This trip to the beach is one that will forever have a huge place in my heart. Spring Break '08, Panama City Beach.
It was on this trip that my depression and my fear of being alone came to a head. I hurt so much in these moments and would mask it so hard for those friends I went with. I didn't want to be more of a burden on their vacation.
One night the pain became so overwhelming that I decided to ask for God's help with what I hoped to end the hurt. I begged for the ocean to take my breath away and make my body never be found. While walking deeper into the water after dark I remember vividly having an argument with God, yelling at Him to make it happen if it was "His will". I approached having my waist submerged and the waves began taking control of my body. As I began to realize in that moment how my story was going to end I heard a voice from the shore, "Hey man, what are you doing?". "Just hanging out in the ocean," I yelled back, disappointed but couldn't let them know the truth. They asked me to come back to the shore and told me their names were June and July - never had seen them before and they surely weren't on the shore when I began my journey that night. They disappeared into the night and my time to say goodbye to the world was over, the interruption caused me to walk back to my room and go to sleep, defeated.
I'm so thankful for June and July because if God's will did not find them at that spot on the beach that particular evening my story would have ended much different.
I wouldn't have found hope.
I wouldn't have found strength.
It's very easy some days for me to take for granted everything I've done and accomplished through my career and my life at 30, but I strive to NEVER lose sight of where I came from. I NEVER lose the memory of the struggles I've had. And I NEVER want to stop sharing the truth about how tough life may appear today, but how incredible it is just on the other side of your mountain. It may seem impossible in this moment but I truly believe you have what it takes to overcome every obstacle put in your way and I know you will come out on the other side happier, healthier and stronger.