A feeling has accompanied me as I navigate this cold and rainy California day. I could blame it on the weather, but I know it’s much more than a change in the atmosphere. The clouds rolled in months ago and haven’t left yet. The feeling is loneliness. When you are accustomed to doing life together, the newfound independence of doing life alone is unwelcome, unpleasant, and flat out lonely.
I am no stranger to this feeling as I have experienced the rise and fall of its presence over the years throughout various seasons of life. At times the loneliness sits below the surface throughout the day, while at other times it creeps its way from my mind into my chest and feels as though it will suffocate my heart completely.
The cloudy days in my head, my soul, and my reality remind me of a season spent in Seattle. Andrew and I were newlyweds as we set off on an adventure together far away from home. He accepted a position as a high school pastor at a church surrounded by dense green trees and I was planning to pick up a few odd jobs as I finished my bachelor’s degree online.
As California natives we were looking forward to living in thick comfy sweaters and beanies while sipping hot coffee and being swept away by the sweet sound of rain. We drove up the coast in our small clunky U-Haul with high hopes and expectations.
Upon arrival we were greeted with freezing cold weather and snow. We quickly adapted to our new surroundings and learned the ways of the northwest: no one uses umbrellas, everyone wears Lululemon, and no matter the weather you will find people walking, jogging, and biking outside.
The northwest is something special, but it is also a very dark place.
It may have been the time of year we moved but we literally never saw the sun. The cloud cover was so thick it would become completely dark as early as 4:00 in the afternoon. As the newness wore off, the gloomy days began to wear us out. We dreamt of sunny California beaches and after only five months we began to plan our move back home. We couldn’t take it anymore, we needed some sun!
Then one day we woke up and there it was. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and our world was transformed. We emerged from our small apartment to discover a new season unfolding right before our eyes. New sights, new sounds, and new scenery surrounded us from every angle. We spent the entire day outside reaping the harvest of a long patient winter.
A crystal-clear day in Seattle is so extraordinarily beautiful it will take your breath away. You know what makes it so breathtaking?
Without the rain Seattle would lose its charm. It’s because of the rain that the landscape develops such deep and vibrant colors.
Couldn’t we say the same thing about our own life? Our own seasons?
If all we knew were sunny days, we would never appreciate their beauty.
It is the long bleak winter which stirs in us a newfound appreciation for the sun.
The One who set us here today, for such a time as this, is waiting for us in tomorrow.
“All of the tomorrows have to pass through Him before they can get to us,” (Streams in the Desert).
As we wait patiently and watch the rainfall around us, we can choose embrace.
As we are drenched from head to toe in the why, we can choose embrace.
As we wrestle with unmet expectations and disappointment, we can choose embrace.
As we sit in the empty lonely place, we can choose embrace.
As we look at the forecast of this season and see more rain on the horizon, we can choose embrace.
We can choose to embrace today because we know who holds tomorrow. One day just as it did in Seattle, the clouds will dissipate, and the sun will shine again.
God’s Got This.