I have traded the tranquil sounds of the St. John’s River for the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. My time in Jacksonville, FL was well spent as I travelled a pathway back into intimacy with God. I spent Thanksgiving there not really wanting to celebrate the holidays in the traditional sense, but desiring to spend time in His presence being thankful for where He is leading me in this journey.
I am now in San Diego, CA where I spent the holidays and will reside here for a long minute. Coming here hasn’t been what I expected…I knew that coming in; but then nothing on this journey has gone according to the expected. God is doing a new thing and when He is doing a new thing you sometimes feel like your life is not your own, and in a sense—it isn’t. As the psalmist sang, “my life is not my own, to you I belong” (you know the rest). I am relearning the old familiar with a new perspective.
As a longtime single I relished in my long moments of uninterrupted solitude. Those moments were habitual attitudes I cherished. I am now relearning to share my dwelling space, and that my quiet moments will be shortened with the cares and joys of others in my life. To paraphrase Bishop Dale Bronner— if you don’t break old habits nothing in the new year will change; nothing is new for you until you get a new perspective. While I’m not seeking to change spending time alone in His presence, I am seeking and asking the Father to help me accept the change in how and where I spend that time with Him; and embrace the new pathway to intimacy that is forthcoming with others in my space.
The final destination of my journey is still yet to be determined. To quote Bishop Bronner again, “you are not defined by where you are, you are defined by who you are”. Where I am in the physical sense is becoming irrelevant—the more important consideration is where I am in the spirit. Spiritually I am in a good place. I like knowing whose I am no matter where I am or who I’m with. Wherever my journey takes me, I will always travel the pathway that leads to intimacy with the Father.
Sometimes going from one place to another place you pass through a place you want to discover further…such was Brunswick, Georgia. The little town intrigued me for years as I traveled through it headed to a retreat on St. Simons Island.
My journey afforded me the opportunity to explore the city since it is only a two-hour drive from Jacksonville, FL where I am presently enjoying the quiet sanctuary of my best friend’s home. I set out for an overnight stay to give myself enough time to see all there is to see in this small Georgia town. However, the town wasn’t the treasure I thought it would be.
My first obstacle was finding an affordable hotel with vacancies; I didn’t make a reservation because it was off season and most tourist were back at work and off to school. It never occurred to me they would be accommodating Irma refugees and FEMA personnel. After going above my budget, I settled in at the Best Western Plus to peruse the information I found at the Georgia Welcome Center where I stopped to get info on Brunswick and the surrounding area. There wasn’t much to be found on Brunswick, but I came away with a plethora of information on a little town that had never crossed my radar. I was once again intrigued with a small town and wanted to know more, however, this town was not my goal, so I put the interesting info away and decided to explore the city that was on my radar…it was a bust. There was nothing there that drew my attention and said stay awhile. The most interesting part was the gateway portion to the Golden Isles (which was the part I had seen for years).
I decided to head back to FL. Having some extra time, I detoured to see what this new little town had to offer. There wasn’t much there as well, like Brunswick there was a main drag that housed all your chain stores and necessities, but on a smaller scale. Unlike Brunswick traffic was light, as a local put it, “the most traffic we have is when the elementary school down the street let’s out”. Like Brunswick downtown was scarce but had something Brunswick didn’t have—peace and serenity. I could feel it as I walked the streets and talked to the friendly locals. The most inviting part of the that peace was where the quiet sidewalk ended—a picturesque view of Cumberland Sound from the St. Mary’s waterfront. Though temporarily impaired with damage from Hurricane Irma, it was like a little piece of heaven. I spent the remainder of my time enjoying the quiet serenity and the gentle breeze that caressed my thoughts of what it would be like to live here. To have this view every day and enjoy the peace of no hustle-bustle noise would be divine.
I left the area feeling as if I had found a peaceful treasure housed in the little town of St. Mary’s, Georgia.
It’s a beautiful world! God bless it and you…