(Picture of me as a little girl (I’m in the pink) with my step sister. That was my dads lobster boat.)
Knelt on the floor, hands covering the tear streaked face, heart broken before the Lord; it seemed as if there was nothing left. No where else to go. Everything was broken. Everything was… Hopeless.
This is my story. One I haven’t talked about in a very long time. As I go through present struggles, it would seem, God is reminding me of those darkest moments, darker than the things I face today, and He reminds me of His faithfulness. How, when I was drifting this way and that way, spinning in chaotic whirlwinds of hurt, fear, and thoughts of what would become of me, He gave me little 𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚 along the way.
Have you ever read the book 𝑆𝑐𝑢𝑓𝑓𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑇𝑢𝑔𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑡? 𝑆𝑐𝑢𝑓𝑓𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑇𝑢𝑔𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑡 is a children’s book written by Gertrude Crampton and it’s about a little tugboat who is sick of sailing around in the bathtub and wishes for bigger things. He drifts away from the boy that he belongs to and drifts through all these big rivers and big experiences. He feels lonely and afraid and feels too small in the great big world that he wasn’t prepared for. He eventually finds his way back to the boy, and has learned to be happy and content in his little bathtub.
It’s a cute book. One that has been very special to me and my brothers growing up because my dad was a Tugboat Captain.
Anyway, as I was thinking of this post, and the words to write, boats and images of the ocean came to mind. Because of my past, any time I think of those things, I think of my dad and tug boats, and eventually, Scuffy. He used to keep a little copy of this book in his truck. Lol. I grew up on the water. Lots of tug boat trips, motor boats, and being the granddaughter of a River Pilot, I even got to go on a few big cargo ships with my grandfather!
One of my most favorite and most memorable trips was a trip I took with my grandparents on their boat. It was a beautiful boat with a couple bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and living room. We used to go out to this little place called the 𝙄𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙖𝙡𝙨. It’s a little group of islands several miles off the coast between New Hampshire and Maine. It’s pretty open water there, but there is also a lighthouse on a little island and a jetty. We would take the boat on the inside of the jetty where it was calm and we would throw down the anchor and spend the day there.
This one particular trip my grandparents took me and my cousin. My grandmother has funny stories she likes to share and my cousin and I were pretty wild at the time, but I’ll save those stories for another time. Lol.
I always think about that trip. We truly had great mementoes there. We stayed over night one trip. I remember being a little afraid we would drift off to sea while we slept. But my grandfather and my fathers words and lessons from all the years spent on boats, I knew the anchor was strong. Unless a crazy storm popped up out of no where, we were safe and secure, anchored to the oceans floor.
Back to my story…
It was the end of my marriage. I had spent 7 years with the man I thought would be my husband forever. I had been married once before, very young, and children from different fathers. Here I was, my second failed marriage. Two more children. This wasn’t supposed to be this way. Even after his infidelity, I tried to make it work. But, it didn’t. At the time, all I felt was hopelessness. I’ll never forget what God did through those times. On one particularly difficult night, I wanted to stop all the pain. Not harm myself, but I just didn’t want to feel anymore. We had a good family and then, we didn’t. I was broken, my kids were broken. All that we had was destroyed. What would become of me now? Who would want me? How was I ever going to build everything again? How was I ever going to make it on my own?
All my life I had identified as a believer. I did believe in God. But there was no life behind it. I was a drifter. Much like Scuffy, I drifted through life, experiencing panic and fear, loneliness and hopelessness; until God offered me a resting place.
A placed tucked inside a safe, little inlet where He offered me 𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚. You see, I had always put my hope in others; my family, my husband, my kids, my marriage, my jobs. Everything but Him. And even when God began to transform my heart through all this pain and trauma, I didn’t even know what that hope looked like. What was hope?
Well, that dark night, in my desperation, God whispered this scripture to my heart.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust.”Joel 2:25
There was no magic instantaneous change in my situation. I still had to climb my way out of that pit of brokenness; mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Sometimes things still trigger pain from that time and I have to begin working those areas again and again. But that night sparked something. Something deep in my soul.
He gave me hope.
Hope that one day I wouldn’t feel the way I felt that night. Hope that I would be able to get through all of this and stand on my own. Hope that my children and I would heal from this trauma. Hope that all that had been destroyed during that year of pain would be restored.
And it wasn’t just the emotional or physical aspects that He gave me hope for either. It was the Hope of something far greater than my heart could even imagine.
To be continued…