Try as I might to cling to the rock, sometimes I relax my grip and the waves of life jostle me loose and toss me around the sea. I don't even realize I’ve fallen until I’m gasping for air and purging salt water from my lungs. As the turbulent waters push me away from the rock, I struggle to remember why I've held on to it so tightly. I lean back, relaxing into a floating position. The waves rock me back and forth, becoming a watery cradle.
Just let go.
I close my eyes and allow myself to drift through a sea of oblivion, reassuring myself that it’s okay. I can feel bodies pressed in around me, and am relieved by the fact that I’m not alone. Everyone else is allowing the waves to carry them from the rock.
Why shouldn’t I?
Why am I fighting what others so readily accept?
I open my eyes and confirm that they all appear serene and accepting. They do not worry about right and wrong, but are content to go with what feels good and makes them happy.
I could do that.
A strong undercurrent pulls at my feet, and more than anything I want to give in.
Give up. Become like everyone else.
I’ve always been an outsider, and cannot deny that the idea of belonging appeals to me.
A slight tug on my heart reminds me of the promise a Fisherman once told me - "Believe in me and I will set you free." The tug, acting as evidence that He has not given up on me, is enough to ignite a fire in my spirit. The lyrics to the song “Everything,” by Lifehouse replay in my mind.
“Find me here, and speak to me.
I want to feel you, I need to hear you.
You are the light, that’s leading me.
To the place, where I’ll find peace again.”
I repeat the words over and over; begging Him to find me, reminding myself that no matter how much easier it would be to give in to the waves, there is no peace in the water. The serenity the world offers to those who surrender to it is an illusion.
The Fisherman tugs again and my burden suddenly seems lighter.
Adrenaline floods my veins as I clench my teeth, angry that I was almost deceived.
I am an outcast, but never alone.
I began searching for the thin line that connects us, but the ocean is too murky. Treading water, I search for the rock but cannot find it. I belittle myself for my stupidity, disgusted that I would allow the waves to carry me out so far. I am clueless as to which direction to swim.
This is hopeless.
I weep. My soul cries out for aid. I am answered by the lyrics to “Crawl” by Superchick, as they begin softly, and then crescendo until they block out the sounds of everything around me.
“When everything I was is lost
I have forgot but you have not.
When I am lost you have not lost me.”
The last line echos through my entire body, comforting me like hot chocolate on a winter night. I feel another pull, stronger this time. Acting on faith, I plunge forward, determined to press on until I reach the rock. Fighting wave after wave, I persevere. My muscles are sore and despite the chill of the water, my entire body radiates heat from exertion, but I continue, knowing that I cannot afford to rest.
Each wave feels like an ice pick, chipping away at my resolve.
I cannot do this.
Just as I begin to doubt, wondering if hope has cruelly made me imagine the steadfast Fisherman, the rock comes into view. I stretch out my arms, praying that I will be able to cross the distance before the waves finish me off. Fatigued, I kick one last time.
I feel the pull on my soul and close my eyes, relaxing as He reels me in like a fish on a hook.
I reach for Him with the faith of a child, knowing that He is different. Believing that He is life. He pulls me to him, shakes off the weight of the water, and sets me free.