Loosing my grandpa four months after loosing my spiritual mama was devastating. At the time my life was in full swing with five children and several different demands on my time. I didn’t have the luxury of taking time off. Nothing paused or even slowed down in my daily life, even as my inner world came to a screeching halt.
“Overwhelmed” didn’t begin to touch how I felt… I was buried under expectations and responsibilities that had no regard for my grieving mind and heart. Tears wouldn’t come, and I felt an urgent need to find some kind of peace, some kind of source of power that could sustain me and contain all that was going on in my private life.
I retreated to the coast. A place my grandpa loved and had spent what feels like years worth of summers with me, exploring and teaching me so many truths about God’s character and creativity.
Climbing up over reef rocks during a receding tide, I rested on the flat incline of a cliff face and felt the solid rock beneath my frame. The strength and solidness of the stone beneath me contrasted to the thundering waves crashing just below my feet, at times seemingly clawing up in angry gnashing, as spray cascades over me from time to time…
And as I looked out over the ocean, safely nestled in the side of the cliff, I felt these precious words rise up from somewhere deep inside me:
“I AM the rock beneath you and I AM sustaining you through the roughest waters and angriest storms. I will never leave you. Just rest on Me”
And the tears flowed. Streamed down my cheeks and throat, silently at first… and then in full blown screams of anger and sadness and confusion and hurt… and then in sobs of surrender and quiet agony of reconciling unwanted realty with the Truth of His presence in the midst of it all – making what should have broken me irreparably into the tangible essence of deep core strength beyond myself.
It’s been over a year since that hour on the cliff side, listening to the thundering wave while feeling the perfectly solid strength of the rock beneath me… and I can still feel that unshakable stillness. It’s the place I go, in my mind, when my feelings begin to get the better of me, when forgiveness seems illusive and pain feels too large and dailiness constantly pressing…
And, as I listen in my mind, to the memory of those waves, I begin to hear a heartbeat in the thundering. I feel the strength and protectiveness of that Rock that is higher than I.