My husband Kevin and I love hunting for agates. His love for finding agates grew when he lived in Newport Oregon for 5 years as a child, mine did too, while celebrating many of my July birthday’s with my family at Agate beach, which just so happens to be in Newport as well! We have often pondered if we saw each other as children passing our future soulmate unaware.
To this day it still brings us joy, and now a little friendly competition whenever we search for these little treasures together. Positioning our heads down, eyes locked into laser like focus as we comb the beaches landscape. The oceans sights and sounds are a mere backdrop for the sole commitment to score the mother of all agates. From time to time breaking from our personal dedication to conquer this quest we pause to come together, sharing our findings and marvel at each others good eye and fortune. For nearly 33 years we have shared this fun activity together, possessing plenty of agates to prove it .
Recently our annual agate hunt was unlike any other we have encountered. On this particular weekend we joined our dear friends Joe and Susy to celebrate their 43th Wedding Anniversary at a hotel and beach area we have never been to. Not only was it thrilling to commemorate their special occasion, experiencing a new beach sight was an added bonus.
The weather forecast looked bleak for our planned trip predicting heavy rain and high winds. Understandably dampening our spirits with gloomy prediction caused second thoughts to creep up like a sneaker wave. For me personally, not only was the weather looking stormy, so were my emotions. Brooding, sad, and in a funk that was in dire need of a sunny deposition, like our friend Jim says, “going to the beach is like mental floss “. Apparently, a good hardy flossing was in order. Thankfully we all pushed through those pesky apprehensions concerning the weather. Committed to pressing on with an unwavering resolve to go, come heck or high water.
Though I unwillingly packed up my sorrow with me that day, God found a way to break through that sadness with a promise that weekend.
After arriving, we had a delightful evening of fun, food and fellowship in spite of the rain.
By morning we were amazed, the rain had ceased and the skies were clear… now I was chomping at the bit, eagerly wanting to take a walk on the beach. Kevin was tired and his back was hurting, so I made the trek down to the beach by myself. My prayer was… “God please show yourself. My heart is hurting, I need your peace and comfort.” In all honesty, I also prayed that He would lead me to find a glass float; (hey it never hurts to ask ). Even though He never did reveal a shimmering glass orb, However, much to my delight He did expose a beautiful agate which I immediately bent down to pick up. It was a good size and to my surprise their were countless more of these little gems. Upon this great discovery I wasted no time to call my husband, exclaiming “You have to come down here… there are so many agates”. My persuasion was lackluster at best, he lovingly declined my offer while waving to me from the motel’s deck in the distance.
As I continued walking without my trusty agate buddy I found even more agates, saddened Kevin was missing out on one of his favorite things to do. It became clear that drastic times called for drastic measures, with determination I went back to the motel to prove the validity of my findings confident this could possibly seal the deal. Reaching our room I opened the door and laid my treasures on the ground near Kevin while he was on the floor rolling out his back. His interest peaked at my finds while realizing I indeed did hit the agate jackpot. Wrapping up his stretching, back freshly rolled out, he was now ready and eager to join me in the hunt.
The exhilaration of faith becoming sight always brings a fresh wind of hope, a new found strength, and a desire starting a fire that rekindles in our souls. How delightful it was to share the best agate hunting event ever with my partner in crime. I won’t tell you who found the biggest agate that day. It’s not nice to brag! I will tell you that this location is at the top of our list for a revisit.
Traveling home I decided to read how agates are formed in God’s creation, which is always so fascinating! One explanation was that they develop as secondary deposits in hollow cavities called “Vesicles”. The layers form in stages, the cavities are irregularly and uniquely shaped.
Those little stones tell a story of beauty wrought by a gaping hole. This beach trip revealed that my heart had a hole formed out of brokenness, feeling so cavernous through my lens of pain, it seemed almost impossible to heal. As I talked with the Lord on the beach that day He had me stop and watch the people gathering treasures from the sea, once storm tossed, battered, now a token of resilient beauty, being collected in joy and wonder. As I observed people stoop and gather the gems, God lovingly whispered in my spirit, “Someday your pain, loss and heartbreak will be a nugget of hope and healing to those whose heart’s are breaking. Instantly the pain lessened with the reminder His bigger picture is far grander then my eyes could see in my present state.
Your heart might feel emotionally split like a canyon of grief, undone by a sucker punch of circumstances that took your breath away. Yet God knows it all, nothing slips through His loving fingers to defeat you. All His unending love and devotion to you will fill your gaping wounds with His glory. Honey from a rock, sweetness from extreme bitterness, hopelessness into resounding hope. Your heartache transformed into a memorial gem of sparkling redemption, bringing joy to other sojourners who long for the same freedom.
Lord, We praise you for your healing touch to broken hearts. Nothing is ever wasted in your kingdom plans for your children. Thank you for helping me to see earthly woes with heavenly wonder, soaring like a kite with a tail of Your unfailing love.
Me at Agate Beach celebrating my 8th Birthday 1969
“This is( a gate) to wonder” author unknown
“They will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the hidden treasure in the sands” Deuteronomy 33:19
“When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end” Isaiah 43:2 The Message
11 O you afflicted [city], storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in fair colors [in antimony to enhance their brilliance] and lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make your windows and pinnacles of [sparkling] agates or rubies, and your gates of [shining] carbuncles, and all your walls [of your enclosures] of precious stones.
13 And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children.
Isaiah 54:11-13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)