Recently, I went and saw a movie with my family. It had a lot of build-up leading up to it after two years of previews and 13 YEARS of waiting for the sequel. You guessed it...Finding Dory. I was 15 when Finding Nemo came out, and I remember laughing and smiling through the entire film. With all the excitement of the sequel, we made sure to see it as soon as possible after it hit the theaters. You know, for the children.
Sometimes I wish I could just mindlessly sit through a movie and slurp my drink and lick my fingers in between each popcorn grab, like the rest of the world. That way I could enjoy the movie and tap out of reality for 90 minutes while engulfing myself in the make-believe storyline. The truth is, though, I only do about half of that while at the movies. And I'll give you a hint to which half....I LOVE POPCORN WITH A SODA ON THE SIDE.
The truth in the saying "What you focus on grows," is legit. I started my journey of being aware of God in my everyday, kind of making it up as I went along. I literally had no clue what I was doing (Edit: I still have no clue. I mostly read the children's edition Bible because it's all I understand). However, as I went along, God put some amazing people in my life to do this journey alongside of and I've learned a thing or two (or twenty) from these great souls. I sat through a teaching on God within the storyline of Titanic, and then The Croods, and now I can not NOT see God within any movie I watch. Okay, I take that back, God was nowhere near Bad Grandpa, LORD HELP ME.
So in the beginning of the movie Finding Dory, when she is a kiddo fishy, her parents help her find her way home by making a little path of shells for her to follow since she suffers from short-term memory loss. As Dory grows up, she gets lost from her parents and stumbles upon Marlin, Nemo's dad, and you saw what followed suit in Finding Nemo. All along, she was unaware that something was missing - her family. Until one day, she actually realizes her "home" or her family is missing in her life and sets out on an adventure to find them. Spoiler alert: she finally gets reconnected with her parents. It turns out that every day since she went missing, her parents went out placing trails of seashells all along the ocean floor by their home, just in case Dory stumbled upon them and would somehow remember and find her way back home.
While watching the movie, I couldn't help but think that this is JUST like us and God in our everyday lives. We go along in life looking for the "big thing" that's missing....that big thing that will bring us joy, peace, contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. We are unaware that it's God and Him alone that fills that void. We'd notice, if only we were paying close attention to the little things, while we're just going along on our adventure, that God is laying "shells" along our path. Shells that are leading us "home" to Him and reminding us of His love. I believe those little shells are God showing up to me, surrounded by my loud family in a messy kitchen on a Tuesday morning, or in the carline at school, or through a conversation with a friend, or even a pretty yucky situation. A shell could be when I feel His presence, or get a reminder or a thought, and there is just an unwavering knowing that I can't question. A shell can be a feeling of peace that overcomes me when one of my three kiddos are having yet another meltdown over the shape I've cut their pancake into. A shell might be a quote I come across while scrolling through Facebook that says exactly the truth that needs to be spoken into a confrontation that's left me hurting. A shell can be plenty of different scenarios that all lead back to our good and faithful God. The most important thing is to remember to look. Because much like Dory, I've got short-term memory loss when it comes to the faithfulness of God's good works.
God is constantly putting down "shells" for me to follow right back into His loving arms. I just have to be aware of them to find my way home.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a donut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.