April 4, 2010

Sorrow in Ecuador - On oceans, singing from your heart, and seeking.

I wrote this as a letter to my friend. I'm not sure why I chose these words, nor why I am compelled to copy them here, but there must be a reason.

Being in Ecuador was difficult. I was completely alone - none of my friends knew me longer than a few months. I was cheated by my boss and, because I wanted my salary, I was fired. One day I came home from work to find my host threw all my belongings out of my drawers into a big pile.  Someone else wanted to use the drawers.  It was deflating; the cabinets were the only private space seemingly truly mine.

Meanwhile I struggled with my illness and the frustrating side effects of medication. I was unable to focus on anything. Many times I wanted to die.

And when nothing else was left inside me, which was many days, my core being shined through.
Each day I went to the ocean to thank God for ten things. I would hold out my fists and stick out one finger for each item I stated I was thankful for. And some days it took me a very long time to count to ten, but I did it.

I forced myself to stand in the waves and try to think. About God, my life, purpose of living, you know, the things that show you're serious about making an effort to get yourself together.

And when I was completely empty, a song came out of my lips.
(listen on YouTube)

Like an eagle in the sky I was meant to fly
And soar upon the wings of prayer and praise

Learning to rest, learning to trust
in the Lord and follow all His ways


There are times when I'm weary
He will make me strong
When the road is dark and lonely
He is there to lead me on

I will wait on the Lord. I will listen to His voice.
Where He leads me I will follow.
I will wait on the Lord.

I didn't really know much about what the words meant. I wasn't really trying to trust God, I certainly didn't understand what His "way" was, and I sure as hell didn't feel like I was soaring.

And yet the song brought me great comfort in my deep sorrow. I sang it loudly; as I danced or thrashed about in the ocean my voice carried to everyone who was swimming nearby. I sang it with all my being. Or, some days, I just toyed around with the song by finding the harmony, or I thought about other things while the song idly rolled out of my mouth.

But there is powerful prophecy in singing such things -
I will wait on the Lord. Soaring on wings of prayer and praise. Learning to trust.
God says if you seek Him (wait on Him), He'll give you strength.  Try praying and singing, and do it in faith.

I was not expressing these way church says to do them, you know, "Read your Bible, pray every day..." But even though I was not deliberately seeking God, my soul pursued.

And as I sang in the ocean, tears rolling down my face, I was comforted.
Nothing made sense
I was broken in so many ways
And in my humility, I was comforted.

(Song by City Bible Church / Generation Unleashed.  By Brian Bettis, related to our Bettis family)


  1. Rose~ I am not a blog reader. Yet, I was drawn by your words. You have many gifts--one is writing, one is worshipping God in your everyday living. Thanks for sharing your life in a daring and uplifting way. Heide at CCTV

  2. Heide -
    Thank you so much for your note. I slowly read it three times as a tear slid out of my eye. I've lately been discouraged with wondering if the time I invest in my blog is worth it, and... What exactly am I doing it all for? Regardless of the answer, your note alone is enough reason to substantiate my writing. My existence touches you, and I've only seen you about twice in the last five years.
    I am honored by your words.

    Thank you, and I can only hope that all of your lives are somehow touched and improved by experiencing me.
    Miss Rose