Friday, January 6, 2017


I am reading a book that I just have to tell you about.  It's called How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin.  I was interested in reading it because (1) it was recommended by one of my favorite famous people, and (2) I thought it would teach me how to survive what I thought was my own shipwreck of a life--you know, the crazy, chaos-filled whirlwind that sometimes just seems like...well, a shipwreck.

A few pages in, I realized Martin is talking about shipwrecks.  Those like lost loved ones, divorces, cancer diagnoses.  My immediate shipwreck was more like a homemade Lego boat sinking in a kiddie-sized swimming pool.

But I've heard that you can drown in a tablespoon of water.

And relatively speaking, my shipwreck does sometimes feel like something I'm drowning in.  But I have been through other shipwrecks that have been of Martin's Titanic proportion.

--A divorce, where the sandy bottom scraped reminders of how I had failed to keep a family together

--My Nana's death that plunged me for the first time into the darkness of death

--A Trisomy 18 diagnosis that is a cement block tied to my ankle, forever pulling me to new depths

Preparing a funeral for Lily before she was even born, watching her little body turn blue as she lay in my arms after birth, hearing words such as, "Do you want us to perform life-saving measures on your four-year-old?" and "You need to get to the hospital fast.  Things don't look so good."  All of these have made my heart die a thousand deaths as I've scrambled for breath while plummeting to the bottom of this ocean called life.

But Martin says something that hit me hard.  The waters that drown are the waters that save.

Let me say that again.

The waters that drown are the waters that save.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes!  You have to let yourself go all the way under--into the depths of God, into the depths of your own soul, into the depths, of life itself  he continues to say.

And that, too, is where I have been.  He is right.  I have found it time and again, where I am that sunken ship, amidst all the wreckage, and there, I have found Him.  There, I have been lifted with the only arms that could ever lift me out of the weight of that storm above.  He's been there.  Right there.  Every time.  Even when I didn't see Him amidst all the debris.

Friend, your shipwreck may be big; it may be small.  But it is yours.  Own it.  Because I tell you with the deepest of sincerity, He is there.  Right in the middle of it with you.  Search that wreckage for Him!  He's ready to lift you out of those troubling waters.  But friend, you are going to have to face that shipwreck head on.  You may even have to sink a little more. Just like I have had to do.

I won't lie and say it will be easy.

It won't.

But don't be afraid to face it, and then let Him help you through it.

He's been waiting all this time.  I promise.