This is a post I've been wanting to make for a very long time but just never got around to making. This concept has become an integral part of my life over the past few years and has risen up again recently. Thanks to amazing mentors that have guided me through this journey, I hope what I have learned and what I have to say speaks into whereever you are.
Moving to the midwest but hailing from the pacific northwest always raises eyebrows. People struggle to wrap their minds around why I would leave the land of white capped mountains and old growth forests for the land of corn and soy for as far as the eye can see. Honestly, many days I struggle to wrap my mind around it as well. That story is one for another day.
Once they either understand my move or just give up, they always bring up one of two things that the northwest is famous for: our coffee and our rain. "Oh, so you like coffee?" Yes, probably more than is good for me. "Don't you get a lot of rain out there?" So the rumor goes. "Oh! So you must like Starbucks?" Only if there's nothing better.
It's the rain that brings me here today. Your everyday thought process changes when you live in a land where each day brings a 75% chance of rain regardless of what the man in front of the green screen says. After a while, you stop noticing. Want to go to the beach? Grab a poncho, let's go! Wanna go to mount rainier? Slip on your rain boots!
Soon enough, you start to enjoy it. Then you find yourself missing it, craving it when it's been dry for too long. It's a funny sight to see a group of high schoolers run and jump in a torrential downpour but I've seen just that, and have taken part, more times than I can count.
One of my mom's favorite things in this world is a good winter storm. I distinctly remember one winter, we rented a cabin at her favorite beach, Kalaloch, with the sole intent of catching a winter storm. Boy, did we get one.
Our cabin had this little nook the protruded from the house, in which the kitchen table sat, that was surrounded by windows. With our cabin on the cliff overlooking the beach, we settled in for a long night of board games and listening to the rain bounce off of our abode. We realized how perfect our cabin was when we noticed our neighbors sitting on their picnic table, wrapped in a sleeping bag sure to be ruined, watching the storm. What an incredible night it was. After a while, we went to bed tired from a long night of the Farming Game and filled with laughter. When we woke in the morning, the rain had stopped long ago and it was a spectacular day at the beach.
Because of my time in the northwest, I don't fear being caught in the rain anymore. My clothes will dry, my backpack has it's own poncho, and my hair's a mess anyways. The rain is just another part of daily life. Some day's there's just a light mist. Others I end up looking I just jumped into the sea. It's just another part of life.
Well, I went out for a walk one night not too long ago. When I go for walks, I often find myself praying and telling God about what's been going on in my life. Life has thrown me for one hell of a loop recently so I find myself with a lot to say and questions to be answered. One night I went for a walk, not a lot had been going on but I still had some things to say. Not too long into my walk, I noticed that it had started to rain a little. Not too heavy, a mild sprinkle, but still noticeable. I didn't think much of it and carried on. The rain began to pick up and drops became bigger and more intense. I realized that I had walked out into one of the frequent midwest spring deluges. Naturally, fearing the life of my electronics, I headed back to my apartment.
As I walked back, I realized that the rain felt nice. It didn't hurt me. Hardly even made me uncomfortable. The coolness of the drops against my skin was a reminder of the world around me. Even though I had walked back to my apartment, I didn't go inside. I stayed out and turned my face towards the heavens. Each impact cooled my face more and more and I was immediately reminded of when we went chasing winter storms.
The storms of life are not to be feared, they're to be imbraced. In everything from social disasters to being lost in the woods, the true danger and damage come when we are overcome with fear and panic. The best captains of the sea are revered for how they navigate through the harshest of storms and their ships for how many they've weathered.
We often forget that the storms that life brings are a part of life. They hurt, damage us, and break us down but new things cannot be built where the old still stands. We also often forget to look up from where we are to see that the storm has long passed. When we forget to look up, we hold onto the storm. We make the storm last longer than it actually did.
Having gone through a phenomenal storm and finding myself still fighting to look up and let go of the last dark cloud, I can attest to every aspect of what I've said. The storm passes. The storm will not end you. It's not easy, but it is possible to find joy and peace in the middle of the storm. You first have to acknowledge that the storm will, indeed, pass. Next, accept that you will be made better through the storm.
I believe this with all my heart and hold my life as a testament to this. Regardless of what you find youself in, this too shall pass.