The sand was cool and the sun warmed my pregnant self as I stepped onto the shores of La’aloa Bay. A perfect paradise as I walked along the shore knee deep in the crystal clear blue water. Gorgeously colored fish nibbled at my toes in the calm waters. Never in my life had I dreamed such beauty existed in all the world.
La’a loa in the Hawaiian language means ‘very sacred’ and the ruins of an Ancient Hawaiian temple lay to the south of the small beach. The locals refer to La’aloa as Magic Sands (or even Tragic Slams) because of the strong surf break that washes the sand away exposing dangerous lava rock beneath it. Many an experienced swimmer has been seriously injured because of a lack of caution and respect for the strong current during the winter and spring seasons.
Life In All It’s Beauty
Shielding my eyes from the sun, I looked out to sea. Although more than 3 decades have passed, I can still recall the scent of the sea, the warmth of the sun and just the incredible majestic beauty of it all. I put my hand lovingly on the bump growing inside of me as I turned toward the shore. Palm trees framed the gorgeous white sandy beach. Kailua-Kona could be seen to the north and glimpses of the famous Kealakekua Bay toward the south. Absolutely breathtaking.
I had only turned my back to the ocean for a moment but it was just enough time for a surf break to pull me under. It was as if I had been thrown into a ginormous washing machine and as wave upon wave crashed over me, I quickly became disoriented. At one point I opened my eyes and could see the surf relentlessly crashing above my head. Each time I tried to swim upward another menacing wave would force me back under. I was fighting a losing battle and began to panic. Each attack was worse than the previous as the incredible forces of nature pooled against me, determined to bring me to the end of myself. There was nothing I could do but let go, I knew I could not save myself so I simply stopped struggling and gave up.
At that moment, what felt like a giant hand grabbed the back of my neck and began pulling me upward. With no power to resist, I followed the light that seemingly lead me towards the heavens and for an instant, I knew perfect peace. I was no longer afraid but willingly allowed the hand to carry me to wherever it willed. There was no fear…
As the light grew stronger it was as if I had to force myself to face it. Jerking, flailing, sputtering, then all cold and hard. I heard voices but I could not understand the words. It seemed as if I were trying to shake life back into myself, or was it me? No, someone was definitely shaking me, and rather hard I might add.
There was pounding, and I felt I might be able to make sense of it all if it would simply stop for a moment. I coughed and sputtered, seawater burning my throat and nostrils as it forcefully removed itself from me. I looked up and for an instant I could see the outline of the brown giant before me. He pulled me up with one strong arm.
Tarzan stood before me. The grinning faced super hero of man who had fought the strength of the ocean in order to save me laughed as he spoke, “You Hapai, me save you.” (hapai means pregnant in Hawaiian). Dumbfounded. Confusion. Exhaustion with general aches and pain throughout the whole of my body ensued.
Blinking in the bright afternoon sun, I could see that I had been carried a good half mile away and that the beach was no where in sight. There was no sand, nothing but palm trees and lava rock.
What the heck just happened?
It is easy to forget what lies beyond us when we are enjoying what lies before us.
The years have passed and yet the memory of my brush with disaster is still a vivid reminder of God’s amazing saving grace.
Each of us have enjoyed times when we are pregnant with the promises of God (so to speak) thoroughly enjoying the blessing and beauty of all that He has for us. It is easy to forget what lies beyond us when we are enjoying what lies before us. Full of hope, we forget that we are not immune from menacing waves that can completely wash away the very foundation we build our lives upon. We need to find a sacred place, where we can be saved from the storms that rage around us as well as within us.
When life brings us to our knees with discouragement and doubt
When life calls us to relinquish ourselves and our rights for the benefit of others
When we stand maligned and misunderstood
When we are sick, afraid and alone
Whenever something or someone we hold dear is torn from our hearts and lives
The Sacred Place~
Anytime we are given the opportunity to drop to our knees and lay the shattered pieces of our lives before God in desperate prayer, we have found the sacred place.
What about you? Have the waves of life pummeled you into confusion and despair? Has recent tragedy and unseen events caused you to give in? Have you struggled with being misunderstood and maligned? If brokenness has touched upon any of the Five F’s (Faith, Family, Friendship, Finances, Foundational Values) in your life, you have been offered a glorious welcome to the sacred place.
A Royal Invitation awaits. Come in and Oh, be sure to close the door behind you. You are not allowed to bring the baggage. You leave that at the door, please. Come into the quiet. There is grace for what has been and hope for what lies beyond. He is here waiting for you. The Apostle Paul said that nothing compares with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. What infinite grace. Peace from the storm. Doesn’t that sound just divine? That is because it is. Divine. All the gifts that your Heavenly Father holds for you can be encountered in the divine place of infinite grace.
Heavenly Father, I come to You broken, alone and afraid. Life has taken me by the throat and choked the joy out of me. I have nothing left to give. I have come to the end of myself, where I find You waiting for me to hand it all over. I do so gladly, Lord. I give it all over to You. This messy heart and life, it needs You and Your grace. I bow humbly before You and ask that You take my brokenness and make something beautiful again. I trust You, and Your Holy Word. I am just going to sit here in Your soothing presence for a while. I want to hear You speak to me. I need you so badly. Come, Lord. Meet me in this sacred place of shattered dreams. And Lord, I am so grateful that You love me so much that You allow me to become desperate for You. When I am left on my own, I can forget how wonderful it is to sit with You. I adore You, Lord. Amen
Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband. They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for over 30 years. Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. You can read more about her and the ministry of the Women’s Bible Cafe here. If this article has blessed you in any small way, please consider showing your support by clicking subscribe in the upper right corner. Copyright© 2015 Stasia Nielsen All Rights Reserved