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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: Sally's Ocean
By Kellie Henningsen


Sally peered through her sunglasses as the waves crashed the shore. She needed this day. Time away from it all…if only for a few hours. The warm August sun washed over her like a healing balm while the sea breeze cooled her face and refreshed her soul.

Young children played in the surf and laughed as the waves tossed them to and fro. Oh to be a child again and enjoy the simple things! Big black lettering on a nearby sign warned of a dangerous undertow. The waves, while beautiful, could also prove dangerous. As the water receded back into the sea, it took with it sand from the ocean floor. Unsuspecting swimmers could have their footing literally sucked out from under them and be pulled into the depths of the ocean.

Turning toward some surfers heading into the waves, she observed how they were attached to their surfboards by an ankle strap. So when the waves knocked them off, they were not without their lifeline. She also noted how the waves did not scare away the more skilled surfers. They actually paddled towards them with determination in each stroke. At just the right time, they jumped up and rode the waves in triumph back toward the shore. They did this again and again without tiring.

Life had been difficult lately for Sally. Her husband lost his job six months ago. Her father’s battle with cancer continued to wane. Her children had been sick non stop. And on top of it all, they needed to find a home church. Everything that had been stable in her life now shook. Like waves in the ocean, each trial had crashed into her and done its best to knock her down. And when it did, the undertow was there to suck her out into the tumultuous sea.

Sally decided to name the waves after the trials in her life. One after another she gave voice to her tribulations. Taking her analogy further, she gave the undertow the only fitting title -- the devil. He washed in with every wave in an attempt to rip out her footing and suck her down into the depths of despair.

Looking at the surfer, Sally knew that’s who she needed to be. She had stood in the surf for too long letting the waves knock her down time and time again. She needed to face her trials boldly armed with the Armor of God. Yes…she could see how the surfboard was the Bible. She needed to attach herself to her lifeline and with determination go into battle ready to conquer her waves.

Sally vowed that as the waves of life hit her from now on, she would face them fully prepared. At just the right time, God would surely give her the strength to rise above her waves and, standing on His word, ride them safely home.

Tears blurred her vision as a feeling of overwhelming peace and refreshment reached her hurting soul. She had come out here on this beautiful summer day to get away from it all and yet God had cared enough to meet her here.

After a time of relaxation and prayer, Sally packed up her things and headed back to her own ocean. When she got home, she intended to find her surfboard and start preparing for the next wave.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Henry Clemmons01/22/11
Well I loved every line of this. Great observations, comparisons, resolve, encouragement. It picked up my spirits. This is more than just an entry, it ministers and is anointed. Very well done in my humble opinion. I like being cheered up and encouraged believe it or not:) Great title too, espcially after reading.
Laury Hubrich 01/22/11
I love love LOVE this! Very nice writing. A devo within a story is the very best way to get your ideas across and point readers to Jesus.
Connie Dixon01/22/11
I enjoyed this a lot, much like a devotional but yet very subtle, with a great message. Very nice.
Beth LaBuff 01/23/11
I especially like your ending where she plans to prepare for the next wave... and her source for protection. Very, very nice work!
Rachel Phelps01/23/11
Excellent analogy and message. My only comment is that from a strictly story standpoint this telling-heavy. I would love to see this expanded into a full story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/11
What a beautiful analogy. Tell me where can I get my surfboard? :) Great job!
Carol Slider 01/24/11
Nice blend of a story and devotional... and a reminder of how God can help us deal with all our own "waves." Well done.