My 40th birthday was this past May 5th and I organized a cruise with 12 women to celebrate! As I always do, I flew into the port the night before because things happen, flights are delayed and the cruise ship will leave without you if you’re not on board on time. When I woke up the next morning in the hotel I jumped in the shower and when I was totally finished the Holy Spirit said to me
“Wash your feet. Get back in the shower, wash your feet and scrub them really good.”
Of course, that was pretty weird but trying to be obedient I did it; I jumped back in the shower, grabbed my washcloth and soap, really soaped up my feet and gave them a good washing.
Even though I was sharing a room with 2 other ladies I never mentioned any of this to anyone because why would I? Later that day now on the ship in my stateroom, my best friend/roommate went into the shower then came out looking for her “foot scrubber” because “her feet were so dirty”. She then says she needs to “wash her feet” AFTER she has already finished showering because her feet were extra dirty. Clearly my ears perked up and sat on the bed just staring at her in disbelief. I had not shared the wash your feet thing from earlier with her. I managed to say “that’s really weird” then shared the entire experience of the Holy Spirit telling me to re-wash my feet early that day. She agreed it was weird and that was pretty much the end of our conversation.
The next day we were in the Bahamas having a beautiful day on a private island that Royal Caribbean rents. The 12 women in my group were having an amazing time and really anticipating the coup de grâce – St. Thomas, Virgin Islands where were slated to port in a couple days.
I picked this cruise *because* it was going to my home, where I was born and raised, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
and we had an excursion paid for and the entire day planned so Cococay, Bahamas was just like the appetizer and St. Thomas was the main course. After over a year of planning the trip had finally come to fruition and St. Thomas was just over a day away! The 12 women had paid their money and they were gonna get to go to St. Thomas with a local who was going to take them around! I was excited because I was going H.O.M.E. and could not wait to place my feet on my birth soil!
We had the most amazing day on Cococay. Everyone boarded the ship happy and chocked full of vitamin D (and adult beverages lol). We could not have had a more perfect day honestly. Shortly after boarding and setting sail, they announced that there was imminent weather and we’d no longer be going to St. Thomas and St. Martin as planned, we’d instead be sailing away from the storm toward Mexico.
*blink* *blink* *blinkity blink*
Yeah so basically we were now booking it west and St. Thomas … HOME … was south-east. Can we say WRONG !@%$(^*(*$) DIRECTION?!!!!!!
Needless to say, I did not take the news very well at first. #understatementoftheyear I had a small melt down BUT GOD saw to it that I had friends with me on the ship to help process what was happening as it happened. By the end of that night I was functioning (as in left my room dressed for a formal night at dinner) but not ok, and by the next day, the shock started to give way to acceptance that began to gradually morph into gratefulness for still being on an amazing vacation with amazing people.
That was day 1.
Fast forward to day 5 now, I head to the bathroom to take a shower, step one foot into the tub and the Holy Spirit says “Wash your feet. I’m trying to tell you something. There’s a scripture in the Bible about ‘shaking the dust off your feet’ look it up.” Once out the shower, I tell my roommate and she looks it up.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Matthew 10:14 KJV
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
Luke 9:5 KJV
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.
Mark 6:11a KJV
Basically, Jesus was sending the disciples out to share the Gospel and giving them instructions to symbolically shake the dust off their feet if people didn’t receive them. The symbolism of shaking the dust off was as “a testimony against them”, or as I read it a way to not be affected by the rejection of the message.
Immediately I knew it was God’s way of telling me to not get stuck.
He knew my plans were going to change and He was giving me instructions BEFORE the cruise. He knew my plans were going to be FULLY disrupted. God knew I would be devastated when the ship was not going to St. Thomas so He had been preparing me BEFORE the cruise even left port to shake it off. He’s that concerned about me that He started early helping me process something that He knew would be extremely difficult and could potentially trigger a depressive episode.
Sometimes a change of course is a good thing.
You can choose to get stuck but ultimately it’s a choice and perception is a HUGE part of that choice! Think about it, I was
- in a suite
- off the back of a cruise ship
- with an amazing view
- for a week
- had not lifted a wheelchair
- out of a minivan in over a week
- Melanin was pippity-pip-poppin and
- the only plans I had after filming my Periscope broadcast was to order a beverage, lay by the pool for a few hours reading and having great conversation with amazing ladies, then get dressed to see a show in the theater before my 3-course dinner in the dining room.
Sounds all good to me. 🙂
Besides, St. Thomas will always be there and God gave me a peace that surpassed even my own understanding based on my initial reaction to the news. I knew He was with me from the very beginning of the cruise.
It turned out to be well y’all.