I just love imagery. And to me the best imagery is given through words because you can paint or photograph the picture in your own mind. You know those movies that disappoint you because they make a character look, act or speak different than you imagined? Sometimes pictures do that. That’s why I love word picture more than photos.

In fact, that’s why I love the Old Testament and Hebrew language better than the New (aside from Jesus saving the world, of course). But our world has became so fixated on pictures I try include one in each post (to grab folks). So many people use the phrase “I’m a visual person.” Most people are! There’s logic people (left brain) & creative/visual (right brain types).

Prophecy is not always future telling, but understanding a situation and being able to speak God’s heart and vision towards it. I’ve noticed that many people with the spiritual gift of prophecy see visions and pictures of things to communicate with you. Folks who’ve prophecied over me, whether saying that it was or not, have done so best with pictures and visions. Sometimes, too, they have given me words and I’ve created a picture in my own mind.

So after discussing my woes about my awkward transition and spot I’m in right now with my counselor, he helped me understand that for as much as I’m visual, I’m also very logical. Most who know me would agree. It’s funny applying for jobs because they almost all interest me. I love art. I love music. I love excel. I love accounting. I am confused! I’m both left brained and right brained & they constantly collide.

His image was tidewater. For each moment that I get a trigger (mostly having to do with leaving the church or the fact that I’m currently unemployed), I get sucked in to the ocean of my emotions and/or thoughts having to do with my transition and current state. And then (sometimes rapidly), I find myself doing very well, the water crashing and then easing in to the sand. I’ve said it’s a roller coaster for us, but I like the image of a tide even better. It’s back and forth. Whether I see people, engage in conversation, have thoughts or whatever, it’s often pulling me back to sea. Sometimes it crashes back to shore through tears, occasional snappiness or a major weighty depression episode. Other times it slowly creeps in, whether over time, distraction, some fun or funny times of laughter. Oddly enough, being around people, which in my past helped, is more difficult. Yet while I want to hide and get away (we’ve talked about the possibility of this), I realized that I just have to deal with it. The complications of the situation that I was in and that transition I’m going through would be difficult for anyone. And while occasional pride thoughts of being too weak to handle it, I rest confidently in the fact that God is leading us in this and I have tremendous faith in His Sovereign hand for our family. That being said, this tidewater illustration has nothing to do with bipolar. You add that to the mix and you get the situation I’m in.

I remember I was swimming in the Atlantic as a kid and the water was like glass. It was a beautiful day. I was just wading on a boogie board with a few folks from my family. We felt like we were just treading in the same spot for a bit while waiting for a swell to come. We looked back and waved at our family and we noticed we drifted a bit out, but felt confident we could swim back. A few minutes later we continued to drift a bit to the side and further out, but because the water was so calm we again knew it’d be no problem to return. It wasn’t a minute after that the lifeguards whistled at us to come in. Being a contentious little kid you remember these things and correlate it with “getting in trouble.” I felt extremely guilt so we began to swim back in. It took 15 minutes or more. We were paddling against this “glassy” water not moving at all. We started swimming in and realized we were even farther than when we were whistled. The lifeguards were now the size of ants from our perspective. I don’t remember how we ever got in (whether the lifeguards came out and got us or if we somehow made it on our own), but I remember talking with the lifeguards about it for a long time after we got in.

The lifeguards explained to us that a rip tide is is deceptive. You can’t always see it from the shore if you’re not a pro and it pulls you out to sea and makes it extremely difficult to fight it getting back. I think I’ve succumb to the rip tide recently. And while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that (the situation is tough), it is exponentiated with some of the neurological deficiencies. I’m not making an excuse – I’ve got a lot of heart issues to sort out as well. But I get a ton of triggers that by nature of the situation bring me out into the water and then slam me back to shore.

So often in situations we just go through them with any picture. My counselor helped me realize that understanding situations from an objective point of view (especially if you’re blessed to have both sides of the brain working overtime), you can step back and see the situation for what it is and be okay with it. God made tides as part of the world. There’s nothing wrong with the back and forth nature of emotions. Some people experience greater differentiation between high and low tide, but again, it’s understanding that and just getting through it. To do so with grace, faith, love and patience is the challenge. Knowing there’s hope in it all is the blessing.

2 thoughts on “On tidewater”

  1. I have to remind myself that “God made tides as part of the world” too. Very well articulated, your words have got me thinking.

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