Tonight, Eli and I were driving home from a "get together' with my small group from church...Eli was super sleepy (played hard with his friends and hunted for Easter eggs!) and he was falling asleep in the back seat. I kept trying to talk to him to make our short, 15 minute drive home pass by more quickly but he was fading fast...and I was feeling a bit defeated, alone and sad. Suddenly, I noticed lightening in the sky and heard thunder. I watched again, and even though it was only about 7pm, the slightly darkened sky definitely showed signs of a thunderstorm.
As I exhaled and just prayed for a bit of peace for my troubled heart, I realized something. I realized that God shows Himself to us in many different ways...including thunderstorms. I remember as a child hearing that thunder was just "the angels bowling" or some other comforting description of an otherwise frightening sound for a child. Even as a child, this analogy made me think about how powerful God really is...and as an adult, I realize how much love He shows through His power. It's random things for me...shooting stars make me think of my children that went home to heaven before we got to hold them. The little ray of sunlight through dark clouds always makes me think about God trying to give us a glimpse of what He has in store for us...if we can just make it through our life here on earth. Rainbows will forever make me think of our little Jonah...Eli has me convinced that his little brother has his own rainbow in heaven . Small things that might be taken for granted by another hold special meaning for me...
So tonight, the lightening was that special sign. My heart is heavy and it hurts...and although most of the time I am able to smile and power through this tough time, there are moments when it feels unbearable. Moments like tonight...moments when I most need my heavenly Father to somehow reach down and grab me and say "I'm here...don't give up yet. I know it's hard but I am here with you...and I will keep walking with you as long as you want me to."
That's when He lights up the sky.
It may not always be lightening, or a shooting star or sunlight.
It is whatever I might need at that moment. Tonight, it was lightening. A short-lived thunderstorm that made me breathe deeply and remember that I have not been abandoned by my Almighty Father...He didn't forget me. He's there when I look for Him. He's never more than a prayer away. I can never deny that He is always RIGHT THERE...I've experienced it more than once and I rest knowing that my hand is held through this storm - that if I let Him, He'll carry me through this again.
"When stars are hiding in the clouds
I don't feel them shining
When I can't see beyond my doubt
The silver lining
When I've almost reached the end
Like a flood you're rushing in
Your love is rushing in..."
"You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can't deny
No I can't deny that you are right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me."
Since the day a little more than a week ago when I was told, yet again, that there was no longer a heartbeat, I've been thinking so much about the blind man in John chapter 9. Jesus was asked who was to blame for the man's blindness and he replied that it wasn't the fault of anyone...instead "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." This by no means makes the hurt any less, but I've been slightly comforted knowing that God's plan is so much greater than I can possibly know or even fathom. There is part of me that wishes I'd never had to experience this. But there is that part of my heart that believes that if God's love and light can somehow shine through all of this for HIS good, then I'm okay. So I feel this heart-wrenching hurt and this odd peace together...and I don't know what to make of it sometimes.
But I know that I will be okay...know my God is here with me...and that He loves me more than I can even know.