Beach Walk #1
We made our way down the crooked path lined with greyed boards and sand that led to the beach. The July wind brushed my hair into my face. A seagull cried overhead.We took off our sandals and tossed them beside the gate so our bare toes could feel sand and surf.
The sun had just stretched itself out over the Gulf Shores waves as our brother had said his “I dos”. An hour later, with reception in full-swing, we slipped out, wine glasses in hand, and headed for the beach.
We walked and talked and laughed as lightning did pirouettes on waves a couple of miles out. Small talk became deeper as it does with sisters. We began discussing my divorce from 6 months earlier, my two kids, their futures, whether I was ready to date again, and what the heck I was going to do now with just one income. I don’t recall the conversation with as much clarity as I recall the decision I made that night.
I realized I wanted to be able to afford a better life for my kids and I wanted to travel. The beach is my happy place. I wanted to be able to walk on the beach more often than once every few years (the closest beach to me is 5 hours away). I knew I needed a better job if I was going to be able to afford to do so. And for a better job, I’d at least need a college degree.
It seemed like a far-off fantasy for a 28-year-old mom with two daughters ages 8 and 4. I worked retail. How on earth was this going to happen?
I flew back to Texas, asked mom to babysit, and headed up to the local Junior College to see how much classes would cost. I came to the school on just the right day. They were starting registration. (I don’t believe in coincidences. I now see God’s hand in all of this.) I came home with enough grants to pay for school, a full load of classes for the semester, and an arm full of paid-for text books. I spent the next 8 years in school.
I graduated from there, got two degrees, and have been able to travel a bit more.
It all started with a conversation on the beach, a decision (moment of clarity), and lots of follow-through.
Beach Walk #2
Last October I found myself alone in Galveston with an empty sack for shells and a free evening. I began walking up the beach looking for sea shells and picking up plenty of sea glass.
As the wind brushed my hair into my face and lightning danced not far out on the horizon, my mind wandered back to Gulf Shores and that discussion between sisters.
Here I was – once again ankle-deep in waves – but I realized I was here alone.
I resumed walking and began to talk with God. I had questions. Why was I here 14 years later – still without a husband? Why is my “picker” broken when it comes to men? (I seem to find abusers and addicts.) Why am I always the pursuer? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Am I too old to try to find someone? Am I not enough (pretty enough, smart enough, funny/rich/popular enough)? Will I always be alone? Should I just make peace with having no husband? After all, I have an amazing circle of girlfriends, wonderful kids, and a wonderful family.
I talked and asked questions and finally made peace with this:
- The guy who will marry me will have to love God
- We will have to start off as really good friends
- He will have to pursue me – I should not have to carry the whole relationship
- He will have to be perfectly imperfect. Perfect FOR me, imperfect LIKE me
- I will be at peace while I continue to wait
As I was at the dentist’s office today, I joked with a friend via text about imagining I was at the beach while the dentist drilled out a cavity and refilled it. I came home, slept, and dreamed about holding hands on the beach with a man who loves me. I couldn’t see his face in my dream, but he felt friendly, comfortable, and familiar. Maybe I’ve already met him?
This isn’t my normal post, but it IS what has been on my mind today and it is MY blog, so…I posted.
Keep dreaming. Keep conversing. Keep walking in the direction God has you going.
And will someone please bring me a latte?