Today I am experiencing a total beach hangover. After spending 6 days at Topsail Beach, NC it was hard to come home. Hard to step back into the "real world" with no salt water, waves, or twenty-one other women to laugh with. It was an incredible week, so much so that I decided to stay two more days than I had originally planned. I flew to North Carolina last Monday and was supposed to come home on Thursday night. As the hours until my flight home came closer and closer I started to feel sad. Sad to leave, sad that there were more women coming for the weekend that I wouldn't get to see, sad that I just wasn't ready to go. So I sent a text to my amazing husband that said "I want to stay:(" He knows that I am not a sulker (at least not outwardly) and so he knew that I must have been having a great time. So he told me to stay. It didn't matter if it was going to cost more money. Just stay. So I bought another flight home so I could stay at the beach for two more days. I am so thankful for him. And I am so glad I stayed.
I plan on posting pictures and recapping the week at some point but there is so much to say that I figured I would split it up a little bit. Today I want to share a bit of what I learned at the beach. I didn't go planning on "learning" (who wants to learn on vacation?) but God brought some thoughts to my mind as I went through the week that I wanted to share.
This week at the beach happened because my friend Caroline had a dream to get together all of her closest girlfriends together to celebrate her 40th birthday. Twenty-two women representing Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia came for a week long birthday party for our friend Caroline. We shared stories of how we met Caroline, what we love about her, and some of our favorite memories from the past. It was a blast! Because of the nature of Greg's (Caroline's husband) job, they have moved around a bit. So at many points in their lives they have had to say good-bye to great friends. Every one of us that came to the beach house that week have had to say good bye to Greg and Caroline and their family at one point or another. Some of us more than once. Sad and hard good-byes. But... if there had been no good byes then there couldn't have been a beach week. Or at least it wouldn't have been the same. The beautiful thing about our week at the beach is that it was a result of a lot of hard things for Greg and Caroline. Saying good-bye to people they loved and moving across the country to a new place when they knew no one. Again and again. But those moves eventually brought about relationships that will last them for a lifetime. Saying "good-bye" to friends is hard, even in our current world where we are only a Skype or text message away. But the good that comes from difficult change is worth it. It's worth enduring the struggle to get to the silver lining.
This is the lesson I took away from our week at the beach. How can I look at the "bad" or "not so fun" in my life and sift through the junk to find something good. I think sometimes God is waiting to show us the good but we're too busy focusing on the bad.
Can you see any good in your life that is the result of a bad situation or a difficult season?
More to come on our time at the beach later this week:)