by Jennifer DePriest
I felt God call me to get in the little boat. I felt Him tell me to leave the past behind. The only baggage He wanted me to take on this journey was a notebook so I could write, my red camera to capture images I found hard to describe with words, and a simple tote that contained the prayer quilt I was working on. I wasn’t scared about this new assignment, in fact, I felt like a child waking up on Christmas morning. I wanted so badly to leave messages in a bottle for the past I left behind. Being alone in the middle of an ocean called life to battle storms and sea creatures, was exhausting at times. I wanted to warn the ones I loved. I wanted them to know that in the journey, in the agonizingly painful journey, that I was having to make alone, I had found peace with my past. I had found acceptance of myself. I had found I had forgiven others. I had forgiven myself for letting my heart give my glasses a rose colored tint. I had found God’s goodness and forgiveness and strength and mercy. It wasn’t that I didn’t already know about these things, but when one is in a boat in the middle of the ocean called life, things become clearer. Senses become more heightened. What matters, what truly matters, starts to come into focus on the horizon.
In the midst of this time that is being called the “new normal” a wonderful thing has happened. I have found that my little boat has landed on a beautiful beach called uncertainty. I have found that it is okay to get out and explore all that life has to offer in this uncharted territory. And, most importantly, though I can look back and wave at others as they start out on their own journeys, it’s important that I not focus on their boat ride, but rather keep going so that I can explore the island of the unknown and become all that God wants me to be.
I followed God, and got in the boat, and now find myself on a distant shore, ready to embark on the new adventures God has for me, but, instead, if I sit in the sand and watch for someone else’s boat, then, it defeats the purpose of my journey. In other words, what if on the other side of the palm trees, God has my happily ever after, but I settle at the beach with my feet in the sand looking back, even though I didn’t take my boat back in the water and head that way. Some have looked at the year 2020 from the perspective that 20 + 20 = 40, relating this time to different stories in the Bible where 40 was of significance. The Israelites wandered 40 years. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I wandered the past 40 years, but I do think it is time to see what God has for me, and embrace this new season. God will give me the desires of my heart, when I leave my boat on the beach and head into the direction that He is calling me.
I leave you with these thoughts. Where is 2020 taking you? How has it changed your vision, your focus? I would love to hear from you!!