How I Saw God Today: Shell on a Shell
I’m big on asking God for signs.
Usually it involves a time I feel desperate, when I need the pressure to be taken off a problem I’m facing, one that is too big for me to carry. After a recent difficult diagnosis of a family member, I found myself slowly walking on the beach holding a bucket my son was dropping seashells and sea rocks into.
As the bucket started getting heavy and we walked on slowly, I noticed two things: first that each rock that dotted the sand was truly, exquisitely unique. The color, the size, the texture. Each was its own complete masterpiece and I felt a whisper telling me that my family member’s diagnosis wouldn’t take away their beauty but would only enhance it. Second, as the waves gently washed on shore and birds flew overhead, I asked God for a simple and ridiculously specific sign.
I asked Him to let me come across a rare, bright orange sunrise shell as we searched the shore. I told Him that if I saw a sunrise shell I would know everything would be all right. Since I’ve found a sunrise shell exactly zero times in my life, I knew it was a long shot.
I released my prayer and knew to willfully expect it to be answered, understanding that if it is not it means something better is coming along (our family mantra).
As I searched the shore, the bucket became uncomfortably heavy. My son had dropped so many rocks and shells into it that we reached the end of our treasure gathering session. I felt sad and defeated that I did not receive my sign.
Back at our campsite, we unloaded the bucket, rinsed, and admired his finds. We finished our incredible camping trip and exactly one week later, as I was unloading backpacks out of my car, I stumbled upon a large shell. My boys were jumping out of the car as I turned it over and gasped.
“This is a miracle, boys. I prayed about this! God answered my prayer!”
On the back of the large shell, fused to it in a way I’ve never seen, was an orange sunrise shell.
It must have been in the bucket. As I was connecting to God through prayer on that gorgeous, nurturing, healing beach my son must have picked up that shell and dropped it in the bucket. I walked up the wooden stairs lamenting the fact that I hadn’t seen the shell I asked God to show me when I had it in my hands the whole time. Isn’t that how it always is? Whatever we feel we need from this world, we’ve already have from God the whole time?
I put the shell on a little shelf on my dashboard so I can see it when I drive and something new started to soak in. Aside from feeling the soul relief of seeing that sunrise shell, which to me meant comfort, I noticed the way the sunrise shell was literally affixed to the larger shell. I started to understand that I’m the orange shell and God is the larger shell. He is carrying me through. He’s allowing me to rest and receive His peace because He’s in control and will work out everything for my good. The larger shell even has grooves where it grew as the orange shell clung on for dear life.
Now that’s a sign even better that I expected.