The cruel irony of this article is that this is my last article I am writing for The Odyssey, the last one before my account dies, and I am telling you the story of when I almost died.
Almost two years ago my family was hosting a retreat at a hotel on the beach. The thing about the beach was you were not allowed to swim in it due to the current and undertow. It was the day everyone was arriving so things were moving rather slowly. My brother and I where sharing a hotel room and he was laying on his bed dramatically telling me how bored he was, I suggested we go to rocks that jut out into the ocean and watch the waves. He said he already did that with dad, but I convinced him to go again.
We got to the top of the rocks and watched as the waves hit the rocks below us. We soon grew bored of this and decided to go down further on the rocks so that we could get a little wave action and get wet. It was not long until the waves were hitting us and we were having a blast.
We decided to sit down and when we did a wave was about to drag me out, but I was able to hold on to the rock. I turned to my brother and said, "Hey, we should probably go up, it's getting a little too rough."
He barely had the words out of his mouth when it happened: "But we're having fun-"
A huge wave came and took me out into the ocean. At the moment the ocean was calm, and I told my brother to stay calm and that I would simply swim around to the sandy beach part and would meet him there. Just then a wave came and threw me against the rock. I remember being under water and being chucked against the rocks. I did not know what way was up and what way was down, so I just choose a direction and swam. I made it to air just in time for another wave to come and throw me against the rock. I would barely have time to catch my breath when more waves came. I kept being tossed against the rocks like I was a rag doll. I tried hard to fight the waves and get to safety but had no luck. I remember thinking to myself, "this is how I am going to die." I kept fighting and I was soon growing weary. I remember thinking to myself "I’m so tired, I’m just going to let myself drown." I then heard my brother blood-wrenching scream "JESSI!" he was crying, trying to make sure I was alive. I do not know how, but I was able to make it to a part of the rocks that was flat, my brother was standing there waiting for me with an outstretched hand. I was able to throw my arm up and he grabbed it, looked into my eyes and said, "I won't let go." Either by adrenaline or his muscles, he pulled me onto the rocks. We quickly climbed up to safety and I fell face first into the rocks and lay there till I caught my breath. My brother helped pick me up, I threw my arm around his shoulder and we started to walk back to our room. I now noticed my arms, legs, and feet were all cut up and bleeding. My brother saw my mom from the distance and cried for her to come.
The two of us made it back to our room and went into the bathroom. The shower in there was just an open floor with a shower head sticking over it. My brother sat me down, turned on the water and then sat behind me and I lie on his chest and let the clean water rush over my wounds and me. It was not long before my parents showed up. My brother left to explain what happened. It was then when everything that happened hit me. I began to sob and hyperventilate. My dad came over and took me by the shoulders and told me to breathe. The rest of the day I spent in bed resting. I called my good friend, Eliza and told her what happened, we both cried together.
Since then, I've only been able to go ankle deep into the ocean. I have had many nightmares about this trauma, but in my dreams it is always someone else who falls in the water and I cannot get them out; I always wake up from these dreams and then have to tell myself it is not real. Still to this day, I have a very small scar on my foot. Telling this story still makes me cry, yes I was crying while typing this.
Why did I tell you this? This trauma gave me a whole new insight of who Jesus is. Life/Satan is like the ocean and rocks. It is going to beat you down and try and drown you completely, but Jesus is always there for you, He is holding out his hand for you to grab it and He will pull you to safety. It will not be easy, you will have to fight, but Jesus will always be there waiting. You may be left with scar, and while you could look at them and think about all the bad that happened, I like to look at it and remember how God saved me.
So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You're not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
(-Come As You Are ~Crowder)