By the time this post publishes, I will have turned the calendar once again, becoming a year older. I am grateful for the blessings in my life; my family, my friends, all that God has placed in my hands to tend to. My heart cannot contain all that I am thankful for.
I speak a lot about seasons because we are always in the midst of one; we are either being pruned or restored, positioned or removed, launching or being reset. More than the number of candles on our cake, we can count the ways that God is growing us. Even when we are in a season of loss - of opportunities, relationships, resources - He is reshaping us. The journey is constant, and we row in the current of our faith trusting God to lead the way.
He is. He always is.
Birthdays, for me, are always an event that causes me introspection. I can’t help but look back, noticing all the ways my life has flowed together. People tend to think that life “happens” to them, as if pushed together by random acts and incidences. I choose to see God’s hand in all that has formed me; blessings and breakdowns, moments of great joy and sadness — all have His signature.
Though I may not understand the reasons for many things, I can understand that He does. As time moves on, the purpose is always revealed.
Every summer, when our children were young, we took a trip to the beach. And, given my birthday is in August, this trip would often coincide with the celebration. I loved these times. Watching my four kids, like stair steps, digging in the sand, playing with their dad by the water’s edge, lapping up the waves with huge giggles and happy screams. Joy spilled upon our family like the unabated sunshine. These were glorious times.
As I always do around this time, I recall our trips to the beach. Looking at my kids, now almost fully grown, I can’t help but still see their beautiful faces, young and tan and filled with happiness, frolicking around our beach blanket. My memory has snap shots of their expressions. My heart has recorded their sweet voices and they play on a loop inside my head.
Recently, I pulled from a box of my writings a poem that I had written, “Along the Beach,” exactly nineteen years ago on my birthday (The poem and the pic above are from the same trip.) It is a reminder for me of the constancy of life; of how every moment is connected to the next somehow. We all have a legacy we are building, even in the smallest moments when we think no one is paying attention.
We must always know that God’s hand is touching, shaping and readying our hearts for what comes next. Like the waves that come upon the shore, some will drench us with glee and others knock us down. They will always come. And He will always be there with us, like a good father, holding us up.
I am looking forward to a new year, a new chance to embrace what God is doing in my midst. He is a God of great grace and mercy. He renews our spirit. And, no matter the lessons the one before it brought, there is always promise in the season ahead.
Thank You, Lord, for these moments in my life. They were precious and beautiful. Thank You also for all that are to come.
Whatever you are facing in your season, know that God’s got you
"Along the Beach"
When I walk with you
along the beach
Your hands will be bigger
within my own
Your voices deeper
We all be a little older
Blessed by God times many years
When my own hands
Are not so strong
Or my step as light
You will love me ~ Still
For all the times
When I walked with you
along the beach
Copyright Mary A Bryant