We’ve spent a week at the Jersey Shore every summer for the last 17 years. We were so grateful when we found out it would be okay to return this year. The transmission rate of the virus was lower, and we could do the same social distancing there, as we were doing here. It was such a relief to think for a few days we could be some place so familiar, so loved by our family, and away from the incredible loss, heartache, and fear the last few months had brought. 

How naive to think we could escape. Less than 72 hours after our arrival, Tropical Storm Isaias took aim at the Jersey Shore. Of course it did. It’s 2020. There was no escaping that. We battened down the hatches and huddled in the living room. The storm raged outside. From our porch we could glimpse the ocean waves as they roared and crashed against the shore. There on that narrow barrier island it felt like the anguish of the world had come to life. Would we be alright?

After several hours, the rain slowed and then stopped, but the fierce wind had not. We peered out the door. My husband and daughter hesitantly stepped outside, and then dashed across the street and over the dune. I slowly followed. The sand felt like little pellets as it hit our skin and instantly covered everything we were wearing. We stared down at the roiling waves, and then up at the sky. The sun was beginning to break through. As we looked around – up and down the beach there were people in each direction as far as we could see. All timidly glancing around as if to say – “We’re here. We’re alright. Are you alright?” 

In this waiting season of Advent, as I look toward the birth of Jesus. Some days feel like that summer storm. Heavy, and intense. But I know God is near. He will light the way, and it will be alright.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

~ John 1:5

Shared by Kim Sebastian-Ryan

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