An ordinary woman with an extraordinary story

Seashells

August 17, 2019

From the rocky, seashell strewn beach near Stanwood, Washington, you can see the Olympic Mountains of Washington in the distance.
I’ve never searched for seashells in a place where both the ocean and the mountains were in front of me!

Sitting cross-legged on the beach, I searched through broken seashells for a treasure. I took a long, deep breath as my new friend and I talked and laughed in the afternoon sun. This flatland Kansas girl hardly knew what to do with the beauty of the mountains and ocean in front of me. From where I sat, I could look across the ocean bay to see the Olympic Mountains further southwest of me.

My body and soul soaked up the sunshine and rest.

The opportunity to share my story brought me here to Northwest Washington. And, as usual, enabled me to hear other women’s stories. The peacefulness of an afternoon on the beach afforded us the time to really talk – and the quiet space to hear God’s voice.

 

Several intact seashells spread out in my hand
What fun to discover these seashell treasures among the rocks!

We found several treasures on the beach. Intact seashells of all sorts and sizes. But when we each discovered a tiny, perfect seashell buried in the broken ones, it hit us.

This is how we need to look at life.

It’s easy to see the brokenness. All around us, every day, we see sorrowful people, each wounded by difficult circumstances or the selfish choices of humanity. Often, I can see in their faces that it has become so overwhelming, they have become convinced that nothing is good.

Hope can get buried in the broken pieces.

But if we look, really look – even dig for it –

we can see the beauty of God in the middle of it all. If we ask for eyes to see. . .

The little things. The beautiful things. The seashells.

A tiny seashell, less than half the size of my fingernail.
This tiny seashell is both beautiful and perfectly formed.

So, at the end of the day, I can make a mental list of all the brokenness I’ve seen or experienced today – or a mental list of the one thing of beauty I saw – no matter how small. And suddenly, my whole perspective changes.

God is always at work around us, but sometimes I lose focus on what He’s doing because I’m so focused on what I want Him to be doing. Do you ever do that? My prayer list is long, and sometimes I get discouraged in asking again for the things where I haven’t seen any change in a long time. But that doesn’t mean He’s not at work below the surface, bringing order out of chaos, and healing out of brokenness.

That’s where my analogy with the seashells breaks down.

Because the shells we found were intact. They survived the storm, the waves, and the crashing against the rocks. What about the broken ones? You may be thinking, “This is all fine for you. Maybe you survived intact, but I didn’t. I’m just a pile of broken pieces.”

Rocks and seashells of various shades of gray and white cover this beach in Washington.
God holds all your broken pieces.
I didn’t survive intact.
But I know the miracle of being put back together.

Our God holds all your broken pieces. He hasn’t lost a single one. And what’s more, He desires to put you back together. Without a doubt, you will be different than you were before, but if you trust Him, He will make you whole again.

Then, you will become a beautiful seashell treasure for others to find. When they do, you can tell your story of finding a God powerful and loving enough to put you back together.

And maybe, just maybe, they will trust Him with their broken pieces too.

 

 

If you would like to know more about how God can put your life together, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me through my website.  Or, read my story, Song of a Wounded Heart, available at your favorite bookstore.

 

 


Comments

Lora Bea gave me your book and I have read it. I have friend who last Thursday they found their 2 yr old grandson in pool, he did not make it, services was Sunday at Fairland. I do not know much of details., but she is hurting, she hugged me and sobbed heavily and told me to hug my grandchildren daily. I didn’t know if you could reach out to her and tell her you understand the pain she is going thru….Thank you in advance…❤️

Thank you, I have been through a lot in my life and I too held onto my father and I knew these things changed me each time. I never put the idea of God putting me back together as the reason for my change and sometimes felt guilty because of it. Again, thank you for your insight.

Hello Lora,
It’s really refreshing to read your texts, because it remembers us of the power of God.
My story is similar to yours , and I have been through a lot of things recently.
I’m from Brazil.
Could you pray for me ? I need to believe that God will do great things for me and heal my emotions.

Thank you sweet Lora

I really love the beach and particularly enjoy collecting seashells. Comparing the broken seashells to the brokenness of our lives and how God puts us back together reminds me of the forgiveness and mercy he has shown me in my life, too. Your words are kind, gentle, and inviting. Love this.

Pricilla,
Of course I will pray for you! I am so sad about what has happened in your life. Sometimes life is so cruel. But I am confident that God does want to bring healing and hope into your life. I will send you a private message and we can talk more.

Sheila, I completely agree. I’m so grateful for God’s mercy and love. He makes a way for us to find forgiveness and hope.

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