My family and I were going on a vacation for Easter. We went with some close friends to an island called Salayar in South-East Indonesia. Little did any of us know this trip would be one we would never forget.
“Come on girls,” said my dad said excitingly as he was getting ready to go snorkeling. We were finally on the island after a long ride in our car and a couple of boats. No way was I going snorkeling! I have seen all the dangerous creatures that live in the ocean on television many times.
My dad got aboard the small boat with the small Indonesian man who had stopped by to bring us supplies and now brought some of us snorkeling. Both my parents and my friends’ parents went snorkeling, all the kids stayed and played near the beach. We pretended we were trying to survive in the jungle. Later my mom and my friends’ mom came back to the island. It sounded like they had fun. My mom then tried to force my sisters and me to go snorkeling. Since we refused, she said we would at least have to go in the boat to pick up my dad. We agreed.
It would be nice to get off the island anyways.
“Dad! Dad!” We had been searching for my dad for around 15 minutes and we still didn’t see him. “The current has gotten really strong,” the small Indonesian man told us in the Indonesian language. We knew what that meant: dad might have been pulled out really far! Dad couldn’t swim against a current this strong (he is also smart, so he knows not to waste energy trying to swim against a current like this). My friends’ dad, John, fell out of the boat from standing up in the boat, which was similar to a canoe, while desperately looking for my dad. I actually thought he had jumped out at first! Not seeing any sign of my dad, my mom brought us back to the beach, and she went back with John and the Indonesian man to continue searching for my dad. It felt like it had been so long since seeing my dad. My stomach was full of butterflies. The hairs on my arms stood up. I’m sure the same things happened to my two sisters because my younger sister began to cry. Uneasy questions floated around in my head, “Would we ever find my dad? Had he drowned? What were we going to do if dad was….dead?” At this moment, I too began to cry.
We spent more than an hour and a half looking for my dad. When we finally saw the boat coming back towards the island my heart lifted. Dad was there and he was safe! “So did you girls cry?” my dad asked as we were walking towards the hut we were staying in. “Of course we did dad! We thought you were dead,” I exclaimed to him.
Later I heard my dad’s part of the story and it sounds like he had much more fun than any of us who thought him dead. My dad said that in fact the current was pulling him out and that he was worried he would have to swim a long way when it had been a while, but then he would go underwater and see another turtle or giant fish and think, “How cool!” It sounded like he was having the time of his life when we thought he was dead! During this time, I was so afraid and consumed by worry and stress believing my dad was gone, I had forgotten that in all circumstances God is in control. I have tried to remember that from this experience.