In From the Vine

By Sarah Damm

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

 

Perfectionism is a struggle that comes in all shapes and sizes. It often accuses us of being less than and hinders us from being true to the unique creations God made us to be. And as a result, we put on masks, cover up flaws, and slowly and steadily forget who we truly are.

One thing perfection is not, however: It is not from God.

And He showed that to me quite clearly one day on the beach of Hilton Head Island, SC.

It was the last day of my family’s vacation. Over the past several days, we fell in love with the sun, sand, and waves. We were savoring our last few hours, before the duties of packing for our 20-plus-hour drive home called us inside.

All of us were in the ocean. Some of my kids were tossing a football with my husband. Others were riding the waves on boogie boards. My youngest was burying his legs with wet sand and laughing hysterically as it instantly slipped off when he ran into the water.

I was in the middle of it all—delighted, content, at peace. With my arms and legs moving underwater to keep afloat, I bent my neck back so that my face was directly in the sun. The sound of the waves, the softness of the breeze, the coolness of the water, and the swirl of seaside colors encompassed me. Everything else dissolved.

And in that moment, God’s love and delight washed over me like a gentle, giant wave. And He gave me the gift of recognizing what it feels like to truly be me.

While floating around in the ocean, an activity that could be considered frivolous or luxurious, I knew without a doubt that I was right where I was supposed to be. I wasn’t meant to be getting a jump-start on packing. I wasn’t meant to be worried about what my stretched out mom body looked like in a swimsuit. I wasn’t meant to be second-guessing myself about the souvenir sweatshirt I purchased that morning. I was simply meant to be floating in God’s ocean of love.

In fact, doubts, fears, or worries didn’t even enter my mind.

What did enter my mind and heart that afternoon at the beach was a profound reality that God saw me. He saw me being present to the moment He gave me, being content and peaceful within His creation. And He was delighted.

They say that vacation is an escape from the daily grind. But after my encounter with God on the beach, as I was surrounded by my family, I would beg to differ.

My time on Hilton Head Island was more real than everyday life. It stripped away my masks, revealed my flaws, and slowly and steadily reminded me of who I really am in the image and likeness of God …. And that I am at peace with her.

As one more breeze brushed over my face, it was as if God was whispering, “Yes, there she is. The girl I created. I have missed seeing her.”

Basking in all things beach, it felt so incredibly good to be me and to be loved by Him.

About the Author:

Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her and her writing at sarahdamm.com.

Showing 14 comments
  • Valerie Sarmento
    Reply

    Absolutely beautiful. Exactly what I needed to hear today. God made me. I am worthy. Thank you.

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      How wonderful that God gave you just what you needed today! Praise the Lord! You ARE loved so very much by HIM!!

  • Rhonda Zweber
    Reply

    You are beautiful! And so was the article!!

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      Right back atcha, friend! Thank you for sharing your kindness, joy, and smile with me.

  • Joanne
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing Sarah- beautiful!

  • Gwen
    Reply

    Oh my gosh! I LOVE this! Pictured everything you were describing in my mind’s eye! The ocean is so powerful and to literally be in God’s creation like that, certainly brought it all home. Thank you for this beautiful writing!

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      Thank you, Gwen, for your kind words. I am grateful that you were able to use this as a prayerful meditation today.

  • Kate Anderson
    Reply

    So much goodness in this, especially on a brisk winter day! Thank you for sharing such a hopeful message!

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      Thank you, Kate! Yes, it was warming to the soul to relive this in the middle of winter. 🙂 It is a nice reminder of warmer days ahead.

  • Mary Anne Smith
    Reply

    Beautiful. That is how I feel when near the ocean. Just to bask in His Love and so grateful to have that opportunity to do so Nature can move us.

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Mary Anne! God bless you.

  • Becca McCullough
    Reply

    Beautiful; I’ve so been there and am happy you put it into words for me – thank you!

    • Sarah Damm
      Reply

      Isn’t it just so beautiful, Becca?! So glad you were able to visualize it for yourself and relive your own memories—what a blessing!

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