Nothing about it looked pretty or easy
I was driving home to Destin Sunday morning after almost two weeks of travel. To drive all the way home from Birmingham on Saturday night was just a little more than I could do, so I had decided to stay in Dothan and go the rest of the way first thing Sunday morning. When we left Sunday morning the sky was filled with bright fluffy clouds, enough to soften the sun but not block all of its light. We traveled south on a back highway and I was enjoying the pretty day and car filled with worship music. When I turned west onto the interstate I saw what looked like a wall of darkness ahead. As I had been traveling south the skies were blue and bright, but turning west was a different story. I could clearly see there was a storm ahead.
My heart sank. I wanted to call my husband, Daniel, (who was in the car behind me) and say, let’s turn around. I didn’t want to drive into the storm. For a moment, I wondered if there was any way around it. Nothing about it looked pretty or easy. There was enough distance between us that I knew there was time to shift course… to change my plans… to avoid the rain. I was surprised by my internal reaction to this approaching storm. I drive in the rain often…it’s not my favorite thing but I don’t recall feeling so shut-down by it. So in true Wellspring fashion I started exploring what was really going on inside of me.
I remembered earlier in the week waking up one morning with a feeling of dread for the day ahead. I was in bed thinking, “I really wish I could just skip today”. I knew I would be facing some challenges and nothing about it looked like fun. Truthfully, it wasn’t. It was a hard day. But I knew that morning that this is where God has called me, I had a confidence that God was with us, and I made the choice to open my eyes, get out of bed and face the day. Did everything go perfectly? No, but I’ve learned and grown in the process of the challenge.
As I reflected on that and was facing this impending true storm ahead of me I began to consider what was at stake. What happens if I pull back, if I decide I just can’t do this, or I just don’t want to? In this situation, this storm was the only thing between me and home. Home was where I really wanted to be. Home is a peaceful restful place for me and I would finally have time with my husband. In the situation earlier that week, growth was at stake. If I wasn’t willing to face the challenge, I would miss the opportunity for growth. People were at stake. If we didn’t enter the hard things, then my heart to love well could be lost by me shrinking back and withdrawing. In some ways, God’s glory is at stake. What he wants to do in and through us can be missed if we aren’t willing to enter into the hard places and get through the storm.
In both situations I was crippled by the unknown. I don’t know how hard something might be, I don’t know how long the storm might last or how rough it might be in the midst of it. But in the moment, I had a song playing that repeatedly said “My strength in life is I am yours and my hope in life is I am yours…” I don’t remember ever even picking this song but in that moment it was perfect. I am given strength by knowing Whose I am and Who He is. I’m given courage by knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me; if this is where he has me then he is not surprised by what I face each day. I can move into the dark places, the challenges, the rain, simply because I know He is with me and is always faithful.
So, I did. Some of those revelations came in the midst of the storm that I chose to drive into. And just as I expected, there was sun on the other side. The storm didn’t last forever. Finally being home made it all worth it.
What is at stake today that is worth walking into the darkness, the pain, the unknown or the rain in your own life?