Photo By Shala Gean
This picture speaks 1000 words. The water. The stump. The wind. The sky. The sadness. The beauty. The healing.
There is deep healing happening in this photo.
A moment can change our lives. On November 14—10 months to the day my husband never came home from the water during a fishing trip—I was on a trip to the Pacific Northwest. We decided to go to Vashon Island. The ferry ride to the island was a quiet one. My friend and I were eager to go to the island, but didn’t quite think it through. Being sensitive in the spirit like she is—she knew I was having trouble being on the water. It was an unspoken silence. But deep down I knew I needed to get to the other side of the water.
Arriving to Vashon Island—it was unique and beautiful. We drove miles to Point Robinson Park. As we were walking through the trails of the park—I felt the Lord walking with me. It was a visceral sensation. The trails parted and in front of us was a lighthouse overlooking miles of water. The beauty was breathtaking. The overcast skies were appropriate. They represented the deep sadness I carry in my heart. Though the skies loomed dark, they were encompassed with boundless beauty. They were engulfed in a sweet tranquility. I couldn’t get to the water’s edge fast enough. Walking the shoreline, I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew the Lord brought me to Washington, to this island, to this shoreline, in this moment for a special and deep healing in my heart.
I looked up and saw a stump overturned. Tears filled the corners of my eyes. “A serenity stump”, I whispered. Cody and I had a stump on the end of our pier—we called it a serenity stump. Lots of quiet time, prayers and laughter were shared on that stump. I made my way down the beach and climbed to the top of the stump. I knew it had been waiting for me.
I sat there in silence. Looking around me. Studying the water. Studying the waves. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to run into the cold water. But I sat in silence as soundless tears streamed. In that moment I felt a release. My shattered, throbbing heart began to throb a little less. I gulped in cold air. The wind felt like it was turning my tears into ice. But it felt refreshing. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to sit in silence. It’s okay to reflect. It’s okay to heal. It’s okay to be excited about the future. It’s okay to let go of the guilt.
I don’t talk much about the guilt I felt over the death of my husband. I don’t talk about the guilt the enemy dangles at me daily since his death. But sitting on this stump, listening to the waves of the water crashing, taking in this raw beauty, I could hear the Lord telling me to lay the guilt down. It’s not mine to carry with me anymore—it never was mine to carry.
I could feel the Lord’s sovereignty blanketing me. Through all of the sadness this year, confusion, fear, grief, He still reigns supreme and boundless. He is still a good, good Father.
I am thankful to know my Heavenly Daddy on a deep and intimate level. When you can feel His unending love covering the depths of your heart, telling you to, “keep trusting, keep digging deeper, keep putting one foot in front of the other,” His love is unshakable, impenetrable, and always abounding.
“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand” Hillsong
When we go through the deep waters of life, it’s so easy to want to run away. To run from God, but it’s through the deep waters The Lord has the greatest opportunity to mold us from the inside out. I am forever thankful for His molding in me. Though many times my flesh has fought to run—I’ve realized there is no power in running. Our power begins when we surrender our lives and tragedies to our Creator. He is never finished with us.
The story isn’t complete. My story isn’t complete. Your story isn’t complete.
Lean into the Lord through the joy, sadness, mundaneness, and deep grief of this life. Seek His will in all things. Let Him dream for you—His plans will far exceed our own. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior” Hillsong
I left a piece of my heart on Vashon Island.
Sitting on the ‘serenity stump’ at the water’s edge, I found healing.
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God.