Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunrise at Sea Stirs The Soul

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Photo: Caribbean Sunrise
When they announced the location of the 35th anniversary Nature's Sunshine convention, a Caribbean cruise, I didn't want to go. We had earned it and although my husband loves cruises since it's true break for him, I didn't want to go. I should've known it had to do with buried feelings I didn't want to deal with.

With vitiligo I have had to avoid the sun for over 30 years. After 15 years of grieving over lost days in the sun, sand and water, I fell in love with forests. They are such good friends. Protecting me from the sun which I can't spend much time in and showing me an entirely different world of wonder and awe that God created for us to enjoy. Forests serve the planet in so many ways, but they offer warm, comforting hugs to me.

I focused on the positive aspects of the cruise. We were to have a balcony in our cabin. There would be new memories for my mental scrapbook with our Sunshine Family (Nature's Sunshine distributor group) that would be on board. My image of the cruise was all smiles and delight and there has been plenty of it, but there's also been such a volcanic eruption of past, present and future.

Maybe it's the late nights on the balcony with the "world" washing by .... or the early morning sunrises of hope and promise. It seems like I am living in "The Life That Never Was" soap opera. The tumultuous waves along with the whisperings of the devil in my ear dredge up the unfulfilled desires of my life and the regrets of the past. We can never bury anything deep enough that it will not affect us, so it's good to have things bubble up and be dealt with on a new level with new Truth and information from our spiritual growth since the events occurred.

So the cathartic effect of the ocean is a good thing if I can allow the waters to wash it all 'away' and cleanse my soul and spirit, but I find myself asking, "Where is 'away'?"

Life can be complicated when you try to figure it out yourself. Putting it into the greatness of God, realizing that He controls these vast expanses of ocean and the daily sunrise and sunsets, makes it visibly easier for me to trust Him for my past, present and future. At least as long as I'm staring at the ocean, right?

The future has to be our focus. We can do nothing to change the past, but recreating who we are by allowing God to heal the wounds and mend the broken heart with His love for us can also recreate our past. Especially when it comes to relationships ... and aren't the most painful parts of the past what we want so badly to remake?

Our spiritual growth and healing will "pass through" to old and new relationships and that's why we must focus on the future against all tidal waves that the devil sends crashing against us to remind us of the past mistakes and heartaches. I remember a line from one of Carmen's CD's:

When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!

I won't grow by whining over what was and grief will only create disease within the body, so allowing God to take my mistakes and use them for the good of everybody involved with my heart at peace about it all, will bring healing to everybody concerned. Again, we are asked to "Let Go." Why do we hold on to things we cannot control? Perfectionism? Do we think we can create a perfect world or family?

As I type that I am looking at the ocean passing by. There is no way to hold it still. It is in a continual process of "letting go" and with this visual image I can release the emotional pain of the past and trust that God will bring me ashore and surround my spirit with paradise in the midst of a seemingly broken world. He'll do it for me and for you ... if we allow Him to. Let's turn around and focus on the future!

View photos of Caribbean cruise.

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