Just over a month ago, I completed my twelfth military-related move. It was our seven-year-old daughter's eighth move, our five-year-old son's fifth move, and our three-year-old daughter's third move. Needless to say, I felt like we owed them something special for completing this move, and leaving behind their house, their friends, and all they know--again.
Ever since arriving in North Carolina, our son repeatedly asked to go to the beach. We held him off for over a month while we moved in, unpacked, completed repairs, and worked to make our new place feel like home.
When the Rain Comes
My husband and I were about to celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary and decided it was the perfect time to finally give Lincoln his beach trip. When we were about 30 minutes out from the ocean, the skies darkened, tree leaves fell like snow, rain pounded, and the wind whipped. It was so ominousness that I asked my husband to double-check that a hurricane wasn't in the forecast.
Our poor son was distraught. This storm was about to ruin his long-hoped-for trip. The weather app confirmed our suspicions. Carolina Beach was projected to receive rain and lightening all weekend. Our kids had been through so many challenges and I just wanted to get them to the beach! I was crushed for them. We needed this. Lincoln needed this! But, it looked like we'd be spending the weekend in our hotel room, looking longingly at the ocean.
When suck happens, you pray. And pray. And pray some more. For the next 30 minutes of our car ride, we prayed to God asking for a reprieve. Our kids deserved this trip! Please God let them have this weekend!
As we approached our hotel the rain slowed and completely stopped as we parked. The sky surrounding us was dark, minus a small area in front of our hotel. We didn't even take the time to change into our swimsuits. We dashed to the beach in our clothes because it appeared this was our only window to enjoy the beach.
I praised God over and over as I witnessed the sheer joy that emanated from my son as he splashed in the waves. He earned this opportunity to be a free-from-stress kid, at least for a moment. And God answered our prayers.
The next morning we woke up to a perfectly sunny day, followed by another. Our kids were in Heaven, and I was in constant praise that God allowed my family this weekend to bond and enjoy one another following such a stressful couple of months.
When the Storm Clears, Praise Rains
If we hadn't driven through a storm on the way to our destination, I wouldn't have been praising God all weekend when we experienced the sunshine. We would have just enjoyed our weekend, sans overwhelming thankfulness to God.
And you know what brings God the most joy? When we praise Him and glorify Him--that's what we were created for. Sometimes God has to send a storm so we can lift our voices in praise when the rain clears. We have to trust Him in the "suck" and keep on praying, keep on praying.
What's the storm you're in the middle of today? Is it marital, financial, medical? I know it looks dark, but pray. And pray some more. You might have been in the eye of the storm for days, months, years, or decades. Even so, persist in prayer.
God is allowing you the opportunity to grow into Christ's likeness. That's what happens amid the eye. Will you let Him shape you in your storm?