May 1, 2011

The Storm

I'm a blessed woman. I have some amazing friends who ask me how I'm doing and then demand a real answer. None of this pansy-butt, "I'm fine" stuff (they'd just cock their heads and give me the "cut the crap" look), but the dirty, real, ugly, honest truth.

Kd is one of those friends. A few months ago, she asked me how I was doing, and my answer was, "I'm in that holding spot. I know there are storms brewing off the horizon, I know they're coming, but right now I'm in the sun. Sooooo...I'm soaking up everything I can - every moment, every deep breath, every joy, every laugh...because I know the storms are coming." She just nodded, squeezed my hand, and smiled. There's nothing to say - it just is.

Life has continued on since then - there is nothing we can do to stop the march of time. The storms brewing off the horizon have moved closer. Ever stand on the coast and watch a storm move in? That's where I'm at right now. The dark clouds are still a bit away, but I can feel the whip of the wind on my face - the wind that always comes before a gale - one that ushers in the dark, cold weather.

A few weeks ago, I helped to teach our church a new song, called "Always." (Oh, my dear readers - I sing in the band at church. I haven't mentioned that, have I? Oops.) In the song, there's a line that says, "I will not fear the war; I will not fear the storm; my help is on the way..." (*Feel the need to clarify - the theme of the song is that our Lord will not abandon us in our times of distress, and that His love endures "always." I just re-read that and it sounded very militant-cultist-like, and that is SOOOOOO not the type of church I attend!)

I had a hard time singing that line that day...and every time we've sung the song since. Remember that bit about feeling the wind on my face? That day is when I realized just what that wind signifies. It's not a gentle breeze of a summer's day. It's a harbinger.

It also reminded me of a journal entry from a long time ago. Like, 2003, long-ago, but the words I wrote then still ring true to me today. Maybe even moreso. (Background: a friend and I had been traveling through New Zealand, and we had finally finished the last of the "big travel" days. We had just arrived at my family's house in Christchurch.)

We drove down from Blenheim today. It’s a beautiful drive – when you’re not sick of traveling. The news said a Southeasterly’s moving up the coast…looks like it’ll be a cold and snowy Fourth of July evening. Just outside of Kaikoura the storm came into view. A huge wall of gray. It’s fascinating really, we’re still in the brilliant sunshine, yet we’re on a collision course with a horrible storm. One predicted to bring the coldest temperatures in 10 years. I could probably wax poetic about how this signifies life, and how we need to be ready for the inevitable trials that lie ahead, and…blah-blah-blah…

Truth is, as fascinating as the storm’s approach was, it was J's (my nephew’s) reaction to it that has stuck with me. We get into Christchurch, it’s windy, snowing, colder-than-cold, and the kid is so excited that the only thing holding him together is his skin. At first, I thought it was my arrival (after all, I’m the favorite “Auntie” and he hasn’t seen me in 16 months)…but…no. Truth is, he’s bursting because the storm means snow, and snow equals snowball fights. In fact, we get to the house, and I’m unloading all the gifties I’ve brought for him (everything from microwave Kettle Korn to the VeggieTales “Jonah” movie), and where is he? Bundled up, out back, singing and dancing in the midst of the howling wind and blowing snow.

He was a great visual of abundant life and trials. I often look at the stormy times in my life as the stretches when the joy and fun stop. The “good” of life is put on hold until this hard time has passed. I honestly do not think that’s how God designed it. I think He wants me to be in the midst of that storm ~ and all that entails: wind, cold, darkness…and yet, to still be able to sing and dance because I am joyously looking ahead to the snowball fights to come.

So, help me to dance, Lord. Even when the only music to be heard is that of the storm's howl.

I think I need to practice my dance moves.


Post a Comment