Since I was about 9 years old, I spent my summer vacations in a simple town known as San Clemente. It has grown much since I was 9. Now it’s a vacation destination, many tourists, and pricy living. I was fortunate to have family who lived there so staying for months was no expense problem for my mom and dad. My aunt and uncle lived minutes away from the beach. I was blessed to experience the ocean air and mild summers. The thing is I didn’t know I was blessed.
I always thought when I got to college age, that I would reside in Orange County and attend USC. That all ended when a 6.2 earthquake happened and my foundation shook. Scared me to the core. But even after the earthquake, I would still go visit my family each summer. I just decided I could not live there anymore.
I always felt so comfortable being there. That had a lot to do with my aunt and cousin who treated me like I was a part of their family. During my junior high years this became even more important to me. My mom and dad divorced and all that I thought was secure was broken. My time there healed me. Going to the beach with my cousin, driving around to quaint little shops, eating ice cream at the parlors. My aunt would also make these wonderful dinners that during one summer, let’s just say I grew. Their home and this beach town were refuge for me. When things were rough in my life, the San Clemente beach and my family helped me.
Fast forward, my bout with CDiff also received recompense from the beach. In 2008, thanks to my dear husband, I spent many months with my San Clemente family trying to find peace. I went there either with my mom or on my own. I had terrible anxiety and fear. I remember waking up at times and feeling the urge to take a drink of alcohol at 9 am. That had never happened to me before. I would also have panic attacks and need to take deep breaths to know I was OK. It was horrible.
So there would be many moments where I would just drive by myself and just sit there at the beach or walk on the pier trying to recover. Crying and pleading and asking the Lord to free me.
Then this is when I would begin to envision myself alone in the ocean completely immersed and feeling as though the water was Jesus’ mercy. Letting go of all that I was holding onto and just floating in His care. The image would give me comfort and allow me to breathe again.
That is why I believe today I have such a deep love for the ocean. I don’t just view it as water or a place to vacation to but I correlate it to God and how vast and wide His love is for us and how powerful He is over any pain.
Hand over your worry, fear, anxiety to Jesus and in replace ask Him to give you His peace, patience, and trust. Fall into His mercy and relax yourself in His protection. +++