The summer before I fell in love with Herb, it was there that I cried out my desperation, loneliness, and surrendered to God's plan for the man of my dreams.
A few years later, with a ring on my finger, as I walked along the shoreline alone, I begged God for guidance as the first hope fulfilled and I discussed the idea of starting a family. I said, "Lord, I want nothing to do with this unless you are all over it."
Two more years passed after months of trying to conceive and walking down the path called adoption. My heart was broken, my arms were longing for a child. I sat at the oceans edge and literally shouted to the deep, "I'm ready. Please."
That was July 30, 2010. Do you know what happened on August 2, 2010?
God is so good to me.
On Wednesday, the second hope fulfilled held his momma's hand as she introduced him to the greatness of the coast. He held my shoulders and neck with a death grip, but squealed with delight as each wave cracked his back. He yelled "Tooshie," over an over until I realized the waves had caused him to look like the Coppertone baby - tan line and all.
He picked up shells and called them rocks. He chased birds and danced on the boardwalk.
He played in the sand with his cousin (who is her mommy's hope fulfilled, too).
They held hands, drank juice, ate ice cream.
The day was short, but the memories are engraved on my heart forever.
In the days before Herb and Levi came into my life, I remember seeing other couples at the beach and wishing I had someone "holding me" in the water. I thought it was a significant other I was wishing for. But then Herb came alone and hated the beach. And really, who isn't disgusted by people "all over each other" in the ocean. Just not appropriate.
But on Wednesday, I realized what I was longing for all that time was Levi. Before I was even aware of it, God had planted the desire to be a mother.
This week was a full circle moment for me. Being a momma at the beach is a hope fulfilled.
Oh, it's super duper messy, too. Let's be real, here.