“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Sitting on the beach, I was quite content to people watch for a while. My youngest son and I had finished playing a fun game of frisbee and other beach games, so he set off to try to make a home made kite from a plastic bag, 2 boogie boards and red plastic string.
A family nearby had also enjoyed a full day playing in the sun – mom, dad, toddler and grandparents. Nearing late afternoon, the mom, grandmother and daughter ventured into the surf together – hand in hand. I watched them with curiosity. Then, it happened.
My heart sank, and I instantly knew why I felt like my heart weighed a 1,000 pounds. There were 3 generations enjoying the beach together. Something I will never have with my mom and children. Once again, reality has a way of sneaking its way into a dreamy moment. One moment, the grandmother and mother were swinging the toddler above the waves with me blissfully watching on the sidelines, then, in the next breath the stark reality of what I will never feel, hear, see or experience hit me like a roaring wave of sadness.
However, what happened next totally caught me by surprise. As fast as my heart sank, it was as though a life preserver had been thrown my way. With fresh eyes, ones given to me by believing God in all things and living by faith, what I watched through a grieving filter of a hollow past was now something I could look forward to enjoying in the future.
I may not be able to have this kind of beach moment with my mom and daughter, but hopefully I can have it with my daughter, or daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren.
Ah ha! Everything looked different.
It is our choice to walk backwards on the path of life on which God has allowed us to journey. It is also our choice to walk forward. I was caught up in a moment of walking backwards over things that have already taken place, and in doing so I temporarily forfeited the opportunity to get excited about what I hope is to come.
Is there a guarantee that I will ever get that moment? No. But, without hopes and dreams, the reality of life can mercilessly pound us like relentless, crashing waves. For today, I look forward to the many moments God will prayerfully give me with my family – but I will also treasure the ones He’s given me right now.
Yesterday, we had an awesome day together. In the sand, sun and water, we made the most of the day and went to bed delightfully exhausted and a little sunburned.
I snapped a photo (above) of the family, our sandy neighbors, whom I had the pleasure of watching. Instead of bringing despair, they offered me hope. Instead of walking backwards, I will walk forward to whatever awaits on my path. And, I will soak in every laugh, every hug, every tender moment with my family that God gives me right now. They are balm to my heart and water to my soul. I have a smile on my face this morning, over precious memories made thus far on this trip and with hope for more special moments to come.