Be strong, be courageous. The words God said to Joshua and the Israelites as they trekked down to the Promised Land, crossed the dried up Jordan river, and came to the city of Jericho. Also the words that I tell myself every time I get on my bike to ride through the crazy motor vehicle filled streets of downtown Nashville. These same words always ring through my head as I go past the point of being able to touch, to a place where I’m quite literally swept off of my feet into the rolling waves. A couple of weeks ago we drove all night to the little beach town of Wilmington, NC. We pulled up to a new friend's house, drug our sluggish selves across a bridge, stuck our feet in the sand, and watched as the cloudy sky gave way to some sun. It was surreal: partially due to the lack of sleep, but mostly because the sun and the sea always take my breath away. But this trip in particular was special. Two of our closest friends, whom we’ve come to know and love over a short amount of time, are from these parts, so we were instantly welcomed by a group of tightly knit friends. I felt as if I had walked into a happy family reunion, only to be embraced as one of the members. We were all so excited that we caught maybe ten minutes of sleep, drank our coffees, and headed out to the waves. Due to the storm that had passed hours before we arrived, the waves were good, and the surfers were plenty. We sat and swam and slept in the sun. The afternoon rolled around and we drove over to a boat dock, hopped in a speedy boat, and rode off to a vacant island. My jaw dropped off. We were totally surrounded by new friends, a pup, food, surfboards, sand, and the sea - dreams were coming true and despite the lack of sleep I pressed on and pulled out my camera.The last time everyone jumped in the water, I ventured a little further and let my feet float away from the bed of sand. I dove under waves and opened my eyes to see the ripples from the crash. I felt the words, “be strong, be courageous,” rush through me. I’m scared of deep water and strong currents, but no fear will ever stop me from feeling how I felt under those waves. They are powerful and eye opening. It’s a feeling of being held while still being free to move. It is a strong presence, it is a Godly presence – one that should be felt by all humans, whether that be under the waves, during a time of creativity, or just with loved ones around a dinner table. He's there. We ended our island living by stumbling upon an awesome washed up sailboat. We pretended to live on it, steer it, got a little sea sick, and picked through the cabin. I was convinced I could live the sailboat, nomadic life, perhaps tapping into my courage a little too much. But hey, it's possible, but help would be necessary and abundant. These were some of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. The faces of my friends, my people. I will cherish these memories forever. Be strong and be courageous, everyone. Film photos by Leah (and Eric).