Day 17-18 | Surfing Faithfulness
A word that the Lord gave me to pray over this past summer was faithfulness. It was not any huge event, and there was no writing on the wall. I felt lost at sea, and the word that jumped off the pages of my Bible was faithfulness. It was that simple, so I wrote it down a bunch of times in my prayers.
Ever since I was little, I have made lists. Writing simultaneously helps me reign in my thoughts and go wild with my dreams. To-dos and buckets have always been my favorites. A part of my affinity for lists comes from an obsession with independence. If I know what I want to do, then I can figure out how to do it on my own. I can tightly clench a pen, sketch out my dreams, and check them off one by one.
Because my best friend is a flight attendant with United Airlines and I sometimes work in the Dominican Republic, I spend lots of time on planes. If it had been up to fourteen-year-old Frankie, she would have moved to a tropical country with good surf and beautiful beaches. She would have gone pro and already be writing for National Geographic. That is a glimpse into my various bucket lists scattered on papers tacked on the walls of my room in the Chicago suburbs, so at twenty-three, I surfed for the first time.
Lost at Sea
Meanwhile in my filled notebooks, high school, college, boyfriends, breakups, random jobs, countries, passports stamps, flights, and lists have been scribbled, leaving me continuously lost at sea. There have been times when I felt close to the shore and have waved at friends standing under the palms, but there have been other times when I have been in a lone row boat in the middle of the Pacific wondering why God left me alone and when He was going to come and rescue me with a Coast Guard helicopter mission.
An adventurous best friend, a flight direct from O’hare to Honolulu, and a walk at sunrise landed me on a surf board paddling away from the shore yesterday. I sat on the back of my board and faced the ocean with about seven other surfers who also sought the sun.
On the ocean, I did not find myself in a lone row boat. I felt safe on my board and paddled out farther than I would have swam. The other surfers did the same and threw a shakas as the anticipation grew. Some were impatient and returned to shore, but the rest of us waited gazing out over the water. The sun was rising, and the horizon to the east turned pink.
I paddled away from the shore and towards the light of the sunrise, longing to be further in the ocean, surrounded by more light. We sat in the quiet, for the water was still.
We had a common tongue without saying a word. There was a mutual love for one another that did not need to be spoken. The act of surfing is selfless, for humility is built into the sport.
Sitting on boards and paddling towards the ocean, every surfer lays down control. No matter how badly one desires to stand on their board, only God can send in the waves. I can write that I want to surf all over my bucket lists, fly to Hawaii, and gaze at the ocean, but I am helpless to bring the waves.
Sometimes, I am tempted to stick to my notebooks and remain satisfied with my sketches of waves or lists about surfing because I fear the ocean that surrounds my little, lone boat, but in faithfulness I trust that the Lord will transform the ocean surrounding me lost at sea into immaculate waves to catch His love.
Surfing, I learn to stop rowing tirelessly and await the waves that will guide me back to shore to fill me with excitement to paddle out to sea again. I lay down my pride, catch a wave, and throw a shaka over to Jesus who is surfing next to me, cheering on those already at shore and waiting for their waves, too.