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The Ocean and God: Lovely and Terrifying

September 25, 2012

There is something about the ocean…..

This past weekend was Linnea’s Celebration of Life. We went and spent the weekend with people who love Linnea and I absolutely mean love in the present tense because she is not gone; she is just physically not with us. She lives on in Heaven. On Earth, she is in so many people’s hearts. She continues to bless people with the memories shared from such an extraordinary short life.  I love her now more than ever after seeing her through the eyes of so many others.

The weekend was hard too. Seeing Maya, Linnea’s mom, cry was unbearably hard. I love her so much. I want her to grieve because that is a healthy response to this tragedy but I am so sorry that she has to grieve.

Craig, Linnea’s dad, gave a fantastic speech at Linnea’s service that spoke to my struggles with the loss of a beautiful daughter. I should have taken notes because it was such a good message. The one thing that really hit me is that he said something along the lines of we don’t have the right to keep our kids. He spoke eloquently and I won’t even try to summarize his speech because it was so full of wisdom gained through intense pain and I can’t do it justice. But that one line about us not being entitled to our children hit me hard because that is why I cry so much about Linnea. I cry for her parents because they are better parents than Sean and I and if anyone is entitled to the blessings of sharing a life with their lovely first born, they are. And I hold onto my baby girl and think: Why do I get to keep mine when they can’t keep theirs?

If the world was fair, this would not be happening.

But it isn’t fair and this is happening and I do not stand a chance of deserving my children. They are a gift. I didn’t earn them and I can’t do enough to deserve to keep them.

That scares me. The lack of power to protect those most precious to me is terrifying.

We drove home and after 8 hours on the road, we rounded a corner and I could see the ocean and all of a sudden, I could breathe. I didn’t realize that I had almost been holding my breath for a week until I saw the ocean and realized I could breathe deeply and felt my body all over relax.  I love the ocean. It makes me happy and calm, but I am not sure why. If I think about it logically, the ocean is terrifying; huge, powerful, full of animals that can eat me and waves that can pound me into the sand. I cannot fathom its vastness. I cannot control anything about the ocean.  I know that the waters and its inhabitants only allow me to touch the shallow waters if its shores as a gift and that if it wanted to, I could be crushed in a second by its power or sucked out the sea with no hope of using my own strength to escape.  I respect and fear and love the ocean.

I feel that way about God lately.

Maya’s tears remind me that God is in control, not I. That He is something I do not understand. He is too big and too powerful for me to “get.” I only see the smallest portion of His vastness and He allows me to enjoy Him but that is a gift, not a right. I can no more control what He is going to do than I can control the tides.

I get how you can love and fear God. He is beautiful but scary; things that cannot be controlled are scary.

I don’t have a right to the lovely things in my life. They are gifts; temporary, only for this moment gifts.

I love my children. I really, really love them. I would lay down my life to protect them, but in the end, I am powerless and they are really God’s kids. Linnea is really God’s and her destiny is in His hands.

The destinies of Joshua and Aurora are in God’s hands too. I can’t pretend like I am not scared to accept this but I love God and I trust Him. I believe in Heaven and eternal life and so when I stand on the edge of the ocean and think: I love you even if you scare me, I can now see that I do the same when I turn to face God. I love Him and He scares me.

There is something about the ocean that shows me God.

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