Baby Turtles and the Sea…

I’ve often joked in my life that God lives at the beach. I don’t know if it’s just that I have had so many God moments with sand between my toes, my eyes on the horizon, and the sound of waves ringing in my heart. I have cried, laughed, danced, dreamed, and prayed so many times at the ocean and found myself time and time again when I’ve felt the most lost.

This summer, it happened again. We had a much needed vacation to the ocean and as always, it cleared my tangly soul, swept my heart clean, and cleaned out my ears to hear again. Early one morning, Matt and I left our still sleeping kiddos and headed out on a sunrise walk. tracy-joy-jones-florida-sunsriseOn that particular morning, my sweet husband was again hearing his external-processing wife trying to detangle some of what has been in her heart, but as we walked we were amazed because every twenty feet our path was crossed by the unmistakable tracks of a giant turtle leaving its ocean home to nest in the sand dunes.

And then about a half a mile into our walk, we got given a gift… baby turtles.

A nest of baby turtles was emerging from the sand. Matt and I watched the sand splash and stir as a baby fought it’s way to the surface of the sand. I stood with my video rolling and then recorded its entire journey all the way to the ocean, and somewhere on its fourteen minute trek, I started weeping.

This tiny life was born for the sea. The baby turtle was born to be a giant, but at it’s humble start the footprints that crossed its path were craters. As it would slide down into each footprint and then fight its way up the other side, its perseverance and tenacity just overwhelmed me. It was born with a call in its heart to the sea. It comes out of its egg with one instinct… the sea. It doesn’t consider its size, or the distance, or the mountains in front of it. It never considers stopping and doesn’t turn to the right or left… it just pushes on, always to the sea.

tracy-joy-jones-turtle-footprintAnd in the middle of its journey, this thought hit me… how many times have I considered the journey of others and stalled in my own fight toward the call in my heart? How many times have the footprints of others become my stumbling block? How many times have I questioned why my journey matters when others have done it bigger and better? How many times has my humble beginning of baby steps deterred me from my giant future?

How many times have you asked yourself the same thing?

What is the call in your heart that has been planted in your heart to put you into the best possible place where you can grow into the giant that you were meant to be? Have you let other’s successes and failures discourage you from following your heart?

tracy-joy-jones-baby-turtle-floridaI have.

Giant tears streamed down my cheeks and my arms shook so hard as I held the camera, and as that little life continued its valiant journey, I repented for not going for it. I repented for considering others and letting go of my own heart. I repented for not following my heart towards the unique journey that God had put in my heart.

And fourteen minutes later, I watched that little life swim away while I stood on the shore weeping, and knowing that it was time for me to be brave too. Even if my path today was alone and even if I had to cross the footprints of giants, I had to push towards my ocean because one day I might be a giant turtle. I might leave my own trail for others to follow if only I have the courage to go for it today.

Our paths are so often crossed by the footprints of people that have gone before us and each time they can be an obstacle in our path… both their successes and their failures.

The footsteps of others won’t lead you to your destiny.
But what if your journey is to be a giant sea turtle and you stopped because of the obstacles in front of you? There is something in your heart that God has put in your heart to do. Don’t compare your journey with others, struggle through and press on because their footsteps don’t lead to your destiny.

Remember the baby sea turtles and don’t compare your journey to others, sweet friends. Keep pressing towards your ocean! There is a giant future ahead of you.

With love,