I am my mother’s daughter.
Some love mountains and some wide open plains. While there is a time for all of those things for me, nothing beats crashing waves, white sand and my people.
That stretch of beach is a whole lot more than pretty views, nice tans, rest and fun. I mean, it is all of those things. Add in family, memories made and watching my kids have a blast while I have fun with them…or sit in a chair with an ice cold la croix while they burry themselves in white sand. It’s all of those things and more but this trip something bigger hit me.
20 years ago on that stretch of beach…
Yes, there are the insane family memories. The moments that make me want to cry 20 years later. There was the first time we had seen the ocean in a few years and my mom crying every time. There are family vacations where Hanna learned to walk and the one before that where Caleb got the chicken pox. He shared. It was the pandemic of 1997. I have pictures of Macayla standing in the grass outside of our condo as a baby and memories of running with a little MacKenzie till little legs couldn’t keep going and she fell laughing in the sand. I walked past that old condo multiple times on our trip as I walked the beach with Ray and the kids. I remember memories of little people who have grown into incredible adults…and one that the loss still takes my breath away. There are one thousand memories. My kids go to the same go cart track and ride the same rides that I did as a teenager. Only now, Cephas is old enough to DRIVE them by himself.
20 years of memories on that stretch of beach and the traditions continue.
A little further down the road on that same stretch of beach God met me as a 15 year old. I knew God but that summer brought a call that I couldn’t shake if I tried. The year where I faced the music and knew that God called me into ministry. 20 years later I can tell you not to roll your eyes at the 15yr old, it wasn’t a fluke.
We get the gift of memorial stones in our lives. Sometimes we remember moments. Sometimes we write them down so we don’t forget and revisit them later. For me, one of those places was a stretch of beach, right down the road from the place where God reminds of the gift of my wild family. I love the combo here.
I walked that beach and remembered and was in awe of God’s faithfulness to that wild girl. The one who scared her mom. The one who’s family had paid a great price but continued to be faithful to the God who sustained them. They set an incredible example…and they continue to.
The road to faithful obedience is a long road. It’s a really long road. It’s both a marathon and a relay. We run our long race faithfully. We have a baton to pass on. But this road? It’s long. The things that God spoke to that 15 year old girl are still true. It’s been 20 years and my God is so faithful.
It was more than one step of faith and it will continue to be one after another until I see His face. And it will be worth it. One foot in front of the other, eyes focused and clear.
Keep going. The road is long but the God of the long road is a faithful God.