Most of the time, when I write, I put my headphones in and turn on some music. Yes, I understand that makes me a coffee shop and a scarf away from being a stereotype but I don’t wear scarves and I rarely drink coffee so I’m safe for now. What I listen to is usually determined by how I’m feeling or what I’m writing. It helps me orient my thoughts and focus my increasingly wandering brain. However, lately I find myself listening more and more to a playlist that Kaitlyn created not very long before she passed away. She titled it “Entering the Heavens” and I can only play it when I’m writing because ordinarily it reduces me to a puddle of tears on the floor but when I’m staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor, the music starts to play, God begins to speak, and the words start flowing out of me.
Tonight I launched the playlist that Kaitlyn took such great care in creating as she quite literally “Entered the Heavens” and I pressed shuffle. The song that started playing is one of Kaitlyn’s favorites called Oceans. In fact it was one of the songs that she had played at her memorial service. It’s undoubtedly what God wanted me to hear tonight because what I sat down to write about is the time that we’ve spent in North Carolina for Thanksgiving so we could scatter the bulk of her ashes in the ocean. The ocean and beach that she loved. So I tapped repeat and began to write.
This place, this beach is the perfect resting place for Kaitlyn for many reasons. She loved it here. She’s been coming here her entire life! I used to complain because we took the same vacation EVERY SINGLE YEAR! I would argue, “Just one cruise and then we can go right back to going to Sunset Beach!” Kaitlyn wouldn’t have any of it though. This was her second home. Her heart might have been in Arkansas but her vacations were in Sunset Beach, no exceptions!
This year was no different. In May she got to return to this place that was so special to her one final time! We stayed in the house at the end of the island that she had always dreamed of staying in and I got to see the joy that this place brought her one last time. We almost didn’t make it though. Kaitlyn always liked to get here as soon as we possibly could so we would drive through the night. When we left this year though Kaitlyn was very sick. Before we got out of Arkansas she had thrown up at least ten times so I had to put my foot down. We turned around and went back to Baptist hospital in Conway. We arrived at midnight and stayed there until four in the morning so they could administer fluids to combat dehydration that was causing all the vomiting. When we left the nausea had subsided but she was so weak I was sure we weren’t gonna make it to the beach. I underestimated her determination to reach this place though because the next morning, despite sleeping for only five hours, she woke me up at ten o’clock and said with the cutest smile on her face “I’m ready to go, get up and take me on vacation!”
Yeah, this is the perfect resting place for Kaitlyn. Her grandma lives here and her grandpa lived here with her grandma until he passed away last year. Both of her great grandparents lived and died here and when each of them passed the family all gathered together on this very same beach and scattered their ashes in this very same ocean. There is a legacy of believers being put to rest on this beach just as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob left a legacy of believers being put to rest in the field of Ephron. Their family gathering together each time, bringing the earthly remains of each one of them back to that place, and laying them to rest.
This is the perfect resting place for Kaitlyn. This song that I’m listening to, (Oceans) it says;
“So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
Peter trusted Jesus enough to climb out of the boat. In the midst of a terrible storm, when Jesus called him, he stepped out on the water and walked and his faith was strengthened by it. Kaitlyn trusted without borders and when Jesus called her in the midst of the worst storm of her life she answered that call with “Lord, wherever You call me, whatever you ask, I AM YOURS AND YOU ARE MINE.”
Talk about faith being made stronger, I don’t know a single person who knew her (and some who didn’t) who would say their faith wasn’t strengthened by her trust in the midst of the storm and her willingness to go wherever Jesus called her. I know mine was and is still being strengthened as I discover new ways she trusted Him every day. Symbolic or not it’s a perfect resting place for her because from here on out when I see an ocean I’ll think of Peter walking on water toward Jesus during a storm and I’ll think of Kaitlyn walking on trust toward Jesus during a storm.
It was such a beautiful day for scattering her ashes and even though it was packed full of emotion and I had some difficulty with it, including being way more anxious about it than I thought I was going to be, I’m so glad we were able to gather as a family. Just like the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did each time they said goodbye to them.
Indeed! This is the perfect resting place for Kaitlyn. For all of these reasons and a hundred more, but most important of all of them is that there wasn’t a single cliff in sight!