Wind & Sea

Whole-hearted trust beyond all understanding. Trusting acceptance of all circumstances. Acknowledging God is in control. Into Your hands Lord…

My tito Jun was buried at noon last Sunday, and I couldn’t understand all the things I was feeling at the time. I couldn’t cry. I needed to be strong for my dad who was almost at his knees before the casket. When I allowed myself to shed a tear, I couldn’t stand what I was feeling. Wounds resurfacing, guilt, betrayal, anger, rumors and gossip once again polluting the air, … I was in front and I couldn’t even hear the priest!! It was either my thoughts that drowned out his words or the loud chit-chattering of old women at the back. It was a terrible funeral. The burial place was cramped, crowded, and dry. There were squatters surrounding us and lingering around the burial place. The tombstone didn’t even have the right name on it! The weather was this sickening unbearable heat, and I myself felt sick with a bit of fever at all the things that were wrong at the funeral. All of this emotion tangled up neatly in a nice rubber band ball underneath the surface where I allowed myself to be distracted and smile at the silver linings–at least my family was there.

Still, I wanted Sunday to quickly end, and Monday to begin now. Since I only had 4 hours total sleep in 2 days and I was feeling a bit under the weather, I took that as my excuse to go straight back to the condominium where I could rest alone. I kept telling myself, ‘Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow, I surf.’

Now I’m not that great of a surfer, but I find amazing healing in it. Even just watching someone surf, well watching Rob Machado surf at least, is soothing and calming. Uplifting. … Refreshing. A song and a quote comes to mind:

1To expect to know God in whatever way most appropriate for you at any moment of your life.

I was expecting the same kind of upliftment–it is expectations that are bad, not expectancy. I did feel God while I was surfing; only, it wasn’t what I expected.

Monday I set out with two of my sweetest friends and took a road trip to La Union. Oh to get away from it all! When we arrived, the waves were huge! Well, huge for me. I’m only 5ft in height, and I’m just used to those tiny 3-4ft waves here in Hong Kong. The sight of waves reaching 8ft were kinda a new thing. Like I said, I’m still not that great of a surfer. My arms are not yet quite strong enough to paddle out as far as I would like, but I wanted me some 8ft waves.

I paddled out with a guide, just in case. I needed another board beside me to help me out. We set out further away from shore, and positioned ourselves to catch the next big wave. My first ride of the second day was amazing. I caught one of the biggest waves that morning. Soon as I finished my ride and jumped off, there was another huge wave behind me that engulfed me. The waves nearly crushed me. My leash (which was attached to both my ankle and board) got tangled around my leg. I tried to untangle it while I was spinning underwater. As soon as that was done and I popped my head back up on the surface, another huge wave broke before me. Again, submerged and spinning, I tried to reach the surface. When I recovered from that one, I reached for my board and tried to get in position, but it was too late. Another huge wave came again. After that, I gave up. When I reached the surface, I expected another wave to engulf me, and it did. … That was the last of it. Pissed off, I swam like a mad woman to my board, and tried to paddle out again to position. I was tired. The current was ridiculous and the spot was too far away.

It was on that biggest ride of the day that I got the message. This is what I’m going through now. Hit after hit after hit after hit. Loss of a loved one–I didn’t want to deal with it, but that ride knocked my head back into perspective. I must deal.

Those hits made my body hurt, my spirit weak, and my arms exhausted. Thankfully, I had a guide. After my last hit, when I got right back on my board, he came and let me tug on his leash. I didn’t have to do any work. He paddled in front of me and all I had to do was grab on. He took me to our spot where I rested a bit until I could catch the next wave.

Friends keep telling me that it’s ok to be down and out because what happened was really harsh. Don’t deny what happened, deal with it. Grieve. Accept things for what they are. Accept these things as God’s will. Whole-hearted trust beyond all understanding. Trusting acceptance of all circumstances. And when I’m ready, let go and let God. Because really, God is in full control. 

Jesus woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” – Mark 4:39-41

God is in full control.

1 Unbound by Dorien Israel


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