The Time I Took a Risk and Landed at the Ocean

I did some silly things in my twenties and most of them I don’t regret.

One such decision involved an impromptu decision to drive to Florida during Memorial Day weekend. From Chicago.

When you ponder the logistics of that idea, you realize that two of those days involve driving and that leaves one whole day to simply enjoy time in the destination. Does that make sense?

Yes.

I am someone who tends to thrive in routine and predictability. My ennegram score is a one. Living spontaneously usually frightens me. But sometimes, it is necessary to challenge ourselves to live outside of our comfort zones.  I’ll admit, it’s a bit easier to embrace that challenge in the season of life when we are forming our adult identity and have no familial responsibilities. Yet, I am still reminded of the way that experience impacted my life and why it’s important to let go of the boundaries we place around ourselves that keep us from experiencing abundant life.

So, my roommate and I drove for 20 plus hours until we reached Pensacola, Florida.  Together, we talked, sung to the radio, experienced the diverse landscape and culture as we headed south. And then we landed. Right on the beach.

Never had I been to Florida. Never had I seen an Ocean. I will never forget the inaugural dip into the waves. The sun still shining brightly at 5:00pm.  A sense of euphoria and whimsy spiraled in my soul as I let the refreshing cool waves wash over my warm body. The salt seasoned my lips. The beauty and majesty of it all was captured by the camera in my mind.

This. is. real.

We camped overnight near the beach. Knowing that we had just 24 hours made the moments all the more savored.

Snorkeling, witnessing the hand crafted beauty of the creatures of the sea, observing the majesty of a geographical region different from my own-these experiences cannot be measured by any earthly value.

How grateful I am for the opportunity to explore the world outside of my comfort zone. I think of it often-not only the fond memories but what I learned when I trust God with decisions that call me outside of the space I think I can control. When we allow ourselves to push through those lines we draw for ourselves, we discover much about ourselves, God’s character, and the work of His hands.

When you have you taken a risk?

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6 thoughts on “The Time I Took a Risk and Landed at the Ocean

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Stephanie, I’d actually drive for days for ten minutes in my favourite place on earth…Chicago!

    I hope it’s OK that I share with you this love song to the Emerald City, from Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah..

    If Heaven isn’t like Chicago, then how can it be Heaven?

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    1. Stephanie Post author

      Andrew, I live in Chicago! I live in the burbs now but used to live in the city. It does represent Heaven-diversity in race, economics,, etc…My happy place is downtown.

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  2. Anita Ojeda

    I loved the spontaneous road trips I took as a young adult so much! My most recent adventure involved driving to Alaska—with a family member I didn’t know very well. (The challenge was the person, not the drive 😜). It took a lot of prayer to prepare myself, but God surprised me with the sweet conversations and shared laughter). I’m so glad I accepted!

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  3. Cindy

    Stephanie, I am so glad you’ve learned the importance of “diving” out of your comfort zone at a young age. It is something I continue to battle at 59! Spontaneity has rarely occuredmin my life and I regret that. I know I’ve missed out on much fun! Thank you for sharing your experience and encouragement! I needed these words! Cindy

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