seasickness

I know, great title right?  But for those of us that get motion sickness – this is real!

Sometimes change just makes me feel seasick –  the change that you see coming, don’t like, don’t want, and yet it’s coming. You know it’ll be hard, uncomfortable, and will most likely require growth.  It’s not that you don’t want to grow, but growth requires change and you would rather just pick a different way to learn it.

My husband, Bill, is a Master Diver.  In fact, he calls himself a “Diva” Diver.  He has all the gadgets and gizmos, wet suits and a dry bag, tanks, and a mask with his eye prescription in it.  I think he would live underwater if he could.   He is fascinated by all of it: the colors, sea creatures, the water, the quiet, the shipwrecks. I, however, have no desire to be that far underwater.  I think coral is pretty but I really don’t need to see it up close.  I like fish – in a tank or on my plate.  The main reason for this – I really don’t like to swim.  I don’t mind a pool or even a lake now and then, but I really don’t have any desire to hang out and be wet.  Another reason major factor – I get seasick…easily.

I do try – really!  Bill would love it if I enjoyed it like he does, but I’m perfectly content in my beach chair reading a book while he explores under the sea.

Why share all that?  Because on a trip to Jamaica a couple years ago, God gave me interesting perspective on change that I continue to hold on to.  We were staying at a great resort and I thought it would be nice to at least snorkel with my husband in that incredibly blue water.  Off we went, my full-face snorkeling mask, cool swim shirt, fins, and life jacket.  Anyone on the boat would have thought that we did this all the time.  As we got in the water, everything was going great.  We saw colorful fish, beautiful purple coral, and reefs full of sea creatures.  But, after only 15 minutes of snorkeling, my stomach was done.  The motion of the waves did me in – and I really did take my medicine!

For those of us that suffer from motion sickness, we know the drill.  Fresh air, deep breaths, find the horizon and lock on.  I laid back in the water and looked at the blue mountains of Jamaica as my husband teetered between the desire to snorkel or stay with me.  He stayed with me – good man.

As I looked up at the mountains, God brought this verse to mind:

I look up to the mountains –  does my help come from there?
 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Psalm 121:1-2

My help was literally coming from the mountains – but I know my true help comes from the Lord. Motion sickness occurs when our balance-sensing system senses that our body is moving but our eyes say we are not.  We have to look at something that stabilizes this for our eyes and helps us see the movement while focusing on something stationary.  It gives our bodies a sense of balance.

I think that change can affect us the same way.  Our balancing system senses that things are happening and taking us off-kilter, the imbalance threatens to take us down.  Just like I needed to that day in the water, we need to pause, breathe deep, and lock onto the horizon.

Loss, divorce, transition, a new baby, or even a new home can throw us off balance.  We can put on a good face and get in the water but it isn’t long before we can’t really move forward. Life is overwhelming and we can physically feel it. That’s when the words from this Psalm really come into play.

Just as Bill helped me back to the boat and encouraged me every stroke of the way, our Maker does the same.  He created the horizon that doesn’t falter, He is our constant help. He stabilizes us, reminding us to breathe.  He didn’t promise us a life without change but he does promise that He is with us. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

Are you in the midst of unsettling change?   One way to fight seasickness it to adjust your position.  I had to adjust my position to overcome my upset tummy that day in Jamaica which was fairly simple.  I realize that whatever change you face may require much more. What do you need to adjust so that you can navigate the waters ahead? And as you adjust…remember,  He is your help.  You are not alone.