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There's A Story in the Sand (Our Letting Go Trip)



I got the bright idea to take the girls on a “Letting Go” trip.


After all that 2023 brought the 3 of us, a Letting Go trip at the end of the year was of the upmost importance. For reference purposes, see the last few blogs or newsletters sent but to quickly sum it up: hospital visits and the bills to match, a car wreck, and for a few of us, a breakup or two. We had a lot we didn’t want to take into the new year with us.


A “Letting Go” trip is exactly how it sounds, but as life would have it, things didn’t go exactly as planned. This was supposed to be a solo trip for just me, to cry and get it all out. Keep reading; you’ll see very quickly what I saw ----Why it had to be the 3 of us!


You may remember, I feel close to God when I am near the wind and the waves. There is something about being near the water that helps me see and hear just a little better. So, it was clear the best place for a “let go” trip was the beach.


And the goal was simple: to let it go!


Yes, we left it all in the ocean and came back with so much more. We hit the road at 1:00 am on Christmas Eve, with the goal of watching the sunrise in Panama. Curated Let Go playlist on deck, coffee in the armrest and passenger princesses in the backseat asleep, we made it just in time to see those beautiful blue, pink and purple sunrise streaks hit the sky.



The Beach, those bountiful miles and miles of sand and surf. The wind whisking past our faces. We took a deep breath, breathed in that crisp air and sighed.


The girls understood the assignment and struck out first, writing their goals in the sand.


“Hello Happiness” I etched in the sand with a shell.


Before I knew it, thanks to the girls, there was no reason to even be sad. We sang, danced and wrote. Wrote that NOTHING could stop us. Wrote that we won’t be distracted. Wrote the girl’s favorite catchphrases.


I looked at the waves and thanked God for getting me through this year and as the waves crashed to and fro I thought I said goodbye to all the heartache, pain, shame, worry. And here is where the story gets good. And I mean really good.


The girls went to the restaurant behind us while I stayed on the beach and reflected. Alone I said, “God, where were you? When he was hurting me? When I got sick. Where were you?” A still, small voice said, “I am with you always.”  Suddenly, and I mean the very same moment, the girls were running back down the hill. I thought something was wrong.


“Mom, do you want to go to church?” they asked.


“Well, it’s Sunday AND Christmas Eve. So of course I would love to go to church.” I’m thinking they want us to watch a sermon online together via our phones. But nope. There was more.


“There’s a church having Worship on the Water. Let’s go!” Dear Reader, you’re missing it: as SOON as I ask God where He was, the girls came down to greet me with what would ultimately become the answer.


We gathered our things and entered the restaurant where church was being held. Everyone was so welcoming, even though we were a different race and were definitely in the wrong attire (swimsuits (with coverups) at church)! The church didn’t care. But that’s STILL not the kicker.


The sermon was about me.

Once I entered the sanctuary and we ended worship, the pastor said, “We are in an interesting sermon series about the overlooked figures in the Bible.” He said, “Today I want to talk to you about grief. What does Christmas look like for those who lost a loved one or that are going through a divorce from an abusive marriage…..” This pastor did not know me. Didn’t know my story or the marriage I had just come out of. I had not spoken to him, neither had the girls but yet and still his sermon was geared towards me.


And before we go down the rabbit hole, you may be wondering how in the world he can preach about abuse/grief on Christmas Eve. He shared a beautiful message about how though it is a joyful holiday for most of us, there are some folks who are crying or have difficulty getting out of bed or struggling.


He reminded us to be sure that we don't overlook those people while we're celebrating and having joy. He shared how we often overlook the infanticide that was occurring in the Bible at this time and how those parents might have felt. Grief, however you encounter it, is real, holiday season or not. Your grief might not have been like mine. And it may not look like


those parents in the Bible we don’t talk about; maybe your grief was a lost opportunity, a lost relationship, loss of time. It’s real and you deserve to be acknowledged. Now, back to the story……


He said you may have been in an abusive marriage and the church laughed at you and ridiculed you for staying OR for leaving.  I experienced BOTH of those. That was my testimony. He said, “You didn’t deserve the abuse. You didn’t deserve the shame.” He spoke such healing in his message to me.


 I was starting to see there was a reason that we had to be at THIS beach at this time. We could have gotten there later and totally missed church; we could have chosen a different beach and I would had missed this freeing message! We had to be there so that I could hear God say that he still loves me and that I don't have to walk in the chains of shame. I am no longer a victim. This was the moment I finally let go for real.


 Why am I sharing this story with you?


I'm sharing this story with you for two reasons.  This is a picture of mine and my daughter's handprints from the beach that day. Sand is made-up of tiny little pieces of rock. It's been crashed and shattered from these huge, firm pieces into tiny little fragments that ended up making something beautiful. Life is like this sand. It’s cumulative. You may have gone through some bumps and some bruises of your own, some crushing, some shattering and wondering can anything beautiful come from it. I want you to know it can!


When you look at the beach you don't see the process those rocks had to go through to get here or how far they traveled. You see beauty and so it goes with your life. Keep going until you see the beauty.


We've got this picture in our living room as a reminder that life is cumulative. My daughter and I spent a good portion of 2022 reestablishing our home, rebuilding our lives, our bond. Both of us, healing from the pains of that marriage. Re-learning ourselves as individuals and as a 2-member family. You see, we are the sand. You don't see all it took to get here, but we kept going until we saw beauty. Keep pushing, keep going until you too see the beauty.


Number 2: “I’M JUST GETTING STARTED!” That’s what I wrote in the sand. When I think of all the things last year that could have taken me out, the fact that I am still here is not just a miracle, it’s marching orders. I’m here for a reason! That’s a mantra for this year…..I’m just getting started!


There is STILL a plan for my life. I’ve got books to write, songs to sing, trips to take, memories to make. More things to celebrate. To think I spend so much of my time living in fear, fear of what people will say or fear of “what if I try and fail,” and life was almost taken away. But now I live! Because oh yeah, we left fear in the ocean too. What tried to stop me, DIDN’T! I’m just getting started.


So, here’s Your takeaway for today:


Remember the sand!


KEEP GOING UNTIL IT GETS BEAUTIFUL!


You may feel shattered, but keep going until you see the beauty.


 You may be tired, but keep going until you see the beauty.


 Frustrated, keep going until you see the beauty. Just keep going!


The breaking is tough…. but eventually…. if you keep looking; you WILL see the beauty.

 

 

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2 Σχόλια


Tasha Dudley
Tasha Dudley
23 Μαρ

Uplifting and encouraging. Beauty for ashes

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Leticia Dyess
Leticia Dyess
23 Μαρ

Lexie this was amazing! And so encouraging. I am so proud of you and the girls .

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