At the time I felt no assurance our family would survive intact. Looking back, I know it was only the GRACE of our LOVING GOD by which we are still the Brittain family - nowhere near perfect, but whole and stable.
In celebration of my husband's 50th birthday, he and I headed for South Florida during a spring break vacation. It was a much needed retreat from reality, and the beach is my earthly 'run to' place.
As I stood on the shore watching the waves roll in and pull out, like a sleeping giant breathing deep, tears fell and dripped off my chin. I spoke hesitantly, "Father, I am desperate to know You haven't left me alone. I know You don't owe me anything, but if You are willing, will You show me the dolphins while I'm here at the ocean?"
He didn't have to, but He did. To My Sovereign God, Creator, and Father, it was so important for me to know that His word is true and He has never left me, He sent dolphins to play in the surf right in front of me. This miraculous experience breathed life into my dry bones.
Over the next couple years each time we visited the ocean, I stood on the shore and asked to see the dolphins. All through these darkest days and into the breaking daylight of our circumstances, I witnessed the dolphins come and play in the surf in front of me.
To some it might be a coincidence, dolphins and ocean go together. However, we have visited several different beaches on the Gulf and Atlantic shores, and they've appeared wherever we've been. Additionally, I grew up in South Florida and rarely do I remember seeing the dolphins playing in the surf. Maybe I wasn't looking.
Maybe it was a silly thing to ask...or maybe we should ask the simplistic things more often. I was stumbling badly through a scary and rocky terrain at this point in my life journey, and I (perhaps like Jesus' disciple Thomas) needed some tangible reassurance God was near.
When I needed it most, God Himself provided the faith I needed to keep taking the next step toward Him. I learned to trust in the dark, and in the dark I became bold to ask my Father for intimate connections with His Presence.
I think Father God took great delight in sending His kiss of love through the dolphins...at least it has seemed so by watching them jump and play in the surf!
for He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So, we can confidently say,
"The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?"