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Featured Friend: Patty @ Hearts Homeward

Welcome to Featured Friend Wednesday where I  introduce you to one of my beautiful writing friends.  I hope you will take the time to read, get to know the writer and visit her blog and social media links.

When Life’s Undertow Threatens To Drag You Down,
by Patty @ Hearts Homeward

When I was a little girl, most summers we went to visit my grandmother in Rockaway Beach, New York. She lived in a high-rise apartment building across from the boardwalk and from her balcony we could see the ocean. Most days we took the elevators down from her apartment and walked across the street, doffed our shoes and ran for the waves.

My grandmother would yell after us, “Be careful of the undertow!”

This week, as our family went through an unexpected trial, I felt the undertow of life, threatening to drag us, hold us down and suffocate the breath out of us. I got on my email and saw blogposts which were written about hopeful and happy things and there seemed to be a curtain between my life and those around me. They were buoyant and we were struggling for air.

Ocean Wave.2

Did you ever notice how you can hear noises, though muffled, when you are underwater. I used to play this game with one of my best friends when we were younger where we would hold our breath, both go under the pool surface and one of us would say something to the other as we tried to decipher what was being said. God’s messages to our family felt like that this week. We were being held under, but He was sending us messages. One of the clearest things he showed us was to stay in the day at hand. So often, when we are facing circumstances which are beyond our control and certainly don’t fit into what we would like to have happen to us, we are tempted to look ahead with dread. What if the worst comes to pass? And, yet, in the midst of our undertow, God was saying, “Fix your eyes on Me – today.” We learned afresh how to stay in the moment and witness His ever-present provision, like manna – given just in the amount we need, in the form we need for our time of need.

Another sweet message God echoed through our hardships was the message of His grace and care despite our feelings or situation. One day as I was struggling to pray with any measure of faith, I heard a muffled verse reverberated in my heart.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38)

Nothing. Not one thing … can separate us from the love of God. Memorize it if you will, but still, I promise, it takes a trial, a spiritual undertow to test the reality of that anchor in your heart. This week I got to feel that truth – God mouthing it to me under the water and me straining to make out what He was saying. Do you know it in your bones? Is it the anchor for your soul when life is sucked under and you can’t feel which way is up? I pray so.

[Tweet “When life holds you down, God reaches in.”]

And He sends out lifeguards, running in with floats, searching for your outstretched hand. What can I say about the friends who prayed? They rescued us in moments when our own feelings of overwhelm and loss were just more than we could bear alone. They spoke words of love and we were given hope. It isn’t in the days on shore, basking in the sun and calm, when encouragement matters so much. It is when we are sucked down that we need the loving and heart-felt words of a friend. Just their wordless presence gave us the life raft we needed as we endured.

Sunset over Ocean.2

And now the wave has passed over and the tide has turned. And, here we are washed up safely from what we felt might drown us in many ways. And I can kiss the ground on which we stand and pick up tidbits of what washed up with us and give a dance of joy with sand in my toes and never, ever take for granted that NOTHING – no nothing – can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus.

Nothing. No nothing … can separate YOU from the Love God has for YOU in Christ Jesus. So, hold on when the waves roll over. He hasn’t taken His eye off you and He hasn’t saved you once so that He can let you drown now. He will use each trial to strengthen you and your faith in His goodness.

And one day you will dance on the sand again.

Jumping on the Beach.2

PattyPatty is married to her beloved surfer husband.  She home educates her two precocious boys who are the joys of her life.  Patty is inspired by Charlotte Mason, her mentor, Kathy, Dallas Willard and C.S. Lewis.  Patty is devoted to Jesus.  She writes to inspire and bless by sharing the real, the beautiful and the reaching of her own heart at Hearts Homeward.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Alecia Simersky
    August 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I think you described exactly how going through the storm, yet not going under feels like. He gives us just what we need each day, doesn’t he? We’ve recently come out of a storm that I didn’t think was ever come to an end, and I came across a verse in Psalms that described EXACTLY how I felt it’s Psalms 30:1-12, just to paraphrase,”I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.”

    So good to meet you through Barbie’s place!
    Alecia Simersky recently posted..God Took Away My AC (for a week…again)

  • Reply
    Kathryn Ross
    August 6, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Thank you. THANK YOU!!! After just crying out to the Lord and feeling that under-tow, I came online to read Patty’s words. I am right there – a much needed and timely encouragement and affirmation to hold on and stay the course. There is God’s comfort in your words to me today. Thank you . . . off for some freshly brewed TEA to stop and count my blessings and His mercies new everyday and sufficient for the task!
    Joy to you!!
    Kathy

  • Reply
    Beth
    August 6, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I love meeting Barbie’s friends! Nice to meet you Patty. This was a powerful message. And these words right here are beautiful truth >>> “He hasn’t saved you once so that He can let you drown now.” Thank you for sharing your story and your heart at Barbie’s place. I really, really loved your post.
    And love you, Barbie.
    xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: Surprised by God {Surprised by Motherhood}

    • Reply
      Barbie
      August 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      I love you too Beth!

  • Reply
    Maria {Shoot + Roots}
    August 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Beautiful post. It took me losing my father and going through the aftermath of that loss– of he who was my best friend and anchor in this human world– to realize that God never leaves you. I was holding to my faith by the tip of my fingers and while this past year was brutal in trying to reconnect with God, I am finally seeing the light. It is a great feeling. So yes, I truly believe when you say “He hasn’t saved you once so that He can let you drown now.”
    Maria {Shoot + Roots} recently posted..life is a garden {welcome to shoots + roots}

  • Reply
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup
    August 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this encouraging post. We, too, have gone through times when we feel pulled under by the tides of our circumstances. We often fight the tide with all that we have because we don’t trust that God is going to keep us afloat. We found that we just need to hold on, keep the faith, and trust God to get us through it. It is easy to say once we have come up for air, but we need to trust that He is there even when all we can see around us are the crashing of waves. Thanks, again!
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted..My Life Song – Live Like That

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    What a beautiful testimony!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Doing God’s plans without God’s help…

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 8, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Beautiful post Patty! I was looking at the shells left after the “storm” myself this morning, Your post is a beautiful affirmation that nothing can separate us from the love of the Lord!!!

  • Reply
    Missy
    August 9, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Patty, thank you. For every word. The truth is even on the muffled undertow. Amen!!

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