What’s My Message?

Message in a bottle

“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it … we are going back from whence we came.”  

—John F. Kennedy

I’ve always been drawn to the sea.  In fact, in many ways I feel my body came equipped with a little internal homing device that guides me to the ocean—much like a bird flying south for the winter.

Those who have known me for some time and even those who may have stumbled upon this blog have most likely gleaned that my fascination with the ocean is in many ways, tied to the intimate relationship we share with it.  An earlier post even revealed my love for sea glass, describing how though I find each piece remarkable in beauty, what really intrigues me most is the story behind each gem—the intimacy attached to the moment it started its journey in the sea.

Going through my emails, texts and letters this week, I started thinking a lot about messages.  It seems, the best messages received in our lives come from passion . . . deliberate passion.

Although no one knows for sure when the first message in a bottle was released, the earliest records  show that Theophrastus, an ancient Greek philosopher was the first known person to release such a message in a bottle in an effort to prove that the Mediterranean Sea was formed from the inflowing Atlantic Ocean.  History also reveals many shipwrecked people who resorted to sending messages in bottles.  Often these messages weren’t discovered for 100 years or more.  Unfortunately, their cries for help were futile—most certainly dying long before the message in the bottle was ever found.

To even contemplate the feeling I’d have finding a message in a bottle makes my heart skip a beat.  The romantic in me would love to think all messages tucked away in a bottle would be those of a great love story.  That thought alone got my mind thinking.  What would my message be, were I to send a bottle adrift at sea?  Would it be that of a passionate cry for help, or instead a message filled with a rich love story, a Hope that can weather any storm.

Thursday started my new cycle of chemo—A/C.  Though I anticipated feeling very invigorated Friday with all the steroids onboard, instead by mid-afternoon, I felt rather ill.  I started the Neulasta injection that night, taken to help boost my immune system.  Though I was initially nervous giving myself a “shot,” it was really quite easy and painless.  Yesterday proved to be a different animal altogether.  I just didn’t feel like me in the least.  My movement was only to use the bathroom.  I just felt like junk.  There’s nothing more daunting than feeling helpless.  Helplessness carries with it a true sense of defeat.  Had my bottle been thrown out at sea yesterday, the message filled with earnest passion in the face of defeat would have certainly been  written as an S.O.S. — an urgent appeal for help.

Glass bottles, though fragile do very well at sea . . . seemingly bobbing endlessly through the sea with no damage.  I’ve read stories of sunken ship wreckage with bottles discovered in perfect condition well after 250 years under water.   It’s no wonder that bottles were often the chosen vessel during a crisis, as a means of reaching someone—their very durability having the potential to last forever.

Our messages in life need to be deliberate, and safely delivered with passion.  In our weakest moments—unable to fathom anything other than shuffling one foot in front of the other, it’s imperative to reach for victory.  Though difficult to look up when you feel helpless, it is at times like these, that God’s word reverberates in my soul:    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  ~Ephesians 2:8

Through faith, God has thrown the life vest.  Not of our own strength, but instead His gift of salvation, the lasting message of Hope.

You never know where a message in a bottle will end up or even how long it will take to get there.  What we do know is that the messages we send forth in life through the shipwrecks or heartaches we face can have a lasting impact.  As I just begin this voyage on a rough sea, I know that there will be many times when I will feel weary and lost and in desperate need to send out a cry for help in my message in a bottle.

My hope is that my message will always be that of the ultimate love story—a message of victory, not defeat.


14 thoughts on “What’s My Message?

  1. Hi Nicole, I love reading your writing. I’m sorry the A/C is making you feel sick 😦 You are in our prayers daily. I am also drawn to the beach & can’t wait to get back there. Would love to have some beach days with you & the boys. Love you, xo

  2. Although the storms of our lives are different, this week as I was praying for you the waves threatened to swamp me. Please keep writing Nicole. You are such an encouragement for all of us “in peril on the sea”. One of my prayers is that God gives you an abundance of peace and strength on this new phase of your journey. With love, S

  3. Oh, Nicole, inspiring as always! But I’m so sorry that you kinda got your butt kicked yesterday. Yuck. I hope you’re able to feel like yourself again SOON. Love you!

    PS I’m so glad we were able to sit and chat for a few on Friday. Your bald head is beautiful (but your wig is pretty nice too)!

  4. Nicole,
    I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through all that you are! Please know that I’m praying for you daily, even though I’m just NOT a good communicator at all! Please forgive me for not staying in touch with you, but know that I’m constantly talking to the Father about you and your circumstances, of course, I cannot imagine, but I can say this much—I am sooo blessed by your blog! I certainly hope that this is going into a book! I’ll buy 5 copies NOW!!!
    PLEASE let me know if I can do anything, for instance, order a nice meal or pizza for all your “men”—I would really love to do that, I’d cook for ya, but I don’t know how, or maybe just too “lazy”

  5. Nicole, It has been so nice to have You,John & the boys down to visit Mom & Me here on the Cape. Love your Blog as always inspriring, Love You So Much Dad

  6. When I was a little boy, my Dad & I threw into the Atlantic Ocean a note in a bottle. Every night thereafter when he tucked me in, a split-second before he turned off the light, Dad would say, “I wonder where our bottle is tonight.” So, I would fall asleep dreaming of all the wonderfully exotic places in the world our bottle could go. I ended up as a foreign correspondent, traveling to many of those exotic, not always happy places. I don’t think my choice of profession was coincidence. And guess what? My 3 boys and I have carried on the same bottle-tossing hobby. I’m happy to report that we actually hear back from about one-in-five. One bottle I tossed out of an airplane 1,000 feet over the Titanic site spent 18 months bobbing across the sea until it was found partially buried on an island beach by a French schoolgirl. We became pen pals. So, Nicole, rest assured that your messages of hope and courage are bobbing out there too, just waiting to be found and inspire strangers, as I did yours tonight. Thank you. And God bless. Andrew

  7. Andrew, I cried reading this! You are an inspiration and as I always tell you … a Prince of a man. Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement and wisdom. By the way, I’m loving your books!

    Love, Nicole

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