Everything Beautiful in Its Time

by Melissa Heiland

I have always loved the beach, and I am now blessed to live there. The Lord, through some difficult circumstances, moved our family to the shore a little over a year ago. I have loved walking on the beach, viewing sunrises and sunsets, talking with friends, communing with the Lord, watching my sons play football and my grandchildren build castles. This has been healing and beautiful.

However, my new home is in Daytona Beach, Florida, which was recently hit by two huge hurricanes. The first brought much damage and the second took our beach. It completely disappeared. The Daytona Beach community has boasted that it has the world’s most famous beach, deep and seemingly endless, with sand as far as the eye can see to the right and to the left. Cars would drive on the beach and park there even while families put up tents and children played.

I was shocked at this loss. I did not know that such a vast expanse of beach could be destroyed in a moment. Yet the storm came and left, taking everything. Our glorious beach, the place of worship, fun, reflection, and beauty was gone.

For weeks, I would go down to the ocean to see if I could get a glimpse of the sand, the place I had thought was permanent. Each day, I returned home with my head down, still in disbelief that it could be gone. But after several months, I realized the beach was coming back. It was very small and could only be seen for short periods of time each day, but it was there.

This return of the beach has brought me a greater understanding of God as I consider the grief and tremendous losses I have suffered. Sometimes God allows something to come into our lives like a storm that destroys everything, taking away things we never knew were vulnerable, things we assumed would always be there. In an instant, everything changes. The grief is all-encompassing, and hope is lost. But one day, we get a glimpse of our former selves, which brings a glimmer of hope. And this is a beautiful thing.

My beach is not completely restored to its former beauty. The wooden entrances are down; the sea wall is broken. The concrete is destroyed, and steel pipes remain ripped from the ground. Evidence of the storm is still everywhere. But children have returned to play in the sand. Fishermen are fishing. Couples are walking. And I am worshipping there again.

God has shown me that the beach is a picture of my life after great loss and tragedy. I am not the same. There is evidence everywhere of the destruction, but I am not without hope. The grief comes in waves and sometimes overwhelms me. But at times, I can breathe deeply, run free again, and enjoy the beauty God created for me. And I am thankful.

Our God is a God of restoration—our Creator and Sustainer. Nothing is impossible for Him. He makes all things new.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Melissa Heiland is the Founder and President of Beautiful Feet International, a mission organization that plants pregnancy ministries around the world. She is an international speaker and author who is passionate about mommies, babies and sharing the Gospel. She has written devotionals for pregnant moms, new mothers and short-term mission teams, as well as a children’s book based on Psalm 139. She and her husband Ken have 6 children and 5 grandchildren.

Part devotional, part pregnancy journal, A Mother’s Journey has forty chapters that correspond with each week of pregnancy, offering comfort and spiritual guidance to those facing challenges. Each week’s reading includes Scripture verses and a journal prompt, as well as information about your baby’s development at various stages to help you get to know the little one growing inside you. A Mother’s Journey is a great resource to help you connect deeper with your baby, yourself, and your heavenly Father.

Join the conversation: What redemptive thing have you witnessed from creation?

9 thoughts on “Everything Beautiful in Its Time

  1. Thank you for your beautiful post. We recently moved to the Daytona Beach Shores area and have a beach condo damaged by the last 2 hurricanes. I walked the beach yesterday and was in awe of the beauty there despite the massive destruction.


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