Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Growing up near the beach, I spent hours in the Pacific Ocean. I played the games most California kids played: dove under waves, or through them, or over them. I boogie boarded them and body surfed them. And just when I thought I'd mastered them, they'd slap me in the face or rip off my bathing suit bottoms or mess me up so badly underwater I didn't know which way was up. But I still loved this unpredictable body of water and spent my time flipping, floating, and floundering, doing handstands, peeing, having mud fights; you know, the typical ocean shenanigans of a child. But even as a kid, I've always cherished my alone time and one of my favorite things to do at the beach was to sneak into the water by myself to simply float. Because floating in the ocean is kinda magical.
(not in the ocean but a floating polaroid of me, nonetheless)

The last time I floated was this past summer. I was training by the beach for a race and had done one of the longer runs. Afterwards, I was sweating and salty and so very hot that I decided to take a dip to cool off. I didn't have my suit so I went in fully clothed. Yes, I was that girl. I was sure people were raising their eyebrows at the sweaty blonde swimming in her clothes, but I didn't care because I couldn't see them. Because I was floating.

When you float, all you see is the big blue sky; you can't see the weird stares from strangers or the massive waves building in the distance so there is no fear. When you float, all you feel is the salty sea breeze and the rolling rhythm of the current; you don't feel the aches and pains previously wracking your body so there is no hurt. When you float, all you hear is the muffled underwater world; you can't hear the screams or cries or drama on the shore so there is no worry. I really love to float in the ocean.

When I float, I am light. I am buoyant. I am free. I know there is a possibility of an incoming wave crashing on my face, destroying my moment of tranquility. But for this one, fragile, floating moment I am completely free. Freed from worries about "incoming waves." Free to breath deeply, to simply look up and "be". To look up and wonder. Wonder about the beauty and vastness of the ocean and the beauty and vastness of God.

I know it's February and kinda weird to be dreaming about floating in the frigid Pacific Ocean, but I felt like I was floating during 4th period today. I don't teach during that period so I had driven through Chick-Fil-a and was eating my kids' meal in the staff parking lot. Yes, I am also that girl who orders a kids' meal. (I had brought a lunch as well so this was my "first" lunch) While I sat in the parking lot, I listened to Bebo Norman's newest cd and noticed a line of trees I had never seen before. They are huge and majestic. I don't know how I've never noticed them.

Today was a rainy, windy day and those trees refused to go unnoticed any longer. Today they all seemed to be swaying in rhythm and almost floating in the air. They didn't care about the turbulence around them, about the imminent storm and ominous rain clouds, they just swayed. As I was observing them, the song "Ocean" began to play and I began to cry. It takes very little to turn on my tears but I was struck by the power of the words and envisioned myself floating in the ocean as I watched the dancing trees.

If there is a light left in my eyes
It must be Your reflection from the sky
'Cause all I know is this:
You are the wonder of my world

You are an ocean that I can get lost in
The first wind on my shore
You are the sunrise to open my eyes
and the dark night is no more
You are an ocean

And every time I turn around
There's so much more left to be found
And every glimpse steals my breath away

So open up these eyes to see
More of You and less of me
And all my fear is turning into faith
You are the wonder of my world

I'm drowning in Your love
I'm drowning in Your love
Not coming up, I'm not coming up
'Cause You're all I'll ever want

You are an ocean.
You are an ocean.

I sat in my car, with Chick-Fil-a sauce now smudged on my slacks, and cried. Cried because the future was beginning to taunt and tease me because it is so unknown. Cried because fear had sneaked in and snaked its way around my heart without my noticing. Cried because despite the fears of an unknown and uncertain future, God was reminding me of His power to turn fears into faith. Cried because He truly is the wonder of my world who makes trees dance and calls me to float in His ocean. And that makes the future a lot less scary.

So now I'm floating. Floating in His ocean, refusing to worry about the waves in the distance. Floating because He continues to give me glimpses of Himself that steal my breath away.

Floating because He is all I want, or rather, all I want to want.

Floating because I'm drowning in His love.

And floating in the ocean, His ocean, is kinda magical.


  1. Once again, you write something that really hits home. Fear has crept into me and is trying(and succeeding) to take my joy away by feeding me lies.
    thank you for writing what I needed to read :)

  2. love this one. I'm going to have to go find the song on itunes!

  3. Rebekah- you are very welcome. I too will often listen to his lies and forget about the spiritual battle we are waging.

    Emma- I'll make you a cd and give it to you when I finally give you back your wedding ring:)

  4. Love the picture, love chick-fil-a kids meals, love this new way to think about floating. Thanks Katie.

  5. So good to read this and be reminded. Thanks for sharing your gift of seeing and for sharing those holy things that arrest and speak deeply to you.