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Reflections by the Sea: Feeling connected

By Betsy Ore Glass

. . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Whenever I can I will brag on the Outer Banks to anyone who will listen. The memories of years’ past, the natural landscape, the terrific seafood, shorebirds, lighthouses, water and bridges and more. But it is a “feeling” that I get on the Outer Banks like no other place I have been. I feel such a strong connection. The emotion that envelopes me is the overwhelming sense of being home. Yes, many things are familiar still, even in the changes that are evident that comes with change. But it is the inner sense of peace I find. Everyone needs a sanctuary, a safe place to be and to renew themselves. The salt air washes away any worries and weariness and sunrises and sunsets remind that each day is a new beginning. We can meet each day full of hope and promise of what treasures are yet to be revealed on the Outer Banks. It is ever changing yet it remains the same. The surprise of a morning fog or a dusting of snow keeps the weather watchers on their toes. My favorite place to visit is the sand dunes on Pea Island. Recently, climbing to the top of the grassy dunes during a frigid winter gale gave me new appreciation for the strength of those Pea Island dunes. With numb fingers, I snapped as many photos as I could before the sun faded in the western sky. But it was a serene, quiet moment . . . just me and the blowing sand as ripples formed in an artistic design that only nature could make.

One of His gifts to us has to be the Outer Banks! The combination of natural beauty with an overwhelming peacefulness one feels must be the work of God. Other people have said how much they find God’s Presence during walks on the beach, fishing at the pier, sailing the sound and so forth. It’s true that He is everywhere. This time of year, the Outer Banks slows down during the winter season. What better time to reflect on His goodness and mercy than on a cold winter day with a warm heart of full of gratitude for all He is. He will meet us on top of a sand dune or at the end of a pier. He will walk beside us on the beach and listen while we talk. I believe He is calling us closer to Him. Take to Him all the fears, worries and problems that we carry like baggage. That is called surrendering. We are nothing without Him. Jesus walked in humility and so should we. He had a heart for helping others and putting their needs first over His. We should follow His lead. Each time I pick up the Bible I learn something new. God is always teaching us and through the Bible we can get to know Him and His ways. Take His hand and find a quiet place to be together. Connect with Him for the first time or if He has been placed to the side, renew the relationship. Sometimes hard hearts need to be softened and He can do it. Disappointments are too great to carry any longer. He wants to take our burdens. He can give us encouragement for that new thing we are doing and He can renew our strength to fight our battles. He is our Hope, the Bread of Life, our Light.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at betsyglass1@gmail.com or read additional Reflections at www.betsyoreglass.com.

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