After school today, I stood outside at the parent pick up line with a huge umbrella. Two other teachers stood with me, braving the afternoon rainstorm, with smaller umbrellas. I admit that I was a bit pouty and not particularly thrilled about standing in the wind and rain to remind parents to continue moving forward in the car line. The chill of wet wind seemed to move straight through my fleece. Standing with an umbrella while directing cars was far from what I wished to do on a rainy Monday afternoon. I was convinced that our presence did little to assist the process today and was annoyed that it was taking so long. Fifteen minutes later, we all headed back inside. Afternoon duty was finally over.
Family has been a word heavy on my heart the last few days. It has been a tough year for my family, particularly on my father’s side. Between my uncle’s stroke, my granny’s declining health and eventual death, and Isabelle’s sudden death, we have faced our share of challenges. It has been a rainy and windy year. However, as I sat at my aunt and uncle’s kitchen table this past weekend in a house surrounded with family and memories, I felt at ease. There was a feeling of “we can survive this together” that comes from shared experiences and a mutual love. With each story that was told and memory that was relived, smiles and laughter slowly filled the house. Although my heart longed to see Granny again, I also felt a sense of comfort and strength flutter within me. It stemmed from those who shared the memories – my family. I left on Sunday morning physically exhausted, but emotionally strengthened.
My family and faith form the umbrella that helps to shelter me from stormy days, and my umbrella is really strong – not a flimsy dollar store umbrella that breaks as soon as the wind blows. My family is the waterproof top that helps to shield me from as much rain as possible. My faith is the wiring, rod, and handle that hold the entire umbrella together, and it is stronger yet. As windy and rainy as today was, my umbrella withstood the weather. With my faith and family creating a large umbrella over me, together we can withstand the harshest of storms.
So, as much as I complained about afternoon duty today, I really should be thankful for it. It was a small reminder of two key priorities in my life: God and family. Each time I look at an umbrella, I will now be reminded of how important these two things should be.
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.