The ocean takes up about 70 percent of our planet. Unfortunately, I only go to the beach about three times a year. The reality is that I forget to schedule time to enjoy it. Most people wouldn’t know that it plays an important part in my journey.

In the summer of ‘07, I went to Daytona Beach as a group counselor for a summer camp. One afternoon during a leisure time I decided to head out to the ocean. The currents were bad but the lifeguard hadn’t put out a warning yet. I found myself walking deep into the water all the way above my chestline.

I remember closing my eyes, opening my arms wide, and feeling drawn to spin. I began to smile and spin faster. A wave lifted me up and swept me further in. I was having this beautiful moment then suddenly I’m seconds away from a water grave. I didn’t scream for help over the loud crashing waves as I foolishly flopped around. I couldn’t see the next sentence on that page of my life.

Secret fact about me – now not so secret – I’m a terrible swimmer. Correction, I don’t know how to swim. My dad tried to teach me as a young child but he gave up after my first lesson.

The aquatic creatures should’ve played the Coldplay song, “Swallowed in the Sea” just for me. A last wave pushed me back to level ground. I experienced a moment of solace. I planted my feet and slowly walked back out of the ocean.

The ocean has become this sacred space for me; a continual reminder of hope that I take in a bit at a time. I always look back at this memory during the more challenging seasons of life.

I believe that Jesus longs for all of us to experience the intensity of His wild love. Here’s a few things I’ve tucked away in my heart from moments out there.

Life is often unpredictable.

Whatever unforeseen changes we encounter, whether personally or to someone we love, it’s a common part of life. Hardships come in all forms and nobody can escape it’s arrival. The good news is that our circumstances don’t have to end in uncertainty. Hope makes its aggressive expansion and floods the walls of our story.

Cynicism creates blind spots.

At every step of progression through the waves, rejoice that we’re in motion. Be watchful of cynicism. It thrives in disappointment and creates stagnation. It wants us to live in shame and regret. Be brave and fight against the poison of cynicism. Embrace the tender moments when the impossible turns into possible. Live in freedom.

There’s always a way when there seems to be no way out.

To carry hope is to be confident that we will be brought safely back to the shoreline in wholeness. We will be rescued, even if it’s at the final stretch. There’s always a plan even when it’s not tangibly in sight; a greater purpose waiting for us to accept its invitation.

Hope satisfies the longing of humanity for an extraordinary life. It’s a battle cry for the ones who admit they can’t arrive safely on their own.