Friday, April 12, 2013

The Beauty of Storms- Being Still

It started with a routine April rain, something that was supposed to happen. But then the wind started to blow and it got unusually cold. We woke up on Wednesday morning to a winter wonderland of icy trees. And Mother Nature didn't stop there, inches of ice began to accumulate and when She was done our city looked like a war zone. Trees that had been around 50 years were split down the middle, bending beneath the weight of the ice. And to add insult to injury the next night a fresh blanket of snow covered it all up. In all of my suffering these past months, I have been given a gift. I see things like this in a whole new light. Instead of being sad that we lost 3 trees, I see beauty in the way God works, artistry in many circumstances, poems made out of heartbreak. Every circumstance can be made into an analogy to teach me something, and this ice storm is no exception.

I have felt that I have come into a new season of grieving. I can feel that God is healing my heart ever so slowly. And just as the weather was starting to get warmer and the birds were starting to chirp. I could feel the ice that has formed around my heart, the ice that freezes anything good, the ice that burns and runs so deep, starting to slowly melt away. But just like you don't expect snow storms in April, my grief of losing someone so precious to me, sneaks up on me when I least expect it. I know for the most part that spring is coming, but I also know that unexpected ice storms will hit in the midst of this process. See, this wasn't supposed to happen. April is supposed to bring rain that helps trees bloom, not die. We are not supposed to have 3 snow days in the middle of April. Similarly, losing a child so suddenly was not supposed to happen. I am supposed to be spending my snow days with a child who is just starting to walk, not sitting in silence reflecting on life. And it is okay for me to grieve that. 

This storm has also reminded me of what William P. Young wrote about in his book The Shack:

“There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.”

If you didn't grow up in the Midwest you might not know that when we say the word snowday  it holds so much meaning. It is an excuse to be lazy. And during these last few days I have felt like God was reminding me to "Be Still." I said in an earlier post that I have started reading through the Old Testament and it has been hard to do blogs about what God is teaching me from reading through Leviticus... BUT when I read through Exodus last month I kept coming back to a verse that really spoke to me. The setting is the Israelites on their way out from hundreds of years in captivity in Egypt, being chased by their captors and coming to the Red Sea, feeling trapped. They say to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" But it is not their panic that spoke to me most, but what Moses said in reply to them:

"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
                                                                                                                                -Exodus 14:11-14
"Be Still and know that I am God."                                                                            -Psalm 46:10

It seems so simple, and yet we have such a hard time following it in our culture. Be Still. Yes, our city has been declared a state of emergency (my life is in a state of emergency). But the beauty is that it has reminded me that the Lord will fight for me. All I need to do is to be still and know that He is God.


  1. Ali - all I can say is "Wow!" again!
    You have been entrusted with a gift - you have used it well. Bless you honey!

  2. I have followed your blog and wanted to thank you for sharing that in the middle of storm and pain, there can be beauty and hope. My prayers for you and your husband. I am a pediatric nurse and have loved and supported families who have had to say goodbye too soon. Thank you for sharing your daughter and your journey. Thanks to God that after the winter of our souls, there is the promise of spring.

  3. We have used your website and also wished to thank you for expressing in which in the heart of storm as well as soreness, there might be attractiveness and also desire. Our desires in your case and your husband. I am a pediatric registered nurse and possess liked and also reinforced households who have had to state good bye too soon.
    Gold For RS
    WOW Gold