When Oceans Rise

The other morning, I was standing in the bathroom, brushing my teeth. My iTunes radio was playing (which… PS.. let’s just give a plug for iTunes radio because it’s awesome and you should listen to it.) and this song came on. “Oceans” from Hillsong’s album called “Zion.”


This song came out around a year and a half ago. And it’s the bomb. 


It’s caught the wave of popular Christian music… making its way through Christian radio and Sunday morning worship sessions around churches nation-wide. And well-deservedly. It’s an amazingly anointed song. The words resonate with something deep in us, and we hold our hands up, worshipping the Most High and singing the lyrics back to Him. 


So as I’m standing in the bathroom, humming the lyrics with toothpaste in my mouth, they strike me again… and it occurs to me what I’m singing.


“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.


And I pause. A lyric I have loved for a year. A lyric I have prayed, written in my journal over and over again, tweeted, put on every page of social media I have. A cry of my heart… that I would be a woman with a borderless, limitless trust in God. 

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is WITHOUT borders.”

Without borders.

Well… where is my trust WITH borders? 

Where are the boundaries where my trust ends?


And then this truth hit me like a sledgehammer on my chest. 

In order to take my trust to a place without borders, Jesus has to take me to the places of my biggest fears… the places where my trust DOES have borders. 


And that’s exactly what this past year has been. So I guess you could say He’s pretty faithful to hear the cries of our heart. Because He wants that for us. He wants us to be a people that have a limitless, boundless trust. 


Before this year, I had never had to trust God for a car. 

Now, without one, I do.

Before this year, I had never had to trust God for intimate friendships.

Now, within a smaller community, I do. 

Before this year, I had never had to trust God for a place to live.

Now, with the search for a house coming back around, I do.

Before this year, I had never had to trust God to take care of my safety and security.

Now, with my identity being stolen, I do. 

Before this year, I had never had to trust God to restore the souls, dreams and spirits of many of my closest friends and family.

And now, I do.


He has taken me to the place of some of my greatest fears; the places of no security, no safety… emotionally, relationally, financially. 

He has asked me if I still believe the lyrics I sing. 

“And I will call upon Your Name. And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.”


Sometimes when we sing that lyric, this is what we imagine.

Oceans rising to look like this… 


That’s cute, you know? We edit this cute little picture of waves crashing on the beach on a sunny day and we’re like “Yes, God, when oceans RISE my soul will REST.” And imagine ourselves getting lightly splashed by some waves like “Yay God, you’re so fun.” I imagine myself standing in the middle of this… waves hitting my waist… maybe sometimes my shoulders… I get rattled slightly… but I’m smiling. And I sing the lyrics. (P.S. This is not my own photo, this is a legitimate edit by someone else…) 


That’s not what oceans rising looks like. 


And maybe some of us do imagine something a little rougher. Something that looks more like this….


Where we’re swimming, but struggling. The ocean is rising. Maybe we’re in a boat but we’re getting tossed in the choppy waves. And we’re singing “When oceans rise…” but with more exhilaration this time… not so joyfully… but still trusting. 


That’s not what oceans rising looks like. 




This is what oceans rising looks like.

Waves that swallow up a light house. That are un-relenting. That I would die in if not for His grace.


When oceans rise… like this… my soul will rest.

This is the place where my trust has borders. The place where I will surely die if He doesn’t rescue me. The place where I have no other option but to trust that His plans for me are not to harm me… they are for my good not calamity. (Jeremiah 29:11). 


So now the choice is mine.

When he takes me to the place I’ve longed to go… the place where my trust is without borders… will I rest and choose trust? 



3 thoughts on “When Oceans Rise

  1. My best friend sent me this link of your blog to me. Yesterday she saw for the first time in our 8 years of friendship a breakdown I had due from pain from my upbringing and life now working through forgiveness and relationships in my family that did all the damage. So she sent me your blog excited for me to read it because she knew it was exactly what she needed me to hear. I respond to you to tell you that your amazingly talent in writing, being fully capable to translate that powerful message, was a tremendous blessing at the perfect God moment. Even having the actual words “When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace” literally tattooed on the inside of my arm that I can see everyday….I still realize that there are still some borders of distrust that I have put up to my Loving Creator who is just begging me, and all of us, to just trust Him. Thank you thank you thank you for that sweet reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Court. You. Are. Incredible. I had goosebumps as I was reading this. You speak so openly and vulnerably and put it in terms that speak straight to the soul. You have a gift girl!! So proud of you!!!!!


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