I remember the FIRST time I found a piece of sea glass down here. We had just moved and Cammy, Ellie, Mike and I were enjoying family beach time..and I was just sifting through and saw it sitting there, an almost square white piece sort of rounded in the middle and super super smoothed out and worn down. I remember my first piece of sea glass. And if you were to look for it now, you’d find it in my memory card holder of my shoot sac, it comes with me to every single wedding I shoot as my good luck charm.
That sea glass was my first little sign of hope and reassurance. We moved to the Outer Banks because our hearts are here, we were married here, and we knew that we wanted to raise our daughters under the beautiful starry sky and closer to the best salt air we knew. The sun shines differently here. Some people will come here and go, “Amanda..no. It doesn’t. You are dreaming!” — but maybe I see and feel it that way for a reason. Maybe people who love where they live feel something different because we’re meant to be there. With that said…something else was waiting here for me and I could never, ever have guessed it. I didn’t at ALL see it coming.
One day driving down gorgeous beach road, I started crying. Just like, really really crying out of happiness and almost as if some force had literally hit me and come into me in the most beautiful and overwhelming way. Sounds super weird, but it happened..and I think these sort of strong emotional experiences happen for a reason. Both girls were asleep in the back of the car. The sun was pouring into my windshield and I felt warm, I felt alive, I felt inspired. Right then and there, I knew I had to email my friend Katelyn because God was clearly trying to tell me something and for the first time in a LONG LONG LONG time, I listened. I said okay, God, I get it! You’ve brought me here. I’m undeserving to live in such an incredible place, yet here I am. I know what you’re up to, I’m ready to reconnect again.
There is an entire other story about the process I went through to reconnect and all of the joy and fulfillment it’s brought me as a Christian, but today I just wanted to talk about sea glass. You see..I am a TOTAL amateur (apparently there’s an art form to it!) when it comes to finding sea glass. I just sit in the shell beds and I look around, hoping to get lucky. For a long time, I just kept looking on the surface, occasionally getting lucky. One night stormy day walking the shoreline I found a HUGE piece, and on another evening with a flashlight at the shoreline I found some other good sized ones. Mostly though, I would find them on the surface of those shell beds.
This weekend with my oldest girl, Cammy, we had TWO sea glass hunting dates. Instead of just grazing the surface…I decided I would sit there and dig deep. I would look on the surface and then take my hand and brush the surface shells and treasures to the side and see what was underneath. We then found 1, 2, 3…all the way to almost 20 pieces all weekend and for us little beginners..that is BIG! When I kind of came to terms with the fact that yes, my hands are gonna get dirtier, sandier and I may have to make a little more of a mess…I was more rewarded. MORE rewarded by getting messier and digging deeper. And the coolest thing of all? When I got home with these beautiful treasures, I washed my hands and they were so soooo soft. I got a free exfoliating treatment and it was like there you go, here’s another reward for digging deep out of your comfort zone.
I think my relationship with God has been exactly like this. At first, it felt safe to stay on the surface. So, I did! For months, I didn’t dig too deep. I didn’t want to admit or talk about my sins and I just wanted alllll the grace. Now, after months and months of journaling and digging, I feel like I am such a better place as a Christian woman and I am SO SO SO excited to dig even deeper in a little over a month at the Pursuit Conference in Georgia! This is a huge deal for me, I wouldn’t ever have seen myself here a year and a half ago. Thank you Katelyn for bringing me to Jesus and always being an inspiration, thank you to everyone who kept faith in me when I didn’t have faith in God or in myself. That’s especially you Mike.
Have a wonderful week and when you hunt for sea glass, don’t be afraid to get dirty. The reward will surprise you 🙂