A few year back my family and I took a vacation to an island area. We’re from the prairies, so the sight of all that water never ceases to amaze me. In the prairies we have lakes, but it’s completely different from the oceans. Lake water is freshwater (vs. the salt of the oceans), and it’s also really calm.
One morning we were out for a swim/walk on the beach, and the waves were really coming in. It was awesome, I had never really seen anything like it before. The boys and I waded out till they were around waist deep, and facing the waves became a sort of a game.
We stood there, laughing as the waves crashed against us; feeling the force of them push us back. A few times my youngest would get pushed over, into the water. So we held hands and made a “human wall”. We faced them together, and when one of us was struggling to stay on their feet, the other would help steady them, or help them up when they were submerged.
The waves were steady, but we never knew what was coming next. Sometimes we would see a big one coming, and one of us would yell “brace for impact!!!,” as we leaned in to allow our bodies to absorb the force of the water.
I think life is a lot like that. Sometimes the waters are placid, but other times we are buffeted by wave after wave. In life though, you don’t always see them coming. And some waves can threaten to drag you down if you aren’t prepared.
Sometimes the waves of life pull you down, and you feel like you’re going to drown. Sometimes, they break you. And nothing seems to make sense as you feel your life start to spiral out of control.
Just like the ocean though, these waves eventually pass. No matter how much they hurt, and how broken you feel, you emerge out on the other side.
If you have people around you, and you are willing to reach out your hand you will often find them with you, helping to steady you and keep you afloat. And helping to pull you out when you find yourself in over your head.
Or you can choose to go at it alone. It’s harder, but if you hold on and fight the rushing torrent, eventually it will pass.
Even when you feel broken, you are still you. And if you can find the strength to pick yourself back up you will find that you don’t have to retreat to the shore. You don’t have to give in to the pain. You can face whatever is ahead of you, and emerge on the other side.
Different maybe. And maybe even broken. But still whole.
Because there will always be more. Waves of different sizes and intensities. Periods of calm, and periods of storm.
HOW you face them, and how you emerge is up to you.
Here come the waves – brace for impact.