kept.

It was a long summer.

A long, long, long summer.

It was a long year. So very full. The most pain and the most joy.  All at once.  The most heartache.  Ones I loved most dearly running away.  And most dear ones I thought were gone coming back again.  A year of great hope and promise. And deep disappointment.

I feel like I just swam for miles.  And I’m a runner, not a swimmer.  I swam and I swam, I had to keep swimming to stay alive, but I was just so, so tired. My body was tired, my spirit was tired.  And I thought I would drown so many times.  But the scene was so magnificent, and so many moments of utter exhilaration came in the midst of it all.

I feel like I am crawling out of the water, onto a rugged beach, dripping wet, gasping for air, and looking back to see what I have just survived.

I made it.  Barely, it feels.  But I made it.  You could not believe how great the expanse of that water was, even if I could show you.  No one could ever know how very far that distance was and how very deep that water was, save my soul and God alone.  You could not imagine how intensely loved I felt in the middle of that sea.  And you could not begin to guess how many of my tears are now mixed in there.

As I sink into the comfort of the sand and take in the scene now behind me, one thought consumes my mind.

There is only one way I could have made it. 

Only One is able to keep me without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present me unblemished, blameless, and faultless with triumphant joy and exaltation, with unspeakable ecstatic delight.* 

I glance about, and I absolutely know that I am in the right place and that it is the right time to be here.  I hear a whisper echo about me, as the waves from the sea gently collapse around my feet.

“I have brought you to a good place.”

I am taking a minute to take in the peace.  To catch my breath.  To wonder in amazement at the Strength of the One who kept me… who still keeps me.  I cannot believe He has done it again.  And yet He did!

This rugged island He’s brought me to has a fascinating wild beauty.  I put my hand on my chest and feel my pulse.  My heart is still beating, and as my breathing begins to slow, and as I swallow another gulp of peace, I find a twinge of eagerness to begin exploring.  I’m so surprised and so relieved.  There were moments swimming in that sea, moments I thought I might drown and never feel an ounce of desire again.  I confess there were moments I wanted to drown.  Moments I didn’t even care about even wanting to explore ever again.

Sigh.

But I made it.  I made it, and here I am.  And with every deep breath I take, I feel my energy revive.  I am alive. And I want to live. And I will live.

Because He keeps me. I glance over my shoulder at the rugged land behind me.  Am I actually excited to be here?  I think I might be… It’s just so, so absolutely right.

I know full well there is likely another sea on the other side of this island.  It may be near or it may be far.  Who knows how big this island is.

But one thing is sure.

I am okay.  And I will always be okay.

He keeps me.  And He doesn’t stumble. He doesn’t slip.  He doesn’t fall.

“To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, splendor, majesty, might, and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever unto all the ages of eternity. Amen. So be it.”**

*Jude 24, Amplified Version; **Jude 25, Amplified Version

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