Deep in a memory

I’ve written quite a bit lately about the storms of life and what it looks like to weather them.  Today, as it poured rain all afternoon, it dawned on me that instead of battening down the hatches and running in fear when the storm clouds roll in; maybe sometimes we need just stand in the rain.  Let it truly soak us to the core… feel what it is we’ve been holding back, hiding from, and avoiding.

Just take a moment and stop.  Stop the pretenses, stop the coping, stop letting the fear take hold of us.  Because, as hard as it is to remember when the thick of the storm is on top of you, it will pass.  And rain is just water, thunder is just noise, and lightning truly is a brilliant display from the Lord of the Universe who is also the keeper of your heart.

We’ve spoken to our youth group a lot about purity lately and each time I dig into it with them, I consistently find my thoughts deep in a memory I lived 9 years ago.  I’m deathly afraid of storms.  I have been since I was 8 years old and had to crouch into a closet with my very pregnant mother while my dad was out of town and a tornado ripped through our town.

But one day, my high school best friend and I had endured a pretty ruthless day of typical teenage drama so we ignored the storm clouds rolling in and headed to Sonic to get a coke.  On our way home the clouds opened up and it came a downpour.  My normal reaction was to beeline it to my house, stay near the TV so I could hear the weather reports, and hide.  But this particular day, Kristen and I threw caution to the wind and headed to the city park rather than to our houses.

We hopped out of my little red honda civic, fully dressed in school clothes, no umbrellas, and just played in the rain.  We jumped in puddles, we ran around the car, we sang, we danced, and we laughed ourselves right out of the dreary day and into a place of peace.  Wet peace but peace all the same.

I have no doubt that memory being on my mind lately is not a coincidence.  I think it has served as a way for the Lord to remind me that maybe when life storms come along, we aren’t always supposed to run and hide.  Maybe we are meant to stand in them… to BE in them.  To let them cleanse us of the impurities the world makes us carry, strip away the desires of our flesh, and re-focus us on the beauty and the fullness of life.

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