by Holly Bol
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Israel. When I came back the question most asked of me was, “What was your favorite part of going to Israel?”
There are many memories that I love and will always cherish. Walking where Jesus walked definitely brought the Bible to life for me. But my favorite event was going on a boat out on the Sea of Galilee. The further out we went, the stronger it got… The feeling of Strength. Power. Awe. The further from the shore we drove, the more intense the feeling became until I could not handle it anymore. The tears just started streaming. I had sunglasses on, so I leaned over the rail and looked out on the sea to hide the fact that I was crying. Why did I hide? Because if someone asked me why I was crying, I could not tell them. I did not know why. All I knew was that this intense power was seeping into me. Consuming me. Overwhelming me. And yet, I liked it.
I did not want this feeling to end. I wanted to stay out on the Sea all day, soaking in this feeling. This feeling that I had never experienced before. This feeling that I could not describe, yet seemed to fulfill an unknown longing within me.
The captain cut off the engine, and we just sat. Drifting. Taking it all in. It was beautiful. I stopped tearing, wiped my face, and looked back toward the boat. Two men were on their knees, almost sobbing. Three other men were standing along the rail doing the same thing I had just been doing – they too were leaning over the rail to hide the tears that I could see rolling down their cheeks.
Something was happening. It wasn’t just me. It was Him. His Spirit was moving. Out here, on His Sea. He was moving. I did not want this feeling to go away. I thanked Him for the gift of His presence. I asked Him to keep that memory alive and vivid in my mind. My heart. My soul.
He gave me new eyes that day. Eyes to see new things, new hopes, new beginnings. Many of our students come to FCA, seeking a fresh start. No matter their past or their background, they are given just that–A new beginning.
As you enter this New Year, may you too, accept Hatchala Chadashot. The gift of A New Beginning.