calm before the storm
The sound of the rain, is probably my favorite sound. The thunder, the lightning, I find it compelling. Most people enjoy the rain when they’re comfortably sleeping soundlessly under their roof. I like to sit out in the rain, as odd as that sounds. When I was a little girl and it would start to pour, my mom would find me outside dancing and laughing in the rain. As an adult, I realized that the rain is a reminder that life is not all about rays of sunshine. That the storm, can be just as beautiful. Today’s sunset was rather peculiar. I sat in my backyard with my canon, and my typewriter watching the pink cotton candy clouds, and the view was breathtaking. Cotton candy skies are my favorite. But then, as I sat there typing, an enormous dark cloud started glooming over. Shortly after, It consumed the cotton candy sky. It started to thunder, and there was some lightning. All while, it made the sunset all the more lovely. I saw this and knew I had roughly 7-8 minutes before the sun went down completely and it would start to pour. So, I grabbed my camera and ran to the next neighborhood over, I thought I would get good shots there. As I was running in the direction of the sunset, the storm was heading towards me. I stopped for a brief second, looked up as drops started to fall from the sky and I closed my eyes as the rain started to fall. It became dark really fast, and it was pouring madly. I couldn’t help but think, how often do we see a storm coming and run towards it? For me, often times my depression came in waves. First it would start as one bad day, that would turn into a bad week, month, year. I remember writing a poem a couple years ago where I expressed just how helpless I was. “Days like these I feel like it’s consuming me. My chest feels tight, and my breaths aren’t equal. I’m drowning. The waters are washing over me, and it consumes me.” ‘Days like these, 2015.’ I became so familiar with my storm, that I was acquainted with the hurricane that followed shortly after. And time after time, I closed my eyes, and submerged in it. I would hear things like, “it gets easier.” “You’ll get through this.” However, I didn’t trust people. They were all outsiders, how could they possibly understand? As time went by, the sun became farther away. Until it seemed, the skies would never clear up. I failed to remember that rays of sunshine could be beautiful too. While I gave in to the war in my mind, I didn’t know the storm was passing. While I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, My Savior was forming my story, of strength, courage. While I was cemented in cycles of self-pity, self-loathing, toxic relationships, low self-esteem, poor choices, bad decisions. Isolation became my friend. Instead of running towards the light, I dwelled in darkness. Often times people ask me, “how’d you overcome it?” And you know, the truth is… I didn’t. Jesus overcame. The day I decided to surrender my life, because in my humanity, it was not possible for me to keep enduring this cross, in the midst of that, I didn’t remember that Jesus already endured the cross. There came a time where I couldn’t seem to look at my reflection in the mirror. I was afraid I didn’t know the girl who looked back at me. The mirror was a reminder of trauma, desolation, loneliness. I went through a process where I had to walk through fire, but this time around, I knew I wasn’t alone. I let go. I let go of shame, anger, insecurities, vices, hurt. I let go, and I surrendered to my Heavenly Father. In the midst of this process I learned all about forgiveness. First, I had to forgive myself for being so detrimental to my body. For the emotional and physical abuse. I embraced my scars. I I came eye to eye with the very things that were destroying me, and by the grace of God I was taken out of those cycles. Through this process I met my supernatural healer. Every open, fresh, wound that I tried for years to put a band-aid on through toxic vices, Jesus helped me come to terms with. I realized I couldn’t change the past, or rather anything that had happened to me. However, being in a place where you can accept those things, and know that through your story, others could possibly be healed, is priceless. I was introduced to love. Not a fleeting love, temporary love, “I love you today, but I’m not too sure when it gets difficult” love. But rather a love that would endure every storm, fire, circumstance and season of my life. My Heavenly Father reminded me that although my earthly father had left me, he picked me up and placed me in his arms. He reminded me time and time again that I was good enough, that he didn’t care what I had done in the past, that he loved me anyway. You see friend, I now, value the storm. It made me stronger, wiser. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today had I not gone through it. I have a new found appreciation for grey skies, for without them, how could we learn to cherish the sunny days?