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 "Rip Tide"

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gwynditmars
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PostSubject: "Rip Tide"   Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:50 pm

[center]arkblue]]"RIP TIDE"[/size]

I thought you might enjoy reading this true story about how God rescued me from nearly drowning in a riptide.

I was in San Diego, California. I was a semi truck driver and I will never forget it.

I took a 3-day layover so I could rest and enjoy the beach. My husband was with me. I was the driver and he was the lumper. We had dropped the trailer at the terminal and bobtailed down to Mission Beach. It was October and we practically had the whole beach to ourselves.

The water was cold--I would guess around 62 degrees. But that made no never mind to me! I am like a fish! I have always loved to be in the water.

My husband and I played in the waves for about an hour; we were having such a wonderful time. He got chilly and tried to get me to go back to the truck with him to warm up. But I was no where near ready to get out yet. It was my first time in the Pacific Ocean and I intended to make the most of it! So I watched him stroll up to the truck.

I continued to play in the heavy rolling waves. Then suddenly it seemed as if I were in a battle with the waves. They were getting much stronger and they began to knock me down. I would get up to face the next wave, and see if I could stand and keep my footing.
Waves of Sadness
Soon an all too familiar deep, heavy and dark sadness came over me. I began to think of my children and all of the heartache and pain they had suffered, because I had chosen to stay with their father for so long. I had remained married to him for 16 years. He had been a very evil, cruel and abusive man. He caused such pain, anguish and devastation in our hearts and lives.

I felt my children's pain so intensely, and I began to think of what our eventual divorce had put them all through. When I finally walked away from him, I left him everything. I did not want to fight anymore.
Wrestling with God
So, there I was in the waves--waves of salt water and waves of violent inner pain. I began to wrestle with the waves like I was actually wrestling with God, and with life, depression, and agony. My tears mingled in with the ocean water as they fell from my face. I felt I could not go on living any longer in this pain. I could not bear to see my children all using drugs and alcohol to try and medicate their own pain and suffering. I felt like I had abandoned God when I divorced my children's' father. I believed that since God hates divorce, then surely he hated me too.

I felt unloved by God. My children were angry at me. My family was angry with me. My friends were unhappy with my decision. I was angry with myself for giving up! I truly felt smothered in a deep, heavy, black blanket of anguish and despair. I felt life as it was, just wasn't worth living any longer. Not that I would take my own life, but I kept wishing someone or something would.

As I stood there wrestling with the waves, I cried my heart out to God. I noticed I was quite a distance from the shore and I had drifted side ways, far from where I had begun. Then suddenly I felt a large vacuum of water pulling me out farther and farther! I knew I was in a riptide and that they were very dangerous!

I was already extremely exhausted from the hours spent wrestling in the cold waves, and from crying. I knew in my heart that I was face to face with death! I dug my toes deep into the sand as the massive waves poured back out to sea pulling me with them. I realized that unless God intervened, I was doomed to die. Now I had my chance. I could call upon God and choose life, or let go and let death take me out of this world.

Choosing Life
I am here today to tell you this true story because God loves Gwyn! I chose life. I called out to God and I felt something like a huge hand on my back. Each time the riptide waters would force over my body, the hand (as I call it) would hold me firmly in place.

The waters were rushing so fast and hard that I thought they would tear my clothing off. It was the most powerful physical force I have ever encountered in all my life. As the water rushed out it would completely cover my head. I had no strength left, and I was shivering uncontrollably. I held my breath until the water would roll back in, and then I would take a few steps. I would dig my toes down in the sand, and let the hand keep me from being swept out to sea.

The Hand of God
Little by little I was getting closer and closer to the beach. I finally reached a point where my head was above water, but I could still feel the hand on my back firmly pushing forward. Finally I was safe!

Just then, a jeep with life guards arrived. They jumped into the surf with red life buoys. Too late! I was already safe.

One life guard was very angry at me for swimming at this part of the beach. He said, "Don't you know that this is where the riptide is? Two surfers lost their lives in it last year?"

I assured them that I would not be doing any more swimming here, and that I would go turn the heat on in the truck to warm up.

Every step I made took an enormous amount of energy! I thought I would never make it all the way up to the truck. My legs felt as weak and shaky as a newborn baby. The heavy feeling of sadness was still washing over my mind and spirit. Even though I knew God had saved me from death.

I slowly climbed back into my truck and took a deep sigh of relief. I caught my face in my side mirror. My skin had blue and purple blotches all over it. My lips were blue! I examined my arms and legs; they were the same shades of blue and purple.

I began to cry again. Robert was sawing Z's. He didn't even wake when I boarded the truck.

The Word of God
I picked up my Bible and opened it. My eye's fell on this Word from Isaiah 43:1-19, and I have never been the same since. Neither have I been troubled by the dark depression. Nor have I ever questioned God's love and forgiveness for me:

But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.

I could see Jesus hanging on the cross!

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

Again, I could see Jesus hanging on the cross!

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."
Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.

I knew right then that God was calling me to do his work! That he had a plan and purpose just for me!

All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of them foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, "It is true."
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.
Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?"

And then these words jumped off the pages as I read...

I am the LORD, your Holy One,
Israel's Creator, your King."
This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland. (NIV)

Oh, how I felt the presence of the Lord, God Almighty sweep over my body, soul and spirit! I knew that I knew, that I knew, he was speaking directly to me from his holy Word. He filled me with hope that my lost, suffering, drug-addicted children would be saved. He filled me with peace, that I was forgiven and that he dearly loved me unconditionally.

I now knew he had always loved me. I was his and he was mine, all along. It was not God who had moved away from me, it was I who had moved away from God.

I am now close to God and I am never going away from him again.

I went back to Mission Beach a couple of weeks after my experience and talked to a life guard. He told me that a riptide is very much like a river within the floor of the ocean. It is a deep trench that water pours into as it swiftly flows back out to sea. He said that I am very lucky to be alive.

I know I am blessed to be alive. Luck had nothing to do with it.

God had everything to do with it!

By Gwyn L. Ditmars
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Lora
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PostSubject: Re: "Rip Tide"   Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:55 pm

Praise God! That filled my eyes with tears and my heart with joy. What a testimony. Your writing is very good. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I look forward to reading more!

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PostSubject: Re: "Rip Tide"   Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:57 pm

Very great story telling, all the more that it was true. I especially felt connected because I am from San Diego and have swam at that beach many times in my youth. Raima ( I think that's how it's spelled) is a powerful experience that I have also had. If you aren't familiar with the term, it simply means when the word of God speaks as if directly to you. God bless. Thank you for sharing.

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