I took a drive today. It took me past a road that I had not been down in years. And I felt prompted to “go there.” So I turned around and headed to a place that holds a lot of memories – albeit not all good memories; a place that had a role in making me part of who I am; a place that caused me to put a lot of work into deconstructing some ways of thinking; a place that also gave me some lifelong friends; a place that helped me develop my love for sports and the outdoors – a place I anticipated would look like the memory picture I had in my head.
And when I pulled up to that place, it did not look anything like it did during all the years I spent there. Buildings were torn down. New structures up. A pond filled in and fields grown up. In one breath, I was disappointed and in the next, I know it’s the way of life. Change is inevitable. And just like the physical appearance of the property that no longer looks like I remember it, I am not the same person I was all those years ago.
Life’s bumps and bruises don’t quit. Life’s highs and fondest memories don’t quit either. Life’s ordinary moments where I feel the most seen and heard and connected is what makes life extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary. And those moments include the good and the not so good.
I have friends who have experienced the loss of a child. I have friends who have experienced bankruptcy. I have friends who have experienced divorce. I have friends who have experienced a devastating health diagnosis. I have friends who have experienced job loss. I have friends who have experienced physical abuse. I have friends who have experienced betrayal or abandonment. I have friends who have experienced miscarriages or infertility. I have friends who have lost a spouse or parent. I have friends who have depression or a mental illness. I have lived on the receiving end of verbal and emotional abuse. The list goes on.
I have friends who have experienced new life. I have friends who have seen their marriages restored. I have friends who have seen financial success. I have friends who have seen a recovery in their health. I have friends who were victims of abuse become advocates for themselves and others. I have seen friends who have found the job of a lifetime. I have seen friends foster, adopt and create safe spaces for children in need of safe, loving homes. I have seen friends learn to lean into their strengths and away from shame. I have friends who have seen hope and joy restored in the their lives. I have friends who have found a purpose and passion from their pain. I am living with hope and dreaming again. The list goes on.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. -Genesis 9:13
The Bible tells us the rainbow is in the cloud. Not separate from the cloud. In the cloud. We won’t have the rainbows without the storms and clouds. They are found together. And what I have learned, begun to find beauty in and see as a rhythm of life is:
The storms never quit. But neither do the rainbows.
The storms never quit. But neither do the