I met Lisa Hall-Wilson through church and then at our writer’s club. We didn’t realize we both loved to write until our first WWC meeting. From there our friendship has grown. Lisa writes full time (check out her bio at the end of the blog), is married, and has three children. And…Lisa just recently won an award in the news article category at the Canadian Christian Writing Awards. Congrats Lisa! So proud of you.
I’m honoured to have Lisa write a guest blog for me. Please leave a comment on my site for her. I know you’ll enjoy this piece. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom (warning: you may need a tissue!).
What if…we danced in the rain?
It’s been a hot hot muggy week where I live. I waged war against the searing sun and humidity to keep my potted plants alive. I’ve stayed hidden inside with the air-conditioner going. But, all this heat means that eventually there’s a storm coming.
When I hear thunder I gather my pen and notebook and sit near an open window. I breathe in the smell of the coming rain, close my eyes to better feel the storm-bringing wind on my face. Those first few drops of warm summer rain hit me and I watch the lightning, writing as fast as I can before I have to shut the window. I always leave it open a crack so I can hear and smell the storm.
When my girls were small, 3 and 5, I noticed dark clouds roll in, and half an hour later the wind picked up. I could smell the coming rain. My girls had left some favorite toys in the backyard, so I sent them outside to retrieve the toys before the rain started while I shut all the windows. They had just begun the return trip across the yard, toys in hand, when the loudest crack of thunder I’ve ever heard honestly shook the house and rattled the windows.
My babies stood frozen in the yard screaming in terror, hands over their ears. I called to them from the window to come inside, but they just cried for me to rescue them. Another clap of thunder sounded before I could get to the door. The second boom had them running for the house, tears streaming down their faces. Amid the sniffles and the sobs, I held their hands and walked them to the big picture window in our living room. I crouched down and gathered them close. Their little frames shook and they clutched their toys tight. Outside, we saw people on the street watching the sky, walking faster with their shoulders hunched.
I told my girls that thunder was just God’s voice reminding all his children to run, get inside quick, the rain is coming. Thunder boomed again. My girls just stared at the people on the street. I’ve wondered what was going through their minds. A few minutes later, a thick drenching curtain of rain streamed off the roofs, down the street, and beat down the plants in my garden. The rain dried their tears.
Ever after, when my girls heard thunder they’d run to the window and yell at the people outside to hurry and get inside. Couldn’t they hear God warning them? It’s going to rain.
Some storms in life God warns us about, he wraps his arms around us and shelters us from the wind and rain and hail. Sometimes we get caught in the storm. Whether we saw the storm gathering and just had no place to take shelter, or we never saw it coming – no one likes getting drenched, shaken by thunder and pushed by the wind.
There is a time to mourn and a time to dance.
What if we looked for the blessings in the rain? What if we looked to the storm for healing? What if we tipped our faces to the heavens, spread out our arms, and danced in the rain? When was the last time you did that? When was the last time you caught a rain drop on your tongue?
Not to make light of hard times, that’s not my point, but God is there in the rain and thunder too. He’s with us in the storms, but it’s easy to forget when we’re frozen in the yard clutching our most precious possessions begging to be rescued. But it can’t rain forever. Storms will look different for different people, and one person’s downpour will be another’s sun shower. Search out the blessings in it because God is there too.
Felicia & Jenna (at ages 3 & 5)
Life has taught me that sometimes bad things happen, sometimes the bully wins, and sometimes no one hears no matter how loud you scream, but through my stories and articles – I have a voice. I blog Through the Fire because I’m convinced the truth sets you free. I’m a freelance writer specializing in profiles, social justice stories, and interviews.
“The rain dried their tears.” I love that line. As for looking for the blessings in the storms, you’re absolutely right, lisa. I believe so strongly in the blessing of suffering, because I’ve been through so much and have realized that it has always left me a stronger Christ-follower and a more humble and compassionate person, and it has taught me to savour and cherish the good times.
Lamentations 3 is such a great passage for this: “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!’ the Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love.” (vv19-26, 31-32)
Great post! Thank-you. <3
Great passage! Without suffering, I don’t believe we’d know how to fully feel joy.
Thanks for having me on the blog today, Darlene!
No, thank YOU Lisa! I appreciate your willingness to write a post for me!
Great picture, great song, great post . . . thank you both. (And thank you most of all for your friendship.)
Thanks right back! I always appreciate your steadfast support and encouragement.
When we stop to think about it, we do have a choice: freeze in terror or remember God is bigger and choose to trust Him. Thanks for the reminder to stop and think.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Thanks for sharing your heart Lisa! I am blessed by your writing as i choose to dance in the midst of my own storm right now! Life is tough but God remains good and faithful! He is my solid rock, rescuer and redeemer! All Praise and Glory to His name! That is a beautiful picture of your girls! i totally remember them at that age! So sweet!
Hey – long time no chat! Glad you were encouraged by this. Seems like ages ago since my girls were that small. Time flies.
That is incredible. I luv this… I truly thank God for times in our lives when it is time to dance.. time to carelessly move around and celebrate life! Thanks for this.
Glad you were encouraged by it. I think it’s always time to celebrate life, and our trials are always made easier with the right attitude. 🙂
This story reminds me of the powerful song Casting Crowns sings : I’ll Praise You in the Storm which got me through one of the greatest storms in my life : the journey of our Mom’s death through a brain tumor. Thanks for sharing this story.
I love that song. It’s pulled me through a few hard times too. I was going to use that one, but the hubs suggested this one. The Casting Crowns song is one a lot of people have heard so used this one instead. I’m glad you were encouraged.
Yes, that is such an amazing song! I still can’t listen to it without getting teared up and thinking of Mom. She definitely praised Him through the storm! Love this song too Lee. Powerful words! Thanks for introducing us to it!
Love, love, love this post, so beautifully written, Lisa! There would be no gardens without rain.
Thanks, Serena. So true. You have to take the good with the bad.
Lisa, you are right on the mark! Life is full of storms and we need them to grow! But what’s so amazing is that the sun (SON!) is always there; we just don’t see it. When it does appear, we are reminded of the beauty of life and we move on, very often dancing!
I can so identify with your love of thunder storms. I, too, remember taking a stack of books (sometimes comic books) and sitting in my father’s car during a downpour. Often, I wasn’t able to see out the windows because it was raining so hard. The sound, the smell, even the rocking of the car when the thunder boomed so loudly…but I was safe!
You are a gifted writer and I’m proud of your accomplishments!
BTW, a great picture of the girls when they were younger!
As kids, we used to pretend that God and the angels were bowling during a thunder storm! So, we would do the same (until we got scared or Mom called us to come inside!). HA HA!
What a beautiful post, Lisa. During the storm it’s hard to remember that every storm in my life has taught me something, has given me something I needed. Some storms are enjoyable – I have danced in the rain, some storms feel as if they will blow you down, but, in time the storm passes. Thanks for the reminder to look for the blessings.
Glad you were encouraged by it. Sometimes a small tweak in our perspective/outlook makes a world of difference when we face trials and hardship.
Clarity, understanding, heart, truth – He has gifted you.
Thank you! I appreciate that.