Beach Longings

10 Jan

Relaxing in a hammock on Isla Mujeres

We’re back from the beach! Travis and I just got back yesterday from Mexico. We went to the Cancun Palace in Cancun with  my entire family – parents, brothers, and sisters-in-law.

While the actual vacation was wonderful, both of our getting-to-the-airport experiences were stressful. When we were flying out, the check-in line was a couple hundred people long and there was a problem with my ticket – I had booked it in my married name but my passport is still in my maiden name. Two years ago, I had used a certified marriage certificate to verify the name change but this time, I was told that I should have booked my ticket in my maiden name, to match my passport. Finally, after standing in line for 30 minutes and up at the counter for another 30, we were checked in. Security was fairly quick and we got to our gate with plenty of time.

When we were flying back to the US, the hotel had gotten our airport transfer times mixed up. Travis and I were flying out at 7:45 am, so we were supposed to leave for the airport at 4:30. But the hotel had us down for leaving at 12:30 with some of our other family members. Finally, after a whole hour, the hotel called us a taxi (and paid for it) and we were off. Luckily, the check-in and security lines were very short so we had enough time leaving too. Praise the Lord!

The rest of our vacation was great though. Travis and I shared a room with my brother Chris and sis-in-law Meg. They’re great – I really enjoyed getting to spend time with them. Besides the givens of eating lots of delicious food and drinks, we also took a trip over to Isla Mujeres, where we visited a sister resort to the Cancun Palace (that’s where the picture above came from). We played beach and water volleyball, tennis, ping pong, chess, and pool. We drove little 2-person speedboats and went snorkeling. We laid on the beach and by the pool, reading and talking. We had our family Christmas celebration and went shopping at a flea market.

The whole crew (clockwise from left): Brian, Travis, Jeremy, Dad, Chris, Meg, Mom, Jen, and me

We also visited the Sun Palace that was just down the street from our hotel. There was a bartender there that made all sorts of different fruity shots for us and then sent many tequila shots down to the beach where the guys were playing volleyball. All of us kids ended up pretty drunk that night.

While I didn’t like that we had drunk so much, I will say that the Lord really used that night to bring us closer together and break down some walls. Meg has been very hurt by her parents who are divorced and she feels very responsible for the well-being of her sisters. She wants God in her life but is having a hard time trusting that He can help her in the situation with her mom and sisters. She also has a hard time believing that anyone can love her for who she is.

Jeremy, Jen and I, upon hearing this, started telling Meg about the gospel and how God loves her enough to send His Son to die for her. The 2 things that were the coolest for me were that 1) I am now positive that Jeremy and Jen are believers. They totally get the gospel, which is TOTALLY AWESOME!! and 2) I got to see the state of Meg’s heart. She is very shy and has a hard time opening up to our family so being able to see her heart is a privilege. I can now pray for her in a specific way, as well as follow up later about this conversation. I did talk to her again the next day, just to make sure she knew it wasn’t just something I said while drunk but it’s what I truly believe.

My brother Chris also opened up about how he felt about his job and purpose of life but our discussion was cut short when it was time to go to dinner. Both Chris and Meg are searching. They want God but it seems that they’re not quite to the place of having an intimate relationship with Him. But this definitely energizes my prayers for them!

Cruising around in our mini speedboat

The one main spiritual thought I had during and after this vacation is how much I long for heaven. Being in a paradise like that, with no cares or worries, with my family that I truly love and enjoy being with, I felt an inner temptation to anxiousness. I felt I couldn’t possibly enjoy the vacation enough and that all the days were going by way too fast. I had to remind myself that my heart is really longing for the thing it was created for: perfect communion with God.

In the book I read on vacation, Soul Craving by Joel Warne, he writes, “The new country we have entered [as Christians] never had it in mind to simply waft us a few comforting breezes or provide us a place to vacation from our regular world. It wants to become our regular world. It wants to become, in fact, a new world inside us, remaking all our inner geography.”

Being with my family awakens my heart’s desire for fellowship, for being deeply known and loved. The gorgeous tropical landscape and sunshine reminds me how much I want to delight at the dawn of each new day and feel utter contentment at each sunset. My heart aches for God.

There is a longing awaken by such an experience that cannot be entirely satisfied. And like C.S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

 

The view from our room

To see more pictures from our vacation, click here.

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