The air is humid. The sun warms the sand as the water ebbs and flows. Movement begins slowly. Sand divots appear across the landscape. Then teeny tiny sea turtles desperately chip away at their shells, struggle out of their nests, and embark on the most important journey of their life. Using the horizon of natural light over the ocean, the crests of the waves, plus their internal compass, they crawl toward the water.
These hatchlings face huge challenges during the trek to the sea. Lack of food and predators, who pounce at an alarming rate, make it quite dangerous. As they maneuver through the sand, seagulls swoop in to nab them. Something as small as a footprint on the beach or a piece of driftwood can be a deterrent. If they hatch at night, then they can become confused with nearby city lights or traffic from the road and head the wrong direction. They must push on despite all odds or there is no hope of survival.
It’s not one egg per nest, but dozens. The baby turtles literally hatch in unison, seemingly emerging at once. Traveling in groups helps overwhelm the expectant bird hunters. They assist each other in making it through the gauntlet. Their story is one of persistence, determination, and triumph.
Single momma, you are like a hatching turtle. You view the ocean—life the way you want it to be. You hustle to try to avoid obstacles that can nab or stall you. You plow through uncertainty, a novice at navigating this new terrain.
If you don’t keep your eyes on the horizon, the face of Jesus, you’ll wander in the wrong direction toward the false lights of the world. But in a community with others surrounding you, your chances of survival increase a hundredfold. It’s the struggle through the sand and difficulties that make you stronger.
You may be battered and broken, but the water will be refreshing and life giving. As you march forward and plunge into the salty ripples, the irritating sand granules wash away. Your flappers begin moving and you swim into a new world.
Just as we watch with anticipation and cheer on the turtles during their race to the lapping waves, I shout to each of you, “You can make it. Keep going. Don’t give up. The journey is worth it.”