Matt and I spent the weekend at the beach. Friday evening was cold. As we climbed the stairs to the beach house, the wind howled and stung our skin. The next morning, it was still chilly. However, as we prepared for our friends to arrive, the sun gradually rose higher in the sky bringing with it warmth that radiated across the porch. By the time we were greeted by several families of smiling faces, the day had turned out to be the perfect beach day – warm with lots of sunshine.
I think life sometimes follows this same pattern. There are weeks, months, or sometimes years when we are walking up stairs and the cold wind is whipping around us. Hardship, obstacles, tragedy – in other words, life’s “storm clouds” enter our lives. We want nothing more than to find shelter as quickly as possible. When we eventually make it into the house, we stay there, content, wondering when things outside will calm down.
However, we eventually peak out the window and recognize the beauty of the beach. The beach represents the world around us and all that life has to offer. The sunshine, God, makes it easier for us to see that beauty if we choose to look. Unfortunately, when storm clouds cover the sky, the beach seems less inviting.
On the other hand, the really neat thing about storm clouds is that after a storm, we often appreciate the beauty of the beach more than we did before.
In the wake of a major storm this year, I feel as though I am actually able to see the world around me just a tiny bit more clearly. It taught me to appreciate small moments that don’t seem significant at the time, but actually build the dazzling quilt of our lives.
One of those moments was this weekend, as Matt and I enjoyed a prefect day at the beach surrounded by laughter and friends. As the occasional dark cloud would drift over our umbrella and chairs, I didn’t even flinch. I knew that the sunshine was still there, just merely hidden by a dark cloud. During those moments of brief cloudiness and wind, God gave us a wonderful support network of friends. We were definitely not alone.
Somehow life’s storms seem just a bit more bearable when we recognize that the son (pun intended) has not abandoned us and we are surrounded by support. I have learned that the network of support is often vast and sometimes invisible. In fact, I have found that the support network I experience on a daily basis is far more vast that I could have ever imagined. Matt and I have been flooded with prayers from family, friends, colleagues, and complete strangers. What a tremendous blessing it is to be a part of the Christian web of support.
Please know how incredibly important you have been in my life the last nine months.
Because of you, I find the courage to blog about my grieving journey.
Because of you, I find the strength to move forward on challenging days.
Because of you, I have been reminded of the power of prayer.
Because of you, I have allowed my heart to heal after it has been completely shattered.
Of course my heart will never look the same again. Those scars will always remain, but it is pumping and full of love! I have many people to thank for that.
Our beach weekend is coming to a close. As I sit on the porch soaking in the sunlight and thanking God for all of the people who have supported us, I can’t help but notice how incredibly beautiful the beach is after a storm.