For Christmas my mother gave me a 2-CD set of 10-12 minute devotionals for me to listen to while I am out on the road for work. I started listening to them as soon as I started back to work in January and it is became the part of my drive that I looked forward to the most. These women pour their hearts out, speaking to the struggles in their own lives, owning up to their shortcomings.
One of the last devotionals was by someone I have grown to love dearly over the last few years. Angie Smith lives a beautiful life, filled with ups and downs, happiness and unspeakable tragedy. I have linked to her blog above and hope that you will take the time to see what God has done in her life and how He has used Angie and her family to bring glory to Himself. As I listened to Angie actually speak her story the other morning, I was struck by her openness and the raw honesty and emotion that filled her voice. She talked about how she had worked to create this fairy tale life for her family, for her girls. And how that was actually a disservice to them and to her. If you are always shielding, always pretending, how do you deal with the storms that come your way.
It hit me like a brick. I do the same thing. I create and put forth a pretend world for myself and everyone else. This is not to say I am not a genuinely happy person with a wonderful life. I have more blessings than I can count and I can see God’s faithfulness so clearly in my day-to-day world.
But my life is not perfect. There are storms that Randy and I deal with on a daily basis. And I believe that God has been bringing the storms to my attention more and more. I am beginning to see that I am guilty of ignoring the problems in my life until it pops up, taking Randy and me by surprise and then I act as if I am shocked that we have an issue at all.
I have two young adults in my life who do not biologically belong to me. Yet they are mine. No matter how you slice it, these two young people belong to me. Their struggles and victories effect mine and Randy’s life. I want for Sara and Seth the success that anyone who loves another person wants for that loved one.
I have a teensy-wincy one that does not genetically belong to me as well. And yet, my heart belongs to Sally as if I had birthed her myself. The sleepless nights-whether she is with us or not-are a result of a love that I cannot explain or comprehend.
Randy and I are faced regularly with issues concerning these young adults and the teensy-wincy one and their respective wellbeing. There are days when we are both at a loss as to how to deal with the challenges that arise.
And then I start to measure the storm to sunshine ratio.
Yes, there are parts of our lives that I would tweak. Who doesn’t have that thought? But I am reminding myself a little more regularly that we have a lot of sunshine. It may come in small rays some days, but the sunshine is there.
And it will continue to come.
Yes, there are struggles. I have some serious lessons in mercy, forgiveness, and patience that I am learning at an incredibly slow pace. But my sunshine walks through my front door every evening about the same time. And he holds my hand when we are driving down the road. And there is peace in knowing that God is in control. Our story is in His hands and He set it’s course long before we even knew each other.
So, yes, it has been raining for quite some time, but God has allowed the sun to shine in the moments I have needed the warmth of it’s rays most. My storm to sun ratio is working out just fine.