Two weeks ago today I was walking along the shoreline of the Siesta Key Beach in Florida. It was in the high 60s-low 70s. There was a cool breeze and the water felt warm on my feet. The sand at Siesta Key is unlike any other beach sand I've ever seen. It was cool to the touch, with the consistency of softened light brown sugar. Oh, and the seashells. Thousands of seashells. When I saw them I knew they would make a great souvenir to bring home.
I probably spent an hour by myself collecting those precious shells. What a glorious hour it was! I was nearly overcome with joy and peace; two emotions that I have not experienced in many years. I was so in awe of what God has accomplished in my life. I felt like I was bursting with gratitude to Him for the healing that has taken place thus far. Yes, I still have a lot of work to do in fighting the OCD, but the fact that I am even experiencing any peace at all is nothing short of a miracle.
Until recently, the word peace was a foreign concept to my heart and my mind. I ached for it though I became convinced it was an impossibility for me. For so long, I've literally been afraid of my own shadow. Through the lenses of anxiety, it seemed that everywhere I looked was another opportunity for disaster or danger. It was easier to withdraw from life than to face more agony. Continual days of torment are no longer my reality. There are moments of it, yes, but the never-ending pain that filled one day after another has ended. The world actually appears differently to me today.
There will be more peaks and valleys ahead as I live out my days here on earth. I realize that I am on the mountaintop right now and I'm going to savor each moment. I don't want to forget that perfect golden hour on the beach when every little thing in the world felt just right. I created a small memento out of my shells as a reminder of God's faithfulness, and of the hope that He has restored to my life.
I'm saying a prayer right now for everyone who reads this, that you will find hope, joy, and peace too.