1. Waiting for the Wind

Welcome to Our Boat

My husband & I have been in the mightiest struggle of our 30 + years of marriage. Our struggle is not with each other, although we’ve been at odds a time or two. This struggle is one of coming to terms with and accepting the extreme detour we never saw coming.

His Parkinson’s diagnosis combined with a sudden up-ending of his career have landed us on a path we never would have chosen. Yet, we have been taking baby steps forward to gain our footing on the slippery deck of our new normal. And as we have slowly re-gained some balance and confidence, we’re realizing there are a number of amazingly good experiences we would have missed had we not been forced in this direction.

Along this quite lengthy adjustment period, the Holy Spirit has kindly gifted us with a helpful prophetic word picture of hope to steady us. The picture has become a sturdy anchor when life feels like a storm tossed sea. 

What do we see in our picture, but a sailboat adrift on the sea. Perhaps Jesus will help me to use words to paint the scene.

Holy Spirit, I ask You now for help. I want to take every reader on a tour of our sailboat. Please open the imagination of each reader so that they will have the eyes of their hearts enlightened to see what You have shown us. You are so GOOD, Father. Thank You for the peace and comfort You provide each of Your children as we dream and imagine right alongside You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus’ most precious name I ask, Amen!

Aboard this boat you will find my dear man & myself. I’m seated on a bench at the back of the boat while my man with the sun-tanned feet is stationed at the front. And next to my man stands another man looking very comfortable and in-charge. 

Who is that man? Have you guessed?

At first glimpse, the sailboat delights me. Can you see it bright and shining as it bobs upon the glassy water? It makes me smile as feelings of peace and joy wash over me like the warmth of sunshine.

I mean who wouldn’t want to be enjoying a sailboat adventure? In this picture I see no dark storm clouds or turbulent waves. There’s only stillness, quiet, and the beauty of nature.

It seems a perfect scenario for sailing upon the open sea! Except for one thing. Sailing requires wind and in this picture there’s no wind. No movement.

As I look up to watch my dear man at the front, I wonder {out loud} why we aren’t going anywhere. Immediately, the confident boatman turns toward me and speaks simple words, “I’m teaching him how to sail.”

I recognize Him. The sailing instructor is… Jesus! 

The picture has given us words to create our personal couple language, which helps us to process our individual thoughts and feelings. We need to sort, sift and work it all through because we’ve never lived here before. Our emotions have an outlet as we imagine what it feels like to learn to sail in real time and simultaneously process the feelings of loneliness as we drift upon the water in our small boat.

Please understand this has been a long slow process for us. My dear man and I have just recently begun to accept our boat as a place of hope because we see Jesus is with us. We grasp this truth like a life vest. wicking to the truth that we are not alone.

This picture has helped us to accept that we are an intimate crew of three on this learning journey. So as we watch and wait together, we recognize and surrender to Jesus as our teacher. It helps us daily to remember to put our eyes on Him and see His confidence.

Thus, the sailboat becomes a shared imagery & common language by which we share honestly before the Lord and with each other. Our sailboat inspires us to hold onto hope like an anchor, which often keeps us from drifting too far into dangerous waters of doubt.

Before you begin to feel discouraged about your own detour, let me just remind you again that we are slow learners. Our detour onto the sailboat was close to 7 years ago.

Along the way, we’ve each had our roller coaster moments. I think my dear man would agree we’ve each experienced the full spectrum of emotions. Gratefully, one of us is usually on the upside when the other is sliding down. We’re definitely riding the crazy wave of learning the new normal.

Interestingly, when we first found ourselves detoured from the life path we had chosen, we had no idea what lay ahead in 2020-21. However, as we take a look back we recognize God already knew. WE feel even more sure now that He was teaching us to sail while the waters were calm knowing that 2020 would bring storms.

We see the goodness of our Teacher to take us ahead for training so that we would be prepared for such a time as this. Jesus knew that many friends and family members would find themselves detoured, feeling unstable, fearful and insecure in the unfamiliar landscape. He knew that my dear man and I would be able to call out, “Hey, sailor, we’re here! You’re not alone. It’s going to be okay.”

Some of you experienced detours way before us. You were ahead of us on the learning curve and completely understand the difficulty of gaining balance. You’ve helped with learning to wait well. We know we’re certainly not the first or last people to pass this way.

Perhaps you know from experience or you have recently realized that both waiting and learning are required for a faith journey into intimacy with Jesus.

I wonder if you’ll join me for a season of pondering the detour, the boat, the training, and the waiting. Will you look with me at Jesus and some of His friends from history as they trained and became useful for service in a new normal under Jesus’ confident tutelage?

Surely there’s much we can glean from their stories. Please feel free to ponder with me, ask your own questions, tell your own stories and offer your learned Godly wisdom. So, if you’re in ~ welcome aboard!

Eyes on Jesus… You’re shining!

~Lisa

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