In the darkness, my lack of bearings scared me. I feared walking into something that I couldn't see. The moon was the only thing distinguishing the sky from the water in the blackness. I hung back on the beach. Without warning, my friend lifted me up and rushed me into the water. The water was freezing. It encompassed my feet and lapped at my jeans. I looked down, but I still couldn't see the water. I could only feel it. My fear of what I couldn't see in the waters and in the expanse before me kept me rooted to the spot. Only the ocean floor beneath my feet and my friend's hands on my back kept me oriented in the darkness.
Part of me wanted to rush into the waters, allow my eyes to adjust, and my head to dip under the waves and enjoy the feel of the water on my skin. I had always been drawn to the water. It was a calming place for me. The gentle rush of the waves and the cool feel on my skin has always been a source of relaxation. But here, with something I couldn't see, I was scared.
I am such a visual individual. One of the verses I wrestle with most is 2 Corinthians 5:7, "We walk by faith, and not by sight." Sometimes, I need that friend to grab me and walk with me into a situation in which I am dying to go, know I should, but fear is keeping me rooted back on the beach where I can see. That is wrong on my part. The Lord asks, "Do you trust me, even when you can't see what you are walking into? I'm that Light on the horizon giving direction. I know what you are about to go through. Do you trust me?"
I am constantly praying that the Lord will give me the faith to follow Him even when I can't see. It was never my plan to move back home after I graduated, to not have a job that I enjoy doing, to not have my own space and life that I am figuring out. But the Lord had different plans for this next chapter. He had a dark oceanic expanse stretching before me with disappointment, rejection, and blessings and lessons I never would have imagined I would have when I stepped into that dark water back in May. My life is a journey of swimming through the water toward that moon hanging on the horizon. I am learning to face my fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind." I claim that promise. Because I am a child of the God who created that moon, that dark sky, and the ocean, I have His power on my side. And there's that love word again. I am surrounded by people who are willing and sometimes forceful enough to push me out of my comfort zone into the vast unknown. They love me enough to do that. The Lord loves me too much to leave me imprisoned in my fear. He gives me a sound mind, an ability to have peace in the midst of my uncertainties because He is Sovereign and in control of my oceans.
I love these gentle promises from the Lord. He walks with me through my fear. He guides me even when He leads me into stages I can't see. Have you been there? If you are a recent college graduate, like me, then I know you are there. Do you see His hand in the darkness even when you can't see the road beneath your feet? Do you see the moon shining on the horizon in the midst of your dark unknown? He shines a light and it pierces that uncertainty. He is a God who is strong enough and so faithful that I can walk by faith and not by sight, even when I am scared. I want to trust Him fully. I know that He is good. And I want to follow Him no matter what. I pray that if you are lost right now, that you will see the goodness of Jesus and the peace He brings. He walks with you through those dark skies and unknown waters. He has a beautiful plan for you, and it does not involve fear. It involves faith and His peace.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11