Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I'm As a young girl, thunderstorms absolutely terrified me. I would lay in my room with my pillows mothering my head trying to drown out the light and the sounds. I would run to my parents' room and lay on the floor by their bed trying not to cry.

I hated them.

Once, at my first summer job corn detasseling, probably as a pre-teen, the supervisor made us finish the field in the beginning of a storm. We were soaked and I was anxious as could be. When we were finally bussed back to town and dropped off, I ran to my grandma's house. It lightninged once while I bolted and I felt like my heart stopped and I was paralyzed as the air surrounding me flashed bright white.

As I went to high school and college, I grew much more fond of the storms and was interested in cloud formations, storms, and tornadoes. When I met my former husband, he too was keen on these things, and it became a shared interest.

There were many nights when we were dating when storms were on their way and we would grab our cameras, film DSLR at first and eventually digital, and head out of town or to the highest point we could find, and chase the clouds down with our shutters, attempting to catch beautiful photos of lightning.  We succeeded multiple times.  It was wonderful.

When we were married and shared our home, we would spend countless nights in the dark, watching the lightning dance across the sky as the thunder rumbled our walls.  We spent so many of those nights together.  They were some of our favorite times together.  There was something paradoxically exhilarating and serene in the storm.

Tonight, the sky flashes its magical show and the thunder rumbles.  My children are all soundly asleep, but I cannot seem to calm my mind.  With each flash, my mind also flashes back to the many storms we cherished, and the many storms we weathered.  

I've been through many storms without him in the last two years, figuratively and literally.  I shooed our children into the basement calmly during multiple tornado warnings one summer, and I fought my way through his betrayals, abandonment, and the repercussions that followed.  Storms and I are both old friends and old enemies.

Tonight, I lay awake.  I listen to the show outside as the room lights up every now and again.  I closed my curtains one moment to block out the flashing, and a few minutes later, I turned off the apartment lights and nature's strobe began to take full effect on my walls much like they used to.  I tried to fall asleep on the couch with the lights on and the lights off.  

But the storm of my memory continues on.  I see his smile.  I feel his arms.  I can hear his breath.  But, I am alone.  

It's amazing how I can still possess love for him even after it all.  It's the kind of romantic love that I had for him during our many joyful storms, of course, but the love that prays for his well-being, despite the popular consensus I shouldn't wish for that.  But, God loves him, and so should I. 

And that love that God allows me to hold for him and for his soul makes the storm tonight so much more lonely than I was prepared for.

Thank Heavens God calms the storms.  He has calmed each of the tempests that He helped me navigate or carried us through in the last two years, after all. I am not the strong one, and I am no sailor on the wicked seas. He is the strong one, and He is in me. He is the anchor and the guide. I'll cry out to Him.  I will beg Him to comfort me. These storms shall pass, too.

There are lyrics that resonate perfectly tonight in a song by Casting Crowns...
"As the thunder rolls

I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"

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