A while back I had to leave behind the only shore I’ve ever known. All the people I love are still there.
I am now fully committed to the sea and can never turn back. The boat that is my refuge is also my nightmare. Traveling on this boat is the only place that I know God. It is the only place where peace seeks me out, envelops me and makes me Whole. The heartbreak surfaces when I look back at the shore and the people I love appear smaller and smaller.
I’m terrified that I will lose them forever.
Maybe there are some that are going to wait for me. Maybe there are some who love me enough that it doesn’t matter that I had to leave. Maybe they have joy in their hearts that I could finally find the solace I so desperately seek.
I see a pair of binoculars. I grab them and use them to peer cautiously back at the shore.
My worst fears are confirmed. I can see some of my shore-people leaving. Some seem to not even glance back. It appears as if the remaining ones are packing up, too. Soon, there will be no one left.
My face is wet with tears. Silent tears are the hardest kind to shed. They mean your heart is broken without a sound. Soundless and soulless is exactly how I feel right now.
I’m despondent. Again, I feel confused rage at being forced to take this journey to God that I never asked for. I wanted peace, not heartbreak. I wanted love, not desolation.
I am sad for a long stretch of time. I’m still sad. I feel like I will be sad forever.
I hear a soft clink. I lift my weary head and ease myself up to where I heard the sound. Floating in the water next to the boat is a bottle with a curled paper message waiting inside. I figure I have nothing to lose. I reach for the bottle and tip the message out. It unfurls in my hands in a feathery stretch. I read it.
KEEP GOING it says.
WE ARE WAITING FOR YOU it says.
TAKE AS LONG AS YOU NEED it says, WE AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE.
I shake my head in disbelief. How is it possible that there are shore-people still waiting for me?
I race to the binoculars and look back at the shore.
Sure enough, I see them. There is only a handful left. There used to be a whole lot more but I don’t care. The ones that are left are my most-treasured anyway. For the first time I am able to let a little bit of hope break over me. It’s only a little but it’s a start.
Traveling as far as I have on this sea, I have learned something significant. Even if those handful of shore-people tire of waiting, the memory of their love will be enough to carry me through.
I’m less afraid now. The remaining shore-people can stay, which I pray they do, or they can go if that is what is in their hearts. They showed me the way to love so maybe their job is done now. Maybe it isn’t.
I am so grateful to God right now. Even through my despair at my current frustrated isolation, He is teaching me about the Truth of Love.
“What needs to stay, stays. What needs to go, goes.”
—Tosha Silver OUTRAGEOUS OPENNESS (Letting the Divine Take the Lead)
Whoever needs to go I know I can bless them with Love.
My destination is already determined. Nothing will stop me now.