This beautiful breathtaking geographical region of the Caribbean Sea and Islands have truly fascinated my five senses and taken my heart hostage. The diverseness of people is something I have never seen with my human eyes. Belize is most definitely heterogeneousness. The myriad of skin tones and hair textures are infinite. There is no racism here, just the freedom to intermingle without restraints.
Our God is the consummate Artist, revealing His supreme mastery of skills by planting and showcasing a palm tree a midst white sand and crystal clear ocean water.
Allow me to try to articulate my experience snorkeling under the sea, if it’s even possible to put into words.
Firstly, my mind has yet to comprehend the very idea that Abba gave me the courage to submerse myself under the ocean when I lack the basic skills of swimming. The one hour small boat ride to the Island was the story of the disciples on the boat with Jesus and the waves were inflicting corporal punishment with repeated blows. My body took a beating as the waves bounced us up and down and all around. We had no control, only God had the control. My bladder made the decision to eliminate its contents twice, yet it went unnoticed because the waves had completely soaked our clothing. Our 19 year old guide was extremely skilled at maneuvering this small vessel; he decided to side track the waves and not approach the Laughing Bird Island straight on, in order to avoid devastating waves that could possibly overturn our boat. The sea was in control.
Within minutes of arriving at the Island we were briefed on the history of this beautiful piece of land mass and the radically distinctive creatures that called Laughing Bird Island their home. When the unfamiliar birds look at you and release their unique sound they appear to be laughing. The posted rules of the Island read Take Pictures and Leave your footprints. In summation the rules meant that we were free to take photographs but could not remove anything from the Island, not even a grain of sand. This beautiful piece of creation is protected from the destruction of man.
I dressed in my flippers and head piece snorkel gear, totally unaware of what to expect. I chose not to ask questions because I did not want to entertain the element of fear that hovered over my head. I approached this feat like a child totally ignorant to what would come next. The teacher/guide grabbed me by my hand and led me to the deep blue, crystal clear water. He instructed me to walk backwards because it is difficult to walk forward in flippers without tripping and landing swiftly on your face.
As we walked farther out into the water I could see the colorful coral reef and shadows of various fish dancing around in the deep blue, green, aqua, breathtaking water. Once the water was waist high, my heart began to race and the fear that hovered wanted to pounce upon me with a vengeance; as I looked toward my guide I heard Holy Spirit say “I am right here with you and I will not let you go”.
The gentle and patient guide instructed me to place the mouth piece of my head gear into my mouth and bite around it tightly and practice breathing out of my mouth only. Breathing out of my nose at that point was not an option. I said a quick prayer and the presence of my Lord overwhelmed me. I place my head under the water and felt panicky at first because I wanted to use my nose, but my five senses relaxed and the power of God took over. I became one with the ocean. I felt empowered.
My guide instructed me to float on my belly and to grab his hand and that I did. And he guided me through the various coral reef and I was one with the underwater creatures who were many colors, textures and breeds. I relaxed enough to pull my underwater camera from my swim suit and started snapping pictures. I was enthralled, astonished by the vastness and majesty of the floor of this ocean. It was true living art. Only the Creator of Heaven and Earth could cultivate such artistic creation. I began to weep. What my eyes beheld brought forth untapped emotions. I wanted more. I paused and tugged on his hand and asked to go farther out after surfacing for air. I stood and glanced out upon the ocean and my guide requested that I remained under water for indefinite period of time and to trust him. So I trusted Abba instead.
Once we went back under, I reached for his hand and I saw an angelic figure and the Holy Spirit said “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Freedom was released in my heart and a snorkeling human fish I became for 30 minutes. Then I surfaced and went to the white sand and sat and communed with my Heavenly Father. I love you Jesus!
The boat ride home was not as rough, but the waves were much higher and drenched all of us. We gave two of the Island keepers a boat ride back to the marina. We went from having four passengers to having six. Maybe the extra weight assisted in a smoother ride.
What an extraordinary experience in Belize! I give my God ALL of the Glory and Honor!