The salty, sharp wind blew through Amanda’s dark brown hair as she ran away from the group and ran towards the water. She could feel the familiar shifting of the sand beneath her as she quickened her pace. She was getting closer. She could practically feel the cool, blue water surrounding her tired feet. A discouraging gust of wind came from behind her and tried to push her onto her knees. She planted her feet firmly onto the wet sand as her curly hair blew every which way. As she waited for the wind to calm down, her eyes did not move. They were focused on one thing. The ocean.
It had been years since she had last seen it. She closed her eyes and tried to recall the last time she had been to the beach. She searched through her brain to find the right memory to replay in her head. It finally clicked, and she began to watch the moment unfold in her mind. She was just a little girl, about 7 or 8 years old. She could remember holding tightly to her father’s hand as she had taken one last look at the ocean. They had been on one of their annual family beach vacations. That had been the last time she had been to the beach since they had moved to Indiana, where beach trips were much more of a luxury.
Amanda was turning 18 tomorrow. They had come on this trip just for her. But that didn’t matter right now. Nothing mattered except getting to the ocean. The wind had slowed, so she took off running again. Just as her feet found a steady rhythm again, she stopped herself suddenly and tiptoed up to the water’s edge. There, she soaked in the last of the sun’s rays for the day, and enjoyed the silence for a moment.
When that moment ended, she looked away from the sky and back towards the water. She smiled at her own hesitancy, and leaped right into the next wave. As the water rushed around her ankles, a single word popped into her mind.
Here, in the beauty of the creativity of the King of the Universe, she was free. Here, she fully knew that she could trust Him. After all, if He could create all of this beauty in a single breathe, then couldn’t He take care of her life, no matter how hopeless the future seemed? Trust. That was where true freedom was found.
Amanda’s silence was broken as the rest of the group reached the water. She smiled as she watched her family and a few close friends splash in the waves. Her two brothers were looking so tall and grown up lately. She often forgot that they were younger than she was, except in moments like these when they acted like little kids. Her parents stood a little ways back from the teens, holding hands and reveling in the beauty of the moment like she had been, moments before. They had also been looking a little older lately, but they seemed happier than they had been in a good while.
Amanda smiled as her eyes darted back and forth between her three friends. There was Becca, her spunky best friend with the strawberry blonde hair to match her personality. Then there was Sam, a blue-eyed kid with bleach blonde hair. Sam was the comic relief of the group, and was currently doing some kind of ridiculous dance on the beach as everyone else splashed in the water. Amanda’s eyes moved onto Joe, who was bent over laughing at Sam. He straightened back up as soon as he could stop laughing and ran his fingers through his light brown hair. He wore a playful smile on his face. His deep brown eyes narrowed, and Amanda realized he was smiling at her.
She softly smiled back, but began to walk further away from the group, feeling that she needed some more time to reflect on some things alone. She reached a place on the beach where she could still see the group, but she felt like she had some space to think. She closed her eyes, and let the wind spray water across her face.
Amanda realized her plight, then and there. She knew who she was. There was no question about that. She was God’s child. But what was her purpose? What was she supposed to do with her life? Wasn’t she supposed to have all this figured out by now? She was turning 18 tomorrow, and she had no idea where she was going in life.
Of course she had interests and talents, but she didn’t have a calling. No talent stuck out more than another. How was she supposed to choose between all of these different talents? Amanda laughed at herself a little bit. What a predicament. She had so many talents that she couldn’t choose one.
She looked across the horizon, searching for some profound answer. She got a very simple one.
Her eyes watered slightly as she wondered how quickly she could forget the lesson she had learned moments ago. Closing her eyes again, she stepped out into the water.
Once again, the water rushed around her ankles, then pulled away from the shore. More determined this time, she took another step and felt the water come up to her knees. She stood still and just knew.
This was it. This was where she felt free. She had to let go, and in that release, there was freedom.
The glory of the moment had passed, but the lesson it had taught Amanda was now stored deep in her heart. She took a few steps backwards and stood on the shore a moment more. She let the wind blow her jacket off of her shoulders. Before she had a chance to fix it, someone else did.
Amanda turned around to face Joe. “Thank you.” She said.
Joe grinned his usual friendly grin. “You’re welcome. It’s getting dark now, so we’re heading back to the house.”
“Ok.” Amanda said sadly as they began the walk back, wishing she could stay longer.
“Hey, we’ll be back tomorrow morning.” Joe said as he put a hand on her shoulder and guided her back towards the group.
Amanda turned her head to take one last glance at the bright blue ocean, and realizing that it would still be there tomorrow, grinned and said, “Race you back to the house!”
They ran the whole way there, and even though Amanda lost the race, she didn’t look back once.
Hope you all liked this story! I was inspired by Misty who has been writing a lot of beach themed stories lately:) You can check out her awesome writing blog here: https://mistycreativewriting.wordpress.com/
I’ve had a bit of a rough week so far, but there were also a few emotional but clarifying moments this week like the moment in this story. I was just really disappointed in something that I expected to happen that didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. But that’s life.:) And if all I did was succeed, then the successes wouldn’t be very special.
On a happier note, I hit 25 followers on WordPress this week! Starting this blog in November, I really had no idea how fast/how slow I would gain followers. It seems really fast, at least to me! Anyways, thank you followers!
Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy Easter! He is Risen!