Lately I’ve struggled, even as a writer for God-sized Dreams, with actual dreaming.
Life is just busy.
The day-to-day often gets in the way of chasing down the big hopes and plans I wish I could accomplish NOW, and I feel the pain of being still in the dreams I so badly want to come true.
I wrote these words several years ago, and today, they are an encouragement as I wait on those dreams and, instead, live out the life God has for me in this season. Maybe you find yourself in a season of stillness, too…and if so, I hope there will be some reminders and truths here that you can cling to today.
People who know me well…well, they know a lot of things about me.
And one of them is that me + ferries (as in, the boat kind) don’t get along.
It really all started back in 2006…and probably before, but I just didn’t know it. 😉
My husband and I were living and working overseas in Indonesia. We did okay financially, but we didn’t have a lot of extra money to do extravagant things often. However, we made it a point to travel over each Christmas break since, at that time of year, it was far too expensive to go back to the States. We had fun…Bali, other parts of Java, the beach.
And one year…Thailand.
Oh, my friend Becky and I had the most incredibly fun time planning that trip. We started in October to be sure that we could find the best possible deals on absolutely everything…from hotels to quick, in-country flights, to even leaving the country.
You see, in Indonesia, non-residents who are residents (if that makes any sense) have to pay every time they leave the country. $100. And on our salary, that was a lot.
But Becky and I discovered that by taking an in-country flight to Batam and, from there, taking a ferry to Singapore, we’d only have to pay $50 each.
With that, and some good bargain-hunting skills, we managed to book our entire trip…eight flights and two ferry rides per person…for around $350 each. Not bad. 🙂
We flew into Batam late on a Friday and found a place to crash for the night. The next morning we took a taxi down to the ferry terminal, had some coffee and pastries, and bought our tickets for the ferry.
All was happy happy…because I had ZERO clue as to what was coming. None.
I should have known, really…I mean motion sickness is one of my NON-love languages. If I’m not sitting in the front of the car, I’m usually sick, and I’m not making that up. Maybe I just forgot because the joy and anticipation of traipsing through Thailand for two weeks with our best friends took over…there was nothing not to love.
And for the first ten minutes on the ferry, I was good.
We were laughing, joking, dreaming about all the shopping. (‘Cause Becky and I both adore a good market where our bartering skills can be tested to the limits.) 😉
And then…it hit. The nausea, the headache, the chills…the awareness of the garbage can just two meters from me.
I literally slumped down in my seat, rested my head on my hubby, and prayed to God that I wouldn’t lose my breakfast in front of the other…oh, I don’t know…TWO HUNDRED passengers.
It worked for awhile. I lasted another half hour, to the point where we could see the Singapore shore off in the distance. A bit of relief may have crept in here.
Suddenly, the boat stopped.
Secretly, I hoped there was a hidden port behind us that I’d somehow missed.
Haha…I know, I know.
Nope, apparently the coast guard was doing a standard stop/checkpoint, which was understandable…just NOT APPRECIATED…by this girl. Not to freak anyone out, but those waters aren’t pirate-free. They’re pretty safe…but there are never any guarantees.
There was a part of me that was thankful we were stopping, but I quickly learned that it was much WORSE when we stopped. No forward motion to counteract the waves meant the ferry was just going up and down.
And up and down and up and down.
Any motion sickness I’d felt before was magnified by about six-thousand and fourteen times.
I was pretty sure I was going to die during those ten minutes…which felt like ten months.
I managed to keep it all in, but I’m sure my skin was visibly green…and the first thing I did when I stepped off that ferry (after I’d heaved into the garbage can) was almost-crawl to a corner near the line for customs, curl up into a ball, and wait for my turn to budge in line to join my traveling buddies…or my impending death, whichever came first.
But you know what, friends? I survived.
It wore off within twenty minutes. By the time we caught a cab to California Pizza Kitchen, I was much better and ready to order my usual along with unlimited Diet Coke refills.
I tell you this story for two reasons.
First, everyone loves a good Indo story, especially with Mel at her finest. Kidding, kidding. 😉
Second, and the real reason…because there’s a lot of truth wrapped up in my little ferry journey between Indonesia and Singapore.
And there are also times when the still is even more painful.
Oh, how I wanted to Just. Get. That. Stinkin’. Ferry. To. Shore. So. I. Could. Not. Die.
But there was a forced stop…and forced stillness…something that was necessary.
I often fight God when He asks me to be still…I’d much rather just get there.
And yet, there’s so much good in the still.
Whether it’s in the form of rare American pizza or in the form of a published book.
The truth is I don’t think back on that day with fondness, but I do smile when I think of the lessons that ferry ride held for me.
May we remember, each day, that He has it all…even in the still.
What has He taught you in those painful moments of being still?
Shared by: Mel Schroeder