Dan and I drove to North Carolina with the kids today. We went to visit my sister and her family. Along the way, we ran into a pretty bad storm. We went through a tense two hours of driving in the rain, with a bunch of “knuckleheads” (that’s what Dan called other drivers for two hours). The storm was really bad for about 30 straight minutes, and I was very much on edge.
When you’re in the middle of a storm, it is scary. Your hands are white-knuckled and you are tense and tight. Your vision is clouded and you can’t see more than ten feet in front of you. Do you slow down and stop under an overpass? Or do you keep moving as fast as you can (even impeded), because the storm HAS to break sometime, right? You can’t see in front of you. You have no idea how much longer this will last. Your ears are full of the sounds of pelting rain. Your teeth are clenched. Your breathing is shallow, panting. If you step out of your car, you’ll be drenched and blown away. All you’re looking for is shelter and a destination where you can just stop and rest.
We finally broke through the storm and pulled off at one of the first exits to take potty breaks and get gas. THAT was a bad idea, because the storm caught up with us before we could get back on the road. To go back into the chaos with already-frayed nerves was very sucky.
At the moment when my anxiety was at a maximum level, I got a text from a friend that said simply, “I need prayers please.” So I closed my eyes and went deep into my soul and prayed for my family and for my friend.
My family is going through a personal storm similar to this. The storm is of life-changing proportions. I’ve watched someone I dearly love draw firm boundaries against someone else I dearly love. The hard part of this storm is we can’t get perspective. We can’t pull up a weather radar to see how fast the storm is moving (because sometimes it feels like it’s parked right on top of us and won’t ever pass). We can’t see more than ten feet ahead of us to know if it’s ever gonna let up. We’d be happy for even a small break in the clouds. I’m not asking for clear blue skies; that would be asking a lot! I’m only asking for the rain to stop falling sideways.
As I pondered life and what it means to live in the middle of a storm… and thought about writing this blog post… and watched the clouds disappear, I remembered a quote I read a long time ago: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning to dance in the rain.
We’re gonna do some dancing and let God teach us the rhythm. It is the only thing that will get us through this storm, because we can still rejoice in the midst of pain. God gives us that gift each and every day.