Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Coming Storm

When we lived in Singapore, we could often see storm clouds coming from a long way off, and we knew that before long we would hear the onslaught of rain pounding against our windows.

There's a storm coming for us here too, and I don't mean the one currently dumping buckets of polluted water on our streets. The one I'm talking about has been a long way off for awhile, but I can see it on the horizon. I see the sky darkening, see the storm clouds rolling toward us. I feel the wind picking up and occasional droplets on my face. The storm is coming.

It's a storm of transition, of saying goodbye to people who are like family to us, to places that have been home for 13 years, to a culture that is not our own but which is what we know. It's a storm of knowing that this time we aren't coming back and that we will have to navigate the other side not as visitors but as citizens again. It's a storm of tears, adjustment, goodbyes, new experiences, old memories.

I'm tempted to run down into the storm cellar and hide out while the storm passes. Transition strikes me in odd moments when I am unprepared and sometimes unwilling to enter in, like when I realize, "this is the last time I'll see this person" and I thought I had more time.

I am trying to tell myself to be ok with those off guard moments. Truly that's what I want to be - off my guard. I want to get caught in the rain, so to speak, where my heart will be honest, raw, true. I know the real strength lies in bearing the storm, being willing to let my heart be broken, not in putting on a brave face and telling myself, "It's ok."

So in my mind Erik and I wrap our arms around the kids and assume a stance that will lean us into the wind when it comes. We'll stand together and hold each other in it, not because we are gluttons for pain, but we know that to keep our hearts open for good things we must keep them open to all of life, including the painful parts. And as one of my friends said the other day, "The sorrow is so great because it's been so good." And I want to celebrate that by acknowledging it.

And sometimes, when the storm gets to be too much, I know that my Savior will be close by, my shelter, my haven, my resting place, right in the middle of it all.

No comments: