||T W E N T Y O N E||

As the conference today came to a close, I was, am physically and emotionally exhausted in the best possible way. Performing has this pre adrenaline but once I'm off the stage it all comes flooding down and the humanness comes out full force. I shake uncontrollably and usually sit on the floor somewhere to regain my sense of stability. And then, some of the leaders went to the alter and prayed over some of the girls. It's one of my favorite moments, where they're bold and trying to step out despite the encouragement of their youth leader or hesitance of their peers. The first girl I prayed for, her name was Faith and I asked Faith what her prayer request was and she said that God would forgive her sins and in my head I'm thinking like what? steal candy from the store and let your mom think she bought it by putting it in the grocery bag? Basically her heart, her approach was so pure I immediately told her, Oh baby girl! He already has. And then prayed that she would be reminded of that truth and that she would continue to be so bold as she was in that moment but in the rest of her life. When it was all said and done, I wiped away a lot of tears, put on my jean jacket to cover the goosebumps and Karen and I came back to the hotel and crashed for an hour or so before heading out to dinner. After dinner, we went to downtown carlsbad and walked down to the beach.

The ocean, has always been my immediate space of comfort and healing. It is my tangible space.

It is my space where God feels tangible and life feels tangible and everything that seemed overwhelming comes across so small and mediocre in comparison to the waves. However when we walked down to the shore, the stair cases were covered in water. The waves were so big, so strong that they were covering the part of the beach that during the day was "accessible."

However I was really determined and though one staircase was a full puddle at the bottom, we walked through some houses and restaurants to access the other staircase. Again, it was filled with water. Karen automatically said NAH but everything in me wanted to get to the shore so I tried to figure out how deep the puddle was and of course the dramatics in both of us made it seem really deep. So with are attempts, we were satisfied enough to head back to the car that was until a man came and casually sauntered through the puddle, he told us it was only a few inches deep and I walked him walk through where there once was stairs and a path way to the shore now just covered in water. After seeing his example and that he didn't drown, I immediately followed after him.

Sometimes, I get these really bold spurts. I'm not sure where they come from but when they show up ---they know how to make things happen.

Now on the other side of the shore, I watched as the massive waves engulfed the sand.

They were the kind of ways that remind you how small you are.

And not in a you're insignificant kind of way either. Just small as in look how fragile you can be, look how big the God you serve must be if those waves could be shaped and molded by his very hands. I sat there and thought about how I almost didn't want to cross over to the shore. I almost was too terrified to dip my feet in the little ambiguous puddle and was going to be satisfied from watching the wondrous waves from the distance. My heart was still slightly freaking out at the "risk" of it all. Not knowing if something would grab my feet or if the depth of it was actually less than shallow than was assumed. But I had did it.

Isn't that how the unknown works sometimes? It's terrifying oh my it's so so scary. But only because we don't know what's on the other side. In fact, we don't even know what will happen after the first step right? And you know those people who say things they remind us that the first step is always the scariest. The first step is always the hardest one---because we have so many other narratives in our heads that are pulling us backwards and not forwards.

The unknown is exactly that BUT only unknown to us. Only unknown to the human eye, only unknown because we can't see that far.

We have no idea what's on the other side of the shore.

We have no idea how massive and glorious the waves will be but you know what we do know? We know that it's not in vain. We know that eventually we have to cross. We know that the unknown is only terrifying until you finally make that first step and then you're in the midst of the unknown and you see the gifts within it, then you get comfortable and THEN there's a whole different "unknown" to embark on after that.

The unknown is a tool to keep us moving forward and reminded that a "comfortable" life is a stagnant life.

Yeah.

A comfortable life is a stagnant life. Because once we're comfortable we slip into that and don't think it necessary to get out of our yoga pants and put on real clothes. We think it's okay here, I'm okay here. But nah bruh, you're actually not, You stink and you need to get up and out. Staying in  comfortable is kind of boring anyway and you're much too complex for comfortable.

The ocean is the most cliche illustration for unknown, depth and awe BECAUSE IT FREAKING IS  OKAY? It's that and so much more. The ocean is my reminder that God is in control and I am not. It is every ounce of tranquility and hope all swelled up into foam and roaring waves. The ocean reminds us that yes, the unknown is terrifying, it seems bigger than us, it seems unpredictable and ambiguous and yet all at once absolutely beautiful and worth it. It's good for us, the unknown, because it scares the comfortable out of us and straight onto the shore.

 (mm that was kinda  good. Someone tweet that)