I’m ’bout to get real deep and whatnot up in here.
You’ve been warned.
So, last weekend was this crazy whirlwind weekend of going to two weddings, one at the beach on Saturday and then we had to drive back that night because we had to catch a plane early the next morning to Boston for another wedding in Massachusetts. That would have been tough enough as it was, but we also had a sick toddler on our hands. So, that provided some extra fun.
Now, please don’t hear this as complaining, that is not the case at all. I love weddings, we love the people who got married, and we were so glad to be able to be there to witness their marriages! I’m merely stating the fact of the weekend… it was crazy and we were exhausted.
On Monday, it was just a gross and dreary day as we were getting ready to fly out of Boston. We were tired, worn out, and the rain / drizzle / overcast just wasn’t doing us any favors. It was some kind of yuck day.
We made it to the gate RIGHT as our plane was boarding, just by the skin of our teeth, and we got on the plane and Lilly was grumpy. She’d been sitting still for far too long, it was naptime, she was hungry… it was a recipe for disaster. It all ended up being fine… Lilly and her state of mind at the time of takeoff are not the points of this story.
As our plane was taking off, we kept rising through the thick, gross, dark clouds. The clouds just seemed to get thicker and darker… and they seemed to go on forever. It felt like we were going to spend the whole hour and 40 minute flight staring at grey yuckness (that is the technical term, by the way).
But, before we knew it, our plane got to the cruising altitude right above the clouds and all of a sudden we were surrounded by beautiful, gorgeous, crystal blue skies… and all we could see for MILES and miles and miles were the tops of the blanket of clouds. It was just like one long continuous smooth blanket beneath us. And all around us and above us was the sun and the sky and it was gorgeous.
I took that obligatory photo-from-the-plane-window because it was just that gorgeous. And the photo doesn’t even do it justice.
And, as I sat there in my seat looking at the window simultaneously entertaining a fussy, fidgety kid and thinking about things, it dawned on me… it was like this light or something went off in my head – this is exactly the kind of thing that God puts us through… but sometimes we just never seem to stick it out and make it through to the other side.
What do I mean? I mean, let’s be honest. Sometimes life is tough. Life is hard. Sometimes stuff happens and we just feel so in over our heads that we don’t know if we’ll ever get out. Sometimes we feel like we’re stuck in this perpetual rainstorm without an umbrella. Or sometimes, we feel like our entire existence is standing outside in an overcast day with that annoying mist hitting you constantly… you know, not enough to really warrant an umbrella, but enough to the point where it’s gradually ruining your hair and your clothes. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
And, we exist in this “existence” and we feel like we’re going to be there forever. We can’t see or even realize that just above those clouds, just above those dreary days, just above the rain and the mist…? That’s the sun. That’s the crystal clear skies. That’s the beauty. It’s just on the other side of the storm… but we just can’t see it.
I kept thinking about this fact over and over again and it gave me this sense of peace and comfort.
This year, by no means has been the toughest year of my life… but this year has been hard. I’m not trying to be super cryptic or anything… but, it’s just one of those things where life has thrown us a few curveballs here and there and John and I have had to really pray and focus and center ourselves on what’s important: the Lord and each other.
John and I were saying the other day that when we look back in five, ten, or even 15 years from now… we’ll probably look at this year as one of the toughest years for us. Between work stuff, and house stuff, and more work stuff, and more house stuff, and the whatnot… it’s been full of ups and downs.
But, as much as we’ve felt like we’re in the midst of a cloud at times… we’ve both been able to see that the clear skies, the sun, and the beauty is just on the other side. We know it’s there and we can feel it. And, to be honest, we’ve handled the tough stuff this year pretty darn well. We’re more diligent with our finances (which is saying a lot because we were already SUPER diligent before), we communicate better, we’ve learned some valuable lessons, and I really feel like our marriage has been at its best through it all.
We’re not perfect. Not even close. But we’ve taken huge steps towards driving out fear, casting away worries, and moving on faith alone that I know that, without a doubt, we can handle anything that comes our way.
And, so I guess… my point in sharing all of these extremely stream-of-consciousness thoughts is that if you feel like you’re in the middle of a storm or in the middle of a cloud and you can’t see the sun and you can’t see the sky and you can’t see the end… just know that it’s going to be okay. Take a leap of faith. Push through the fear. Cast away your worries. And be confident in knowing that just above those clouds and just beyond that storm is a beautiful, crystal clear blue sky that is more gorgeous and wonderful than you can even imagine.
Great stories don’t happen because you get stuck. Great stories move through fear.