May 1, 2013

Why Husband and the Sea share my heart

NOTE: Sorry for the length of this post. Yes, I recognize its wordy, but its my story to tell.

When husband was just boyfriend, and the Marine Corps was just an option - life was full of questions. It was all so overwhelming at nineteen. Should he go? Should he stay? Would we get married? Engaged? Stay dating? Would he come back totally different? Still love me? Like me?

I remember when we took our first road trip together, to Santa Cruz. We were walking on the beach one morning, discussing our futures and collecting sand dollars. This particular beach we were at was lined with them. Huge ones. As big as my hand. (I mean it.) I remember the joy of being in my favorite place in the world, with my favorite person in the world. This was the perfect moment.

Lets fast forward through the next year, shall we? Husband and I enjoyed Christmas with each other's families, and our relationship became more serious. He and I got engaged in April before he left for boot camp in May. There were three awful months of longing to see him and hearing from him. I wrote him every day, and received 6 letters back. I read and re-read those letters. Searching for something I hadn't noticed before: a misplaced comma, a reference I didn't get the first time. Following that were a couple equally awful months while he went through Infantry school. He was disconnected, depressed and not the same guy I fell in love with. And that's where our story picks up, because that September I took a weekend trip down to see him.

The most annoying detail about being in the military is the planning. (OR really, lack thereof) And after a 9-hour solo drive down to San Diego, I found myself alone on the beach in Oceanside at noon. He was sorry. He'd get off tomorrow morning. I broke into tears. All the hope of seeing him and nine hours of build-up, dashed by another night alone.

In that moment, I cursed God. I remember our conversation went something like this: "How could you!? How could you pretend to love me!? How could you put me through this!? How could you make me fall in love with someone who it hurts this much to love!?

And I will always remember the beautifully clear reply, "I do love you."

Still angry, I replied, "Well if you love me, give me a sand dollar. Prove yourself to me."
I continued walking along the beach, and came up empty. So that was it, God didnt' love me. He didn't care. There was this huge rock in the middle of the beach, as I moved around it I began to cry harder. The shore was covered in Sand Dollars. There was one every five feet. Big ones, small ones, alive ones. I picked one up, and took it back to the hotel with me. He loved me. He loves me.

Ever since then, when I doubt the saviors love for me, I remember the Sand dollars he gave me that day. Husband and I got married and had the wedding of our dreams, we moved in together, and I could not be more blessed. But that doesn't mean that my life with him is easy. I was in a low spot last week, as I felt generally discouraged. Husband has been working long hours, and when I finally see him, he's exhausted. I could sense that old bitterness of mine, rising in me.

Something told me, go to the beach.

This shore has very little waves. Its a little dirtier than most, and the shells aren't impressive. Its more a rocks-and-crabs than sand-and-tan beach. But for me, the beauty remains. I took off my sandals, and began to walk.

A mere feet from where I had entered the beach, lay a perfect sand dollar.

Not only is this the only sand dollar I have ever found on this beach, but its the only one since then. I have never even found broken pieces here. nada. zilch. The only one.

He loves me, he loves me, he loves me. And he loves you, too.

11 comments:

  1. I read every word. TL;DR doesn't apply when there is such valuable content. I love your story and I am so happy the two have you have worked out despite the awful trial that is a military marriage/relationship.

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    1. Thanks Bekah, Yeah its been hard, but God has been faithful. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Beautiful. Just like our Savior.

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    1. preach it sister.
      (about our savior, not about my writing being beautiful.)
      Oh, you know what I mean!

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  3. wow. just wow. This post could not have come at a better time for me. For the past few years I have felt a little lost in terms of my relationship with God. Seeing so many horrible things go on in the world and having dealt with the loss of too many loved ones has left me somewhat bitter and resentful at times. That story gives me hope, and that is why I want to commit to having a more personal and real relationship with God,knowing that I can be angry/frustrated/confused at times as long as I remember that he loves me...just wow.

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    1. Thats exactly how I feel. Its refreshing to remember that God cares about what happens here, and he's just as sad about it as we are, if not more.

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  4. Wow. That is awesome. These types of experiences are what keeps my faith alive (after a long time of having a very dormant faith).

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    1. Yeah me too. Sometimes I am amazed by how dormant my faith becomes, even when God is SO evidently watching out for me.

      Its like I'm completely blind to it, or something.

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  5. I love this post, I love the ways God shows us that He is there and that He does care for and love us.

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    1. Yeah, me too. He's such a beautiful voice, no?
      You had an experience like this too?

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  6. Absolutely loved reading this post. Beautiful. And such a great thing to reflect on during the inevitable tough times.

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