Watching spinner dolphins frolic and play brings such a big smile to my face! I long to transform myself and become one of them, jumping and spinning and landing with a splash. I expected the story I would write for this painting would be about experiencing joy because they are such fun, joyful animals to watch, but they also remind me of something else.
- the rest of the story -
I have begun to face the fact of physical losses that will never return due to my illnesses and aging. I am facing a milestone birthday, and it’s hit me hard. There seems no hope of going back. You see, from the moment I was born, I was made to move.
I walked at the age of 7 mos., but I didn’t just walk, I ran, and I climbed - at first furniture, but later trees. As I grew, I spent hours twirling on the chin up bars. I didn’t just ride my bike, I rode it as fast as my little legs could spin the petals - wind in my face and hair flying back. I didn’t just skate, I twirled and balanced on one foot in an arabesque. I rolled down grassy hills, and did cartwheels everywhere I went. I could beat the boys in sprints at elementary school, and I still remember the glorious day that I finally beat my Father in a 100 yard dash. As I got older, I competed in springboard diving, somersaulting and twirling off the board with precise water entries. I played tennis perfecting my strong hard swing with a topspin. Seriously! I was born to move!
But, a variety of factors have brought me to be honest with myself. I’m not going to do any of those things again. And facing that truth has made me sad… really sad.
Have you had a loss in your life that you avoided looking at or acknowledging, but once you did the grief flowed over you like a wave? It feels like you are drowning, doesn’t it?
One day, as I was grieving the loss of movement, I was suddenly transported in my mind, to the glorious feeling of running. I could almost sense it - a feeling of strength and freedom. And then like a flash, I returned to reality and had a stunning “aha moment”.
Strength, and freedom!!! That was IT!!!! It wasn’t all these activities I was really craving after. It was the feeling of STRENGTH and FREEDOM!!
Even if I can find something else in this lifetime that can give me that feeling again, it won’t be the same as it was when I was young because of my age and illnesses. Those will always leave me restricted.
However, I know for certain that perfect uninhibited strength and freedom DO await me in eternity! God has promised that. And that is what I call a great piece of hope!
I cling to that hope and now I smile when I remember past activity because it’s a taste of what I look forward to in my eternity. That feeling I had as I ran fast and free across a grassy field, I will feel again! And when I see the dolphins frolicking and spinning in the ocean, I am no longer filled with longing, but I am filled with hope.
You too can be filled with hope. Hope for complete and perfect love. Hope to be valued and important. Hope for healing and hope for strength and freedom. God promises that to all who love him.
Did this story lift your heart?
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The original painting and prints of "Ocean Play" are available at my artist website.
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