things and trudged along until I found a rock to sit on.

Then, the hot sun burst through the fog, and I found myself beginning to bake. 
I opened my Bible, and tried to focus, but found myself distracted and bored.  I text messaged a couple of people, and decided my beach day with the Lord was over.

I told this story to a friend, and she laughed, telling me I should try to avoid situations to the best of my ability...at least those situations where people may laugh at me.

But, I laugh at me.

Apparently, I am that girl...that girl who will trip and fall in public, run out in the middle of a busy street and hesitate halfway across, find the one spot on the beach where the wave is going to chase me away, burn my hand on the stove because I wanted to check and make sure it was hot (it was), run right into a closed door because I forgot I closed it, and end up standing beside dead animals.
I'm not exactly clumsy...
I'm not exactly spacey...
I just seem to attract a level of randomness in my life.

But, at the end of the day, I've got some pretty silly stories to tell.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

(500) Days...

Recently, a friend and I were chatting, about relationships and vulnerability, and the like, and the movie (500) Days of Summer was brought up.
People, this movie is so wonderful.  It is the anti-love story, but the hopeful love story at once.  I adore this film, and highly recommend it.  However, this blog post will be full of spoilers.  You have been warned.
In (500) Days of Summer, Tom (average dude) meets Summer (average gal).  They hit it off, date, build a relationship, and so forth.  Then, Summer tells Tom they should break up.  The movie goes back and forth over a period of 500 days:  happy days, sad days, when they were together, when they were apart.  Tom, saddened by Summer ending their relationship, embarks on a journey of self-discovery…so to speak.  He spends countless days analyzing their relationship, what went wrong, what he did, what she did.  His friends come along side him, and try to help him, in essence, mourn the loss of Summer, and what he thought she represented for him. 
There is a poignant scene towards the end of the movie, where Tom and Summer run into each other, post breakup.  She invites him to a party at her place.  The scene splits into a side by side montage of his ‘expectations’ (he and Summer meet up at the party and rekindle their lost love), and the ‘reality’ (Summer is engaged to another man).  This scene?  Always breaks my heart.
In the end, Summer (married), finds Tom (single).  They sit and talk, and ultimately find closure with each other.  In the last scene, Tom meets another girl.
Her name is Autumn.
The movie ends on this note:  hopeful Tom, and Autumn.  Perhaps, just perhaps, love is not finished for him yet.
So.  God has been working in my heart, in my life.  Bringing me back to Him.  He has taken me by the hand and pulled me out of a place of darkness.  He began tearing down my walls, and His glorious light is what came streaming through. 
Over the last few months, I feel like God has been allowing me to remember, like Tom.  He has shed light on memories that I have been keeping buried.  And, in bringing them back, He is allowing me to confront them, and release them. 
My heart was broken onceAnd, like Tom, I embarked on a journey of 500 (or many more) days trying desperately to retrace my steps.  To figure out what I did.  To put the pieces together, in a puzzle that never went together to begin with.  I had faith that things would work.  I had hope.  I had the tenacity to keep trying. 
And, one day, I learned that he had moved on, like Summer.  And I was left depleted.  Exhausted.  Alone.  I mourned the loss of that friendship, of that man.  I mourned the loss of what I thought could have, or should have been.  I hung my star on a crumbling pedestal. 
I found, to my horror, that I had grown accustomed to the pain.  As time separated me from him, I found that even the feeling of missing him was leaving.  And, finally, one day, I discovered that I didn’t miss him at all.  Instead of feeling relieved, I was met with emptiness.  I almost didn’t know how to exist outside of that place of longing, hoping, believing, and even heartache. 
Again, like Tom, I found myself waiting for my own Autumn.  For a man who would come along side me, and be what the other man wasn’t.  And, I found myself frightened at the thought.  For many reasons.  But, mostly, because I was (and still am) afraid of reliving my 500 days of summer. 
God has been faithful, continues to be faithful to me.  I have finally allowed Him to truly heal my heart.  To take my broken pieces, and mend them, and make me whole.  I have finally given Him the pain I kept so close.  I have severed all ties to him, the man who illuminated my life for such a short season.  I can look back with complete clarity, though it took me awhile to see through the fog.  I firmly believe that God allowed me to walk that road, because He knew where it would lead:  back to His arms.
I have not met my autumn yet, but I know he is out there. 
And, for the first time in a very, very long time, I am ecstatic over the thought. 
Sure, fear creeps in, trying to set up camp occasionally, but God has been helping me look past it. 
To hope again.