Archives for May 15, 2014

Unexpected storms

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Last week, an unexpected storm blew through our ‘hood. One minute, the skies threatened with their rolling gray. The next, my husband turned to me and said, “I hope my car windows are up.” And in the short time it took him to give another cursory glance at the sky and retrieve his car keys, the sky split open like a violently ripped seam.

I won’t lie. There was screaming on the part of some of the women-folk in this house when the water poured in through the closed window frames and locked doors. We couldn’t see a foot past our windows, while the water rushed by with reckless abandon. There was screaming and awe and rushing about with pots and pans while the power of this wild thing beat its way through the cracks of our home.

It left as quickly as it came, and we discovered in short order that M’s windows were indeed rolled up, but the upstairs windows were wide open, unexpectedly giving our bathroom floor a thorough cleaning. The girls rushed around with beach towels to sop everything up, and I glanced outside. I saw nothing. I did a double-take. The spot where I usually stood at the window to watch the kids as they played on our backyard equipment, revealed absolutely nothing.

The wild thing picked up our enormous swing set and flung it across the lawn into a thousand splintered pieces. We found the trampoline hundreds of yards away, folded like cockeyed umbrella, sitting in a water-logged ditch. All of this damage in a matter of minutes.

As my kid, the one who learns the hard way, deals with some of the fallout of their decisions, I see how wild a thing one bad choice can be. I see how it destroys the relationships in its path, how it splinters trust into a thousand pieces. How one minute you’re sipping your cup of tea, and the next an email with damaging news about your kid can cause every difficult emotion to pour through the cracks of your parenting fa├žade. I’m learning not to own all of my kids’ choices, Lord knows I’ve made enough horrible ones of my own, but to put it simply–it hurts.

But through the pain, we find healing as we work. We pull out the beach towels. We mop up the mess. We make our amends. We relinquish our attempt to control the wild things that shot us straight through, and trust that with enough consistency and prayer and consequences, the storm won’t have the final say.

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Are you facing a significant storm in your relationships today? Can I offer you a tiny sliver of hope? The storm will pass. You will be left with some work. May you find healing in this too. If you want to share, I’d love to pray for you.