I've loved the beach my whole life. When I was little, I'd jump over the waves, pretending like I couldn't let my toes touch the top of them. As I got older, I would swim out to the deeper water. I wasn't afraid of the depths of the ocean or the creatures that inhabited it. I was free from fear.
In fact, I felt like I could conquer the water. I remember when I would imagine what I'd do if a riptide came. I was ready because I knew exactly how to handle that situation. I would just let it take me and swim parallel to the shore. If a shark came, I'd punch him in the nose. No problem at all!
This fearlessness did put me in some not so safe situations though. Like hmm for example, I've been stung by jellyfish on 7 separate occasions. Still, it was no big deal! That didn't stop me from swimming.
One of those times happened when I was tubing on the river. I considered myself a pretty awesome tuber but the boat driver (aka my crazy youth pastor) was determined to throw me off. So he created huge waves and eventually after flying multiple feet in the air, several times in a row, I lost my grip. I soared through the air and landed on..guess what? A jelly fish, or what seemed like a group of them wrapping their tentacles around my legs.
Yeah that stung. But good times.
I would also catch crabs on the beach and take fish off the hook with my bare hands.
I even tried surfing in the middle of a hurricane. That was not a good decision, considering I had no idea how to surf. I wont tell the story, but it definitely makes my top 5 worst choices of my life list.
**Kids, don't do that, unless you are a pro surfer! Just trust me.
The point of this is that back then I didn't question adventure.
Today, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped taking those risks. I started worrying and fearing the unknown.
Maybe my brain just developed...or maybe I stopped letting myself be free.
Now I just walk on the shore. I don't swim. I just sit by the retirees in their beach chairs.
What happened to all the fun?
So today I was looking at the ocean. All I could do was think of the reasons why I shouldn't go in it. I thought "If I go, my stuff could get stolen here" or "I don't want my hair to get wet because it will take forever to dry" or "I don't want my seats in my car to be wet when I drive home" and "I could get eaten by a shark or stung for the eighth time"....Then all of a sudden, it hit me. WHAT?! When did this happen to me? When did I start having these constant worries?
That's it, I'm swimming!
I took off running and jumped into the waves. My hair and all, completely submersed. It felt amazing. Just like old times, when I thought I was a mermaid.
Then, flashes of the recent local news came rushing to my mind. I remembered the girl who just bit by a shark that wouldn't let go of her arm, right near this very beach! I saw Pelicans catching fish....and where there's fish, there's predators... WAIT STOP! There I go worrying again.
Do you think Adam and Eve lived in constant fear of animals eating them? No they did not. But the devil, in the form of an animal caused them to fear the unknown and choose to stop trusting God.
Fear is not from God. Trust is.
If He allows something to harm me, then I'm sure I will have a great testimony. This applies to my entire life.
Ironically, I read this quote today,
"Don't let what you're afraid of, keep you from what you are made for" - Bob Goff
I know I was made to take risks for God. Im created to run wild with His Spirit and let Him lead me where my trust is without borders (Yes, I sang 'Oceans' by United really loud as I was swimming).
I think it's time for me to go back to my former days of fearlessness. Despite this seemingly scary world, I have a much greater God. Comfort is not my calling, bringing the gospel to the world is, even if it is in danger's path.
Adventure with Jesus awaits! Let's swim in the wild!
P.S I saw a pod of dolphins swimming nearby and at first I assumed they were sharks of course lol!! But it was actually really beautiful. Dolphins have always been my favorite animal🐬 What's yours?:)