On Ancestry, Bodies of Water, and the Faithfulness of God

When I was first drafting a post for (in)courage, I didn’t know what to write. I sat in front of my computer praying, and I felt God putting this line on my heart: the majority of my ancestors lived by the water.

At first, I didn’t understand. This post was supposed to be about God, not ancestry. I can’t write about that.

But as God began to remind me about the time I had the privilege to stand in front of the Mediterranean, to remember all my ancestors who watched those same waters, He also reminded me of how the Israelites relied on Him to cross the Jordan.

Writing this post was balm to my soul, and I hope it reminds you of just how much God has orchestrated to meet you in this moment, just how much distance He has gone to be with you.

The God Who Crosses Waters Goes the Distance with You

From the Mediterranean Sea to the South China Sea to the Irish Sea, the majority of my ancestors lived by the water. I have always identified with coastlines, and as a lifelong East Coaster, I have always felt like my nearness to water drew me near to those who have come before me.

It’s easy to feel distant. As a person of mixed-race, I don’t like to think about meeting my ancestors. It’s not that I don’t want to know who I came from, but I can’t imagine what they’d think of me. Would I look alien to them?

These thoughts are fruitless at best, harmful at worst. They imply that familiar is inherently better, and they underplay the stark beauty of change, of growth, and of new life.

The water provides a better framework. Instead of reminding me of the distance from my predecessors, the water symbolizes our proximity, our sameness. It is common to us all…

Read the rest of the post on (in)courage.

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