Girl Surfs World, the book, published!!!

If you have enjoyed reading stories of my surf adventures, click on the link below to purchase your copy of my book, Girl Surfs World.  Drop into the journey and surf the seas with me!

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Baptism, Duck Diving, and the Ripple Effect of Obedience

She was old enough to know the answer that was expected of her.  The preacher of the church where she’d spent every Sunday of her ten-year-old life had explained that she was now at the age of accountability.  Her knuckles were white from squeezing the top of the wooden pew.  Mom and dad stood on either side of her as the rest of the congregation filed out of the pews.  She agreed, yes, she would be obedient and get baptized.  It was time.  Mom, dad, and the preacher bent down to hug her, smiling and rejoicing.  It felt good to please them, to make them so proud.

Submerged under the water, a moment of pure peace passes, and she is back up, breathing in oxygen.  Her hair is now wet and she feels renewed, washed clean of all the grit and stress that came with life.  The sweet fragrance of sunshine and saltwater mingle on the surface of the sea and she savors each breath.  Another wave curls and crashes before her and she is back down, under the cylinder of energy, in that peaceful place.  

50 years later, that girl who was baptised is a wife, a mother, a grandmother.  And she hears the same words repeat through her mind, through her heart…. “It is better to please God than man.”  Through the years there has been heartache and joy, and she drew closer and closer to Christ.  She fully understood what it all meant by now, that is wasn't about being perfect or being good enough.  That it wasn't about her at all, but all about Him.  That Jesus Christ loved her so much that He died for her sins and then rose from the dead.  She knew He invited her to rise with Him.  He invited her to rise from the deadness of sins and walk blameless and clean and free into eternity.  She'd accepted it and fallen in love with Jesus and walked with Him for years, but she felt Him asking her to obey Him in this.  To obey Him and be baptized again, now that she truly grasped the concept of all that He had done for her, the true concept of baptism.  It was a physical, outward picture of what had happened on the inside.  She’d known it for years, so why was it now that he was tugging on her heart?  Was it really necessary to go in front of the thousands of people in her church and be baptized?  “It is better to please God than man.”  

And so she did it, one Sunday she went forward.  After all these years of being in a close relationship with Jesus, she decided that she would continue to be obedient to Him in all things, even this.  Obeying God and listening to His promptings was more important than what people thought or anything else.  

When she was submerged into the water and raised up into freedom from death and sin, she sent ripples through the baptismal waters and through the sea of souls in the congregation.  A man was running late and rushed into the sanctuary just in time to hear the story of her baptism.  His heart stung, because her story was so much like his own.  Her action encouraged his decision to get baptized again, because the sprinkles he'd gotten as a baby had meant nothing to him at the time.  He knew the woman and called her later that day to say thank you.  And there were probably others there that day who were touched by her ripples of obedience and she may never know.

Baptism is like duck-diving, because when a wave washes over you, you feel a sense of a new start.  Something that is coming against you passes and you find peace.  The calmest place on a breaking wave is right underneath.  This was the point of Jesus’s death and resurrection, so that we could find peace in this life and world of sin.  My mom is the woman in this story.  I am so grateful for her example of obedience and the ripples of love and witness that she sent out that day and every day.

Kauai By Land Part 1: Kauai, Hawaii

So far, this was not the surf vacation we dreamed about.  By noon on our first day in Kauai we both hoped to be submerged in the sea, making our way back out to another set tingling with adrenaline.  Instead, we were waiting for lunch in a roadside cafĂ© sheltered from the wind and rain.  Matt and I were deflated and famished.  We’d started the hunt for waves at 7 that morning, driving up the coast and exploring beaches.  Every cove we discovered celebrated the glory of God’s creation with a turquoise sea framed with tropical plants and trees of all shades and shapes.  It felt wrong to be disappointed, but every spot we found was flat.  Being from Florida we were used to small waves, and would have made the most of even 1-2 foot surf, but it was not even rideable.  What baffled us more was that there was supposed to be a giant swell heading in later that day, but there was no trace of it now.

After our meal, I suggested that we paddle up the Wailua River and check out a waterfall.  One of my good friends, Jen, went to Kauai for her honeymoon and recommended many activities, and this was a must see.  Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with navigable rivers.  The Wailua is located on the east coast of the island and is the most well-known.  

About an hour later, Matt and I were on stand-up paddle boards gliding down the serene river.  We found the sandy bank and left the boards next to other kayaks and canoes that marked the beginning of the trek to the falls.  The rain cleared, and we hiked barefoot through the jungle following a dirt foot path.  We passed clucking roosters and hens and through small, trickling streams. 

Finally, we could hear the soothing sound of water rushing down.  The waterfall cascaded down 85 feet into an emerald pool.  Matt and I eased in to the cool water and swam under the shower.  The fresh water poured all over us and washed away any trace of disappointment that we had felt earlier.

Back on the paddle boards we decided to venture further down the river.  We stopped to explore a fern grotto.  The grotto was a cave abounding with different species of verdant ferns spilling out of every crevice.  Next, we paddled by a couple in a kayak who advised us to continue around the bend.  Sunlight glistened down through a canopy of green and made parts of the river transparent.  Fish darted beneath the glassy surface.  Soon after I paddled around a turn, I saw a wild bull drinking and relieving itself in the canal.  There were more bulls and cows on a grassy patch that bordered the waterway.  Cautiously, Matt and I paddled by.  As Matt slowed to take a photo, the bull stopped drinking the water and stared back at him.  After the face-off, the bull darted up to the meadow and bucked its hind legs high in the air.  It was like we were living an episode of the Discovery Channel, but this felt sacred; this was real life and it was only the two of us to witness it.  Further up to the left I spotted something white move in a pasture.  I paddled around the bend and saw three wild horses galloping through the field.  Matt and I were awestruck by the pure beauty of the untamed nature on the island.  Our first day in Hawaii had been surreal even if we didn’t find surf, and the surf would come.

A few days later, we decided to try another must-see from my friend’s list: spend a day exploring the Waimea Canyon and hiking a trail through it.  The canyon is on the western side of Kauai, and is a humbling sight at ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep and also home to countless waterfalls.  The drive up the canyon was littered with tourists stopping at look out points.  In true tourist fashion, we got out of the car to drool at the majestic vistas.  I felt so small next to the depths and breadth of the lush canyon and towering waterfalls.  Slowly, we wound our way up to the Awaawapuhi Trail.  The hike was six miles long, and was a sure way to see some of the uninhibited Na Pali coast.  The Na Pali coast is intriguing and mysterious, because it is only accessible by boat, helicopter, or by hiking paths.  It is also known to be the most stunning coast on the island and the site of countless Hollywood films.  The fact that it is a challenge to explore only fueled my desire to see it.

We debated whether or not to do the walk for the first fifteen minutes of the muddy downhill trek.  We’d both slipped and almost fallen already.  Then it started to drizzle.  We agreed that the hike didn’t seem like a safe idea.  We had no cell phone service, and if one of us twisted an ankle and couldn’t walk it would be nearly impossible to make our way out of the trail.  Because of the wet conditions, it was a challenge enough for one person with two functioning arms and legs and a walking stick.  But, this was another must see according to my friend.  If the view at the end of this path was even half as magical as the waterfall we had seen after paddling up the Wailua River, I did not want to miss it. 

So, we continued deeper into the woods taking it slow, step by step, constantly working to break a fall.  Frustrated, we started to bicker.  This wasn’t safe.  If either of us did twist an ankle, which could easily happen, that would ruin our surf sessions for the rest of the trip and put a damper on all the other activities.  Why were we still walking?  If we fully committed to the hike, it would have been easier to push forward, but if we were going to quit and turn around the sooner we did so the better. 

Another couple emerged from the forest covered in muck.  They trudged uphill almost finished with the climb.  When they passed, we greeted them, and they seemed cheerful enough that we were encouraged.  If they could do it, surely we could. 

Soon the drizzle turned into sheets of rain.  We stopped to pull rain jackets out of our backpack and sip some water.  Again we questioned ourselves; was this really worth it?  Would we even be able to see the view or would it be hidden by thick clouds?  Suddenly our deliberation was interrupted by a loud screech and curse words.  Just behind us on the footpath was another couple, and the woman had just fell flat on her bottom.  Her face red, she was clearly embarrassed and apologized for cursing.  That was how we met Tom and Mary.
Tom helped Mary back to her feet, and we told Mary not to worry about what she said.  The trek was slick and we had almost fallen countless times already.  We laughed and decided to continue on together.  As we walked, the rain alternated between sprinkling and pouring.  At one point it even stopped long enough to let the sun shine through the canopy for a while.  Conversation flowed as we got to know this couple who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.  The mountains of Lake Tahoe, Nevada was where they called home.  This was actually their first vacation just the two of them, as they had always taken their kids and grandkids with them.  We laughed about family dynamics, complained about work, and shared what we had discovered around the island so far.

We trudged on taking in the views through the dense jungle and the thriving landscape of the Na Pali coast.  It occurred to me how empowering working as a team could be.  The support of others could take impassible crossroads and make them navigable.  Something as simple as a conversation with Tom and Mary distracted our minds from all the obstacles and reasons we should not continue on.  Instead, we kept watch for each other and warned each other of a tough patches in the trail.  Matt and I shared our water to drink and they shared fresh coconut meat to eat. 

Finally, we made it to the end of the trek.  The clouds cleared long enough to reveal the open panorama of the characteristic green mountain spires.  The height at which we stood was astounding.  The ground was so far down below that we could not even see it.  We basked in the beauty of God’s creation for a while before heading back to where we started a few hours ago.  Although the return trip was mostly uphill it seemed easier.  Since the first half of the trek was mostly downhill and so muddy and slippery, we had to go slow and take every single step carefully.  Going uphill, we could go much faster since we didn’t have to focus so much on not falling.  This time, gravity was on our side.  The entire hike took four hours to complete. 

At the end of the trail, we hugged Tom and Mary.  The experience we shared had transformed us from strangers to family.  Matt and I admitted that if we hadn’t met Tom and Mary we probably would have turned around.  Tom and Mary said the same thing.  God’s words rang out in my mind: two is better than one, but three or four is even better.  The verses in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 say, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The longer I am alive, the more I see God’s living word in my life each day.  I am thankful for such a clear illustration of how united, people are so much stronger and can accomplish much greater things.

Blind Spots: Costa Rica

With the speed we took each dangerous curve I felt my mortality; knew that if we met another force at one of the blind spots it would be over.  Were we going to die here?  Surely we wouldn’t be the first.  I prayed as we rounded each corner.  On a straight stretch of the path a motorcyclist clutching a surfboard passed us going in the other direction.  When we rose higher than the birds, I looked down on green palms and rolling hills and saw the ocean lining the horizon.  Would this be the last view I saw?  Was I meant to die holding on to my groom?  I prayed for more time.  Why couldn’t I just let go and enjoy flying over the mountain?  Maybe because now I had something to lose.

Two days after our wedding, Matt and I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica.  From there we took a 25 minute flight on a tiny plane to a tiny airport close to our destination, Mal Pais.  Upon arrival to The Place, our hotel, we were welcomed with cool, refreshing watermelon smoothies.  Our bungalow was quaint and quiet, nestled in lush, tropical nature complete with howler monkeys and hummingbirds.  The scene matched my ingrained notion that a honeymoon was meant to be luxurious and carefree, and that we were supposed to be pampered.  While luxury and pampering sounded nice, Matt and I had not chosen Costa Rica so that we could relax and lazily lounge around a pool for a week.  Indeed I had met my match in Matt, and we were much more concerned with exploration and discovering new surf spots and then getting to them before the wind. 

We rented a four-wheeler that would enable us to take the narrow dirt roads that branched off the main road and gain access to any wave.  Our chariot came with two helmets and no place to lock things up, so we bought cheap flip-flops and sunglasses for our surf sessions so we wouldn’t care if they were stolen when left unattended.  We quickly realized we’d need bandanas to cover our noses and mouths to minimize breathing in dust, so we fashioned our own out of my tank-tops.

Our honeymoon fell during the hottest time of the year when the sand punished our toes, thirst and sweat were constant, and the only respite was found underwater.  The first day we surfed and explored the small pebble roads that led to various beaches, but knew there had to be something more.  The beach break was closing out and the rocky reef built fast and then offered a nice wall, but died right away; probably not the right swell direction for that wave.  Under a golden, amber, and baby blue sky we ventured down another road that dead-ended into a fishing village.  That was where we found the stand-up paddle board rental shop and wandered into its cool shadows.  Edith was a tall, slender Costa Rican whose muscular frame rested in a chair behind glass cabinets filled with shiny trophies.  We started a conversation and she kindly shared the coveted information we needed about the waves in the area.  Two right points would probably be working with the current swell direction, and there was one just over the other side of the hill that was never crowded.  Blessed with priceless local knowledge our surf plans were set for the next few days.

Awake before the sun the next day, we began to climb the towering hill as light filtered through the jungle leaves.  Birds glided above us as we took each curve with similar speed.  As we rode, the path snaked up the hill and as we twisted along the corners there were countless moments when we couldn't see if another vehicle was coming.  I couldn't hear another vehicle approaching over the humming of our engine, and we didn't have a horn to alert oncoming traffic.  We continued down the unknown road without two essentials to driving: sight and sound.

I asked God to protect us as we flew down the hill.  Finally, when we reached the bottom and found the right point, the surf was small and we weren't even sure if it was rideable.  At least we had plan B, the other right point to explore.  I dreaded the drive back, and with every corner I anticipated death.  I never thought I would spend so much time on my honeymoon thinking about the end.  I clutched Matt close and prayed, and heard a clear but gentle whisper tell me to let go of the fear and anxiety.  Even though it is true that many people have died on that road, we never had any close calls, and I give God the glory for keeping us safe.

Turns out that our life has been full of blind spots.  Each day brings new uncertainties and we find ourselves constantly repeating the phrase “one day at a time.”  It started with those winding dirt roads in Costa at full speed as we took on one corner at a time and I learned to surrender fear and anxiety and trade it for faith and trust.  Reality found me a far cry from what my expectations were of a honeymoon, covered in dirt or saltwater unless asleep, and rounding corners that carried the weight of death.   Even though expectations and reality didn't usually match up I have peace knowing God is in control.  He knows our future, it is in His hands, and I trust Him.  (Jeremiah 29:11) 

 The four-wheeler puttered through a twirling dirt tornado, the wake from another vehicle that vanished as fast as it bounded around the corner.  The clouds of dust rose like smoke above the palm fronds and dissipated.  Blanketed in grime and sweat, the dire sun aggravated my itchy, sunburnt skin.  I held Matt tight as he steered onward to where we would escape the heat and duck dive the muck away surfing on a long, fun right point break. 

Blind spots make you consider how much you value life,
when at any moment head on collisions are possible,
lurking around the corner,
there is nothing you can do to prepare.

Dust born from the progress and friction of our tires
as they meet the dirt and gravel road.
Dust dances inexhaustibly and we breathe it in
turning our snot brown.

Existing in the realm of possibility,
of ‘maybe not today,’
the mystery of blind spots is
no one knows when the dangers will come.

Our fate fragile, we hold on tight, and take turns that make us vulnerable.
Do you persist because you trust?  Because you have faith?
Or simply because time works this way, it moves forward
and there is no other option or direction to go.

Beautiful Broken Bits: Cocoa Beach, FL

One sultry Sunday evening I sat cross-legged at the beach discussing the wonders of God in the place where He first truly connected with me.

I believe He is a personal God who craves a close relationship with us.  The beach and the ocean have always been a special place for us, because as a surfer I feel His embrace and love with every wave I ride.  His voice calms me in the soothing ebb and flow of the tide, and other times I get slammed by the His truths in the form of powerful, exploding waves.  There I effortlessly draw close and His presence is tangible.

This is common among surfers who believe, so when my friend told me he had started a Bible study on Sunday nights at the Pier and I was free, I gravitated towards were my soul often drew me.

In the warm light of the sunset, we talked about the sand and how it came to be. Weathering processes such as wind, rain and freezing/thawing cycles break down rocks and minerals into smaller grains which becomes sand.  Therefore, sand is countless broken parts of what was once whole.  However, as the master artist would have it, all of these broken bits join with trillions of others to create the beach.  These fractured pieces make up a land mass so majestic and complete; full of exquisite beauty.  We discussed an even more remarkable miracle, that when all of these tiny particles come together they are strong enough to stop the ocean!

I thought about the weathering process of life that people go through.  I have been broken down by living in this world, and often feel like a small fraction of what I once was.  I am broken by my sin and left empty, searching to fill the void.  Yet God had a plan in Jesus Christ to rescue me from my brokenness.  He shines through my mistakes and imperfections.  And when I join with other believers we build each-other up and become stronger than we could ever be on our own.  Strong enough to stop the ocean!

The greatest artist could not draw a more perfect picture of what He created the church to be.  My heart beats for moments like this on the beach or in the sea; when the Lord reveals a perspective changing tid-bit, and I fall deeper in love with Him.

You are invited to join the small group discussions on Sunday nights at the Pier in Cocoa Beach.  For more information, like and follow ISurfForver on Facebook.

Living Rich: Haiti

Barefoot, we sidestepped down mossy and muddy limestone framed by ferns and foliage.  Birds spun in the sky, mingling their morning song with the beat of maracas played by insects and solos by goats, pigs, and roosters.  The sun sparkled on the turquoise Caribbean that peeked through breaks in the overlapping green canopy.  We passed towering trees swollen with mangoes, passion fruit, and bananas.  Kelly and I descended down the steep hill to get to the sea, to immerse ourselves into the saltwater for a few waves.  Our last day there, as we fumbled down the hill, I marveled at a land infamous for poverty, and saw a rich land.

I traveled to Haiti with the Share the Stoke Foundation.  We went to donate surfboards and help open the first surf school started and built by an organization called Surf Haiti.  Based on her reputation, I expected to see a desolate land matched by broken people.  After all, Haitians had every right to be following the earthquake in 2010 that measured a 7.0 on the Richter scale and claimed the lives of an estimated 230,000-316,000.
We flew into Port-au-Prince where Joan from Surf Haiti loaded us into a van, and drove us south in the direction of Jacmel.  We wound through streets that resembled a war zone where throngs of people made their way through commonplace destruction.  Wildly painted buses brimming with souls swerved around us and the aqua ocean loomed between villages of black plastic bags and rubble.  We slowed to a stop around one corner behind some traffic, and I spied an old woman balancing a basket brimming with plump papayas on her head, steadily walking along wearing no pants or shoes, her skinny bottom exposed.

Heart broken, I sat behind the glass windows, a removed spectator, peering at the world operating outside of my bubble.  I watched the chaos of the city transform into a hilly, verdant countryside, and then finally into beach villages on the coast.

Once in Kabik, we caught up with some of Haitian kids at the surf club.  They raked the sand around the newly erected building, collected plastic bottles and trash on the surrounding beach, and placed small rocks and gravel around the school.  Alex explained, “We want to take care of the school because it is ours and something we share and love.”  Later on in the ocean, the kids helped each other for hours, the older ones pushing the younger ones into waves.  They rotated boards and celebrated with successful rides and laughed together at the wipe-outs.
                                                            We ran late on the way to the opening ceremony, as we were stopped by a funeral procession.  I can still feel the vibrations of the brass tuba’s song reverberating through the acoustics of the jungle.  A grand marching band wove up through the trees followed by children, women, men, old and young, assorted as they come.  The band made a victorious, celebratory sound, even as their muscles must have burned from climbing upwards.

A verse from Ecclesiastes surfaced above all my other thoughts,“You learn more at a funeral than at a feast- After all, that’s where we’ll end up.  We might discover something from it.”  – Ecclesiastes 7:2 (The Message translation).

In Haiti life and death were tethered tight, dancing an intimate tango.  Where death had a loud presence among the living, there seemed to be a greater appreciation for the gift of life; the gift of each day.  I wondered if the American culture in which I lived was better off distracted from this universal truth.  Was it better to be a present minded people, living in the now, not worrying about tomorrow or planning too much ahead?
I remember the last supper, of simmering garlic and butter lobster and octopus- fresh from the same crystal sea we surfed in.  Joan, our host, sent one of the kids further up the jungle hill to get the rice from neighbors.  Joan explained that if they lacked an egg or flour for their dinner, the family that lived nearby would send someone over to fetch it.  They simply shared what they had, and everyone had what they needed.

Months after those days in Haiti, I remain inspired by her people.  Materially speaking they had nothing, but they held their heads high and smiled; really smiled.  Despite living in the wake of the earthquake in 2010 and poverty, they were some of the most joyful, loving people I had the privilege of meeting. They gave and accepted love easily and were connected to us, each other, and to nature.  I am left wondering who is rich and who is poor?  What happened to me in Haiti is what happens to countless people who go on mission trips; I set out to impact lives and returned home with my own soul affected than I ever imagined possible.  The morning we hiked down to the beach, taking the short cut through the jungle I saw a glimpse of the beauty of Haiti.  And I remember how that session was just as much about the journey as the wave riding.


The White at Whitsands:CapeTown,South Africa

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.  For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”  - Psalm 91:9-12
The most terrifying day of my life started out fairly normal.  It was my last day in South Africa and time to peel the stickers off the RV and organize our lives neatly back into our suitcases.  After touring the fishing village of Kulk Bay, visiting penguins at Boulder’s beach, and exploring the Cape of Good Hope, my friends and I searched for waves and found them at Whitsands Beach.  The swell delivered crystal clear wedges offering fast, racey walls, alternating with hollow cylinder waves. 
After about an hour, I paddled towards another peak.  I duck dived under whitewater and noticed out of the corner of my eye what looked like a surfer in a black wetsuit duck under the same wave.  It was strange when the surfer never surfaced, and I never saw a board.  I scanned the horizon for a wave and glanced back and saw a huge black shadow under the water a few yards away.  I couldn’t make out what it was, and at first assumed it must be a seal like we’d seen, but it was way too big, way too black, and then I noticed black tips that didn’t belong to any type of seal. 

I glanced away to check the horizon again for a wave and then looked back towards the mysterious creature to discover a big black fin surface right next to me.  There was no doubt about what the creature was now, and I pulled my legs and arms onto my board.  The dark fin was so close I could have touched it.  My heart beat wildly, and I went into shock.  Frozen in fear, I couldn’t scream or move a muscle.  I just wanted to curl up and close my eyes in hopes that when I opened them the large shark would be gone.  I shut my eyes for an instant.  When I looked again to my right I saw only water, but then I looked to my left and saw the fin again and realized the shark had circled me. 
Rory was the closest surfer to me, and began shouting, “PADDLE MISSY, PADDLE!”  SHARK! SHARK! PADDLE!”

His commands stirred me to action, although I was afraid to put my hands and arms into the water.  I began to paddle.  A few seconds later, I glanced behind me expecting the shark to be gone and saw the black fin following close behind me.  In my most horrified breath, I prayed, “God help me!” 

The next moment after I began praying, Rory yelled, “A WAVE MISSY, PADDLE, PADDLE!!!”
When I paddled for waves I always looked back at the wave to gauge the speed to ensure I didn’t outrun the wave or miss it, but this time I couldn’t bring myself to look back.  I simply trusted the wave was coming, and I paddled harder than I had ever paddled and caught the wave.  I stood up and raced down the line as far away from the massive animal as I could get.  All I wanted was to put space between us, and I couldn’t get out of the water fast enough.  The wave died and I fell back down onto my board and continued to paddle for my life.  White water rolled in next to me, and I saw Rory and then Kelly and Tim and the other surfers rushing onto the beach.

We hugged each other once we were all on the sand and the inevitable banter began about everyone’s perspective of the shark.  Rory was the closest to me and had seen both of the fins, and had the horror of watching it follow after me.  He said as soon as I caught the wave the fins disappeared.  Tim and Kelly heard Rory shout “SHARK!” and saw the fins trailing behind me.  They lived a nightmare and felt trapped in the water because as they paddled to get to shore no wave came, and they even had to fight a small rip current.
Rory had surfed for 38 years since he started when he was four, and he said this was the first time he had ever seen a shark while surfing.  There was no doubt it was a great white, and no one considered going back to finish out the session.

The rest of the day I felt bursts of joy for being alive, and I felt so grateful to have all my limbs.  I thanked God for answering my three word prayer with a wave that carried me to safety. 
A week later a man was attacked while surfing in Muizenburg, a beach in Cape Town, not too far from where I had surfed.  He lost his leg.  I will never know why that man lost his leg and I was left unscathed.  All I can do is give God glory for hearing my prayer and rescuing me.      

“The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me.  I will protect those who trust in my name.  When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble.  I will rescue and honor them.”  -Psalm 91:14-15
artwork by Joan Bergmans
of Totally Joan