In the third week of January, 2009, my husband, Jeff and I had the privilege of vacationing on the Island of Hawaii. We took advantage of a Costco offer with an upgrade at the Hilton resort, and a car for an enticing bargain. In spite of a full fourteen hour travel day, we both knew escaping from the snow and cold weather into a warm sunny lush tropical island would prove to be rewarding. We arrived into our room with a partial ocean view at eleven in the evening. The sound of the waves crashing the shoreline provided the setting for a very deep night’s sleep. In the morning we found our way to the loudest, most boisterous place. Not because of misbehaving tourists, but because of the birds! I was pleasantly surprised. We had vouchers for a buffet breakfast and ate fresh fruit, and an assortment to our heart’s content. Jeff and I had not left each other’s side for well over twenty four hours and I started to feel my need for my alone time with the Lord. I suggested to Jeff that we part company temporarily, in order to foster our alone time to meet with God. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, 0 God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God, when can I go and meet with God” (Psalm 42:1,2).
Perched above the coastline on a hillside, my eyes scanned a brilliant blue ocean. Inside myself, I was struggling with the stronghold, lies, of a search for significance. As I walked, I talked, “If I were a grain of sand, Lord, would you pick me out among the others? Do I really matter to you, among so many other grains of sand”? I was facing a full frontal attack, of false accusations, from distant relatives concerning the disbursement of my Aunt’s will. I was also trying to make sense over a recent prayer appointment, on my behalf, with close friends. I had confidence that I was exercising good judgement and that I was in His perfect plan. Sifting through the rubble of my disappointment, I had allowed my boundaries to be breached. My trust level of others had taken a significant hit, and I felt like a failure. “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7). As I was strolling along, I breathed in the vast beauty and my heart burned within. I scanned the broad view of the horizon, looking for the humpbacked whales rising out of the waters, their tails slapping the surface. Again the stronghold of significance, am I good enough for God, jolted me. Do I please Him? The doubts of God’s love through the blood of Jesus surfaced. I called out as my eyes swept the sand of the seashore. “if every pebble of sand was substituted for every human being who had ever lived, would you pick me out? Do I matter to you Lord?” “You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me (Jonah 2:3). “These things I remembered as I pour out my soul” (Psalm 42:4). For now, the quest of significance subsided. I had capitalized on the privilege of getting my doubts and fears up and out to the Lord, who made heaven and earth. I felt a cleansing and peaceful feeling inside. I rejoined my husband for what was for what was a grand day together. “Withhold not your tender mercy from me, O Lord, let Your lovingkindness and your truth continually preserve me” (Psalm 40:11).
About a week to ten days after arriving home from vacation, I attended a Patricia King conference. I drove alone to Celebration Church in Burnsville, Mn. When the first session concluded I ventured out into the foyer. I felt alone and searched for a familiar face. I noticed a small cluster of people praying for one another and wished myself among them. I went to pass time at the product tables and doubled back the way I came, again about to pass by the people I envied. This time the older of the three, I would later come to know as Mel, engaged me. ( He would later come to say, I looked like I was under something). They had been laughing together and mingling about. “Hey would it be alright if we prayed for you”? I was somewhat startled but very much welcomed the invitation. Jim and Marsha were also gracious and gathered around me. They did not hesitate or ask me if I had a specific prayer request. They waited on the Lord for a specific word. After a brief time, Marsha spoke first. “I see a beautiful picture of you walking on an island of paradise. You are calling out to God and wondering who you are”. Next Jim blurted out, “Yes, I want you to know that I would pick you out of the sand on the seashore as a rare diamond. When I made created you, I added the extra ingredients of love and faith, and in my Eyes you are the unique of the unique of the world. You are precious and valuable to me. I love you, I have picked you out and placed you in my arms, and in my heart forever”.
I was stunned and my heart soared. It seemed as though my Father in heaven, leaped off His throne in glory, and moved heaven and earth for me. In my brokenness He came, and I’ll never forget that day, when God had picked me out. I became full of joy, that shining brightness, my authentic self, when God is glad to see me. “Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea~~the LORD on high is mighty”(Psalm 93:4).
That day, I joined my new friends, Mel, Marsha, and Jim, for a delightful lunch and conversation together. I felt warmed to belong to the body of believers. “The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory Thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic” (Psalm 29: 3,4). The voice of the Lord makes my heart to leap and skip like a calf released from her stall (Malachi 4:2).