A few days ago, I took a last-summer-hurrah trip to the beach with my family. Our condo dwelled 13 stories high above the Gulf of Mexico. Seeing God’s creation from a bird’s eye view was incredible & though I felt far removed from the ground below, I felt God’s closeness ever more.
Sitting on the balcony was my absolute favorite. There was an indescribable stillness as the waves crashed below me. Here in this place, I could hear God speaking above the waves. It gave me a glimpse of heaven in that moment. All the noise from the ground below that so easily distracts didn’t matter anymore compared to the rhythms of waves that rocked & kept me. Those waves projected God’s voice over all other sounds, drowning out everything else below. His voice was all that mattered on high—the only one.
After successes from winning business competitions & growing in my experiences as a business owner, I became caught on an endless cycle—chasing the next success in order to keep going. Yes, I was working to share the Gospel for God’s glory, but I had lost crucial depth & meaning.
My roots had become dry.
I’d been walking through the valley of dry bones when it came to the fervor I had for running a company & using the gifts God has given me. The very “seeds of truth” I was sowing were drying up before I could harvest its hope & glory for God. The roots were getting tangled into vines, imprisoning me in the farming of my own field. Luckily, Jesus is the true vine & He didn’t let go despite my parched roots. I needed water for my lot; the kind the world cannot give.
“The hand of the Lord was on me, & he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord & set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones…This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, & you will come to life…then you will know that I am the Lord.” -Ezekiel 37:1,5
Looking back now I see the struggles that came from watering my roots with worldly water—striving for success & approval from myself & others. I had become bone dry—dehydrated by the very things I sought. Above all, I was held captive a prisoner of my own expectations. The boldness I first found & the mission statement for Ashley Ink & Paperie comes from Psalm 138:3, “He made me bold by strengthening my soul.” This boldness too was wilting from perceived failures & lost chances. I needed revival. I needed living water.
Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.”
Standing at the same shoreline I had traveled to since I was a little girl, the water I sought could not be found in the depths of the sea. My first step was to come to the water. Eyes open, palms up, I came, needing rest.
In John 4:13-14, Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
My next step was to get my feet wet in finding satisfaction in the Lord alone.
He leads me by still waters, He restores my soul. What a blessing was that stillness as He brought me safely to harbor. All of these little revelations from scripture began to pool together at the edge of the shore—all I had to do was get wet.
With toes in the sand, graced with salty water, God works. He is the salt of the earth, working in us & through us for His glory. We don’t have to worry about pleasing others—our audience is ONE.
In these moments of rest, He revives my soul & waters my spirit. I so encourage you to come to the water too! Let’s splash in God’s grace together—finding all the peace, rest, & joy that comes from a life satisfied in Him alone.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me by still waters, He restores my soul. -Psalm 23:1-3