Tag Archives: Christian

Ocean Sunset

Ocean sunset 7

I’m staring at the most beautiful scene: A northern California shoreline at sunset. The sun hovers just above the waves, staining the heavens with brilliant shades of crimson and orange as it settles in for the night. Foam-topped waves tumble shoreward, churning and swirling among the smooth stones before pulling back for another run. Farther out, a jagged monolith juts out of the sea, black against the fiery backdrop, a lone gull perched on its top.

It’s only a picture, torn from last year’s calendar and tacked to my den wall. But I hear the ocean’s timeless roar, feel the brisk breeze on my face, and I remember a time when I stood on such a beach watching the sunset after an exhilarating day flying kites and running barefoot in the sand. For three glorious days I’d thrown off the shackles of adult obligations to embrace childhood again, reveling in the crisp autumn air of a nearly-empty beach and casting aside cell phone, laptop and wrist watch to commune solely with wind and waves and to hear my Creator’s still small voice.

That evening aroused many emotions: tranquility, serenity, awe and breathless wonder, and even some silliness as I contemplated the cloud of steam that should have erupted when the sun hit the ocean. As a child I actually believed that—until my parents finally told me, very matter-of-factly, that the sun does not drop into the ocean. A basic science class explaining the true nature of the solar system later confirmed their words. But I still think one needs to entertain some silliness once in a while. Everyone needs a little humor and levity. I certainly do.

That meeting of sun and sea made me consider another aspect of life: How often does it seem we tread dangerous waters while heading straight into a fire? I know that feeling, as do countless others. Those pounding waves and raging fires can crush and consume—or they can refine and strengthen. Fire and water play leading roles in my fantasy novels as both destroyers and refiners as, literally and figuratively, my heroes pass through both. What determines how you emerge? Partly who you are: your attitude toward life and people, and how you deal with circumstances. Mostly it is what—or Who—you worship. Years ago I chose to worship Jesus Christ. Does he remove the obstacles? No. Do bad things still happen to us? Yes. Does he intervene in our behalf? Yes, sometimes in ways we don’t expect or think to be right. And does he walk with us in trials, offering grace and comfort? Absolutely!

Sometimes as I gaze at that picture I envy that gull which, unfettered by schedules, deadlines, and the demands of life simply takes to the heavens at will. But there’s a place within me where my Creator lives, where I can lay aside my burdens, collect my thoughts, and talk to Him—and listen when He speaks to my heart. Likely I’ll never live near a beach—but Christ has prepared a place for me more wonderful than any place on this earth. And someday I may even revisit that beach, kick off my shoes, launch my kite and watch it soar among the gulls. In the meantime I cherish the truth that, whether in crushing waves or searing fire, my Savior is always with me.

Ocean sunset 4

© Everthedreamer, 2020 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

Vanquishing Panic Attacks

Ryadok

Once you emerge from an unpleasant chapter in life, it is best to go your way and never look back–right?  After overcoming the demons, discovering an abundance you never dreamed you could have, and leaving the ghosts of those wasted, unhappy years so far behind you no longer see them anymore, why revisit them?  What good could that possibly do?  Sometimes, a lot of good.

I had endured 16 years of crippling and debilitating panic attacks that claimed almost half of my twenties and all of my thirties, attacks so severe they bordered on agoraphobia.  I would have gladly sequestered myself, except I had no one willing to support me.  I functioned, if you could call it that, in the shadows, restricting grocery runs to all-night stores in the wee hours when the stores stood largely empty, and only attending functions if I could find a seat near the door so I could beat a hasty retreat in the face of an oncoming attack.  I never dated.  I had no social life.  In fact, I had no life at all–just a pseudo-existence filled with loneliness and misery.  And no one understood.

Miraculously, I functioned well enough to hold a job as a computer programmer, tucked away in a protective cocoon hidden in the bowels of the corporate office.  I brought my own lunch and ate at my desk, arriving early and staying late to avoid as much traffic as possible.  I tried counseling, pills–nothing worked.  The counselors left me feeling worse, while the pills made me foggy and less functional than ever.

One night I was forced to leave early.  A road rage incident in rush hour traffic propelled me straight home and into my bedroom bent on committing suicide.  In that dark room, backed into a corner, I came to terms with how I’d been living.  God asked some pointed questions, not audibly, but through thoughts put into my mind.  I confessed my sin and gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ.  In the days that followed God began to move and the miracles began.  The chains fell away and for the first time in years I could breathe.  In June of 1992 the panic attacks were forever vanquished and my life restored.

3 Yellow Leaves Over Pond

After publishing BELLA I intended to start formatting a children’s book but for some reason felt compelled to revisit this chapter and to write the story of my journey out of darkness into light, out of bondage into perfect freedom with my sanity intact.  The story ends joyfully.  How can I NOT tell it?  And if it helps draw others to freedom and new life, it will have all been worth it.  Looking back, I don’t even consider it an ordeal anymore, but simply another leg of my life’s journey.

Today I start organizing my thoughts and notes for this amazing story.  As the book comes together, I will share on this blog.  Often what helps a suffering person most is access to someone who not only sympathizes, but can empathize with what they are enduring.  Hopefully, I can be that person.

© Everthedreamer, 2019 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.