Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday: Waves

I grew up swimming in the ocean during family vacations to my grandparent's house along the Florida panhandle. I was a confident swimmer after my dad taught me how to ride the waves (body surfing). 

 The summer after we graduated high school, some friends and I went to the same Gulf Coast for our Senior trip. Four of us, out of the six who went, floated into the ocean on rafts. There was a flag out, a bad one. It was yellow but some up the coast were turning to red (red means you are not allowed in). The rafts pulled us out, before we could blink, we were looking at a shore far away from us with waves of water in between.

We screamed for help, the waves crashing onto our faces. I let go of the raft, it was holding me back from swimming to shore. The other three girls stayed with the rafts and two men came out to help.

I swam and after one painful hit of a wave, felt like I might panic. Then I had a beautiful thought come to mind. My future children and my parents.

A lifeguard swam over to me and asked if I was ok to keep swimming, I said "I'm so tired," he told me to try to touch the bottom, that I was almost to the shore.

I made it with my friends were close behind me. The man who helped save the girls had been drinking all day and collapsed on the beach, he was sent to the hospital and released the same day after treatment. His wife screamed at us, telling us how stupid we were for going into the water.

I remember wanting to slap her. I was so angry and scared.

I walked by myself up to the hotel, stripped down, stumbled into the shower and cried. And cried, and cried. We spent the rest of the week together watching Friends episodes and staying away from the beach. The sound of the waves haunted us.

Side note: If ever caught in a riptide, swim side ways and stay calm. Don't go out if the flags are yellow, even if the waves seem fun. If the water is pulling your feet, it is time to call it a day.
 
Sometimes life throws us into the waves. We can fight it, gasping for air, struggling to keep our head above water. But it isn't until we release and let the water carry us to shore that we make it safely. We have to stop fighting these moments in our lives when our experience is not what we envisioned.

When Jesus Christ was asleep on the ship, carrying the disciples through a terrible storm with waves crashing over the boat, he said to them:

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm."


When Peter doubted the Lord when waves crashed into him on the water:

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
 
 At the end of both of these scriptural accounts, the people fell down and worshiped their Savior Jesus Christ. After seeing His works they declared Him to be the Son of God. It was through losing their faith, that they gained a testimony.
 
"The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be."
 
Thomas S. Monson

1 comment:

2busy said...

What a scary experience. I loved how you pulled it in with the Savior. Very uplifting.