Thursday, September 16, 2010

Imma tell you a story

Late last week we had a massive late afternoon rainstorm. The wind roared through the trees and I sat with the kids in the living room and watched the glass on our sliding door bend inward ever so slightly. That was interesting. But after the storm passed and the sun was setting, my neighbor texted to tell me there was a massive rainbow outside. (I love text messaging. But that's another story.)

And yea verily, there was.

There have been a few instances in my life when I've been anxious or worried about something, and in the midst of my angst, I'll look up and see a rainbow. And in that moment, it feels like it's just for me. Like God's whispering, "Hey--I got your back. It's all going to be fine."

Does that sound silly? It's okay if it does.

One instance of this that really sticks out in my mind happened while we were still living in Dallas. We'd just made the decision to sell pretty much everything we owned and move to Australia. (Where we'd never been.) To help start a church. (Which we'd never done before.)

I haven't told y'all much about that whole process, but it was a wild time for us. Ava was just 15 or 16 months old, and in the five months from when we made the decision to when we moved, we found out we were pregnant again, gave away or sold most of our furniture, shipped a bunch of stuff to Sydney, lived with both of our parents in California and Florida, and generally had a nervous breakdown. (Well, I did, anyway.) Of the two of us, I am the stressy one. You probably guessed that.

Have I mentioned that I don't particularly enjoy change? It was a hectic time. Cough. To say the least.

So, one day shortly after the decision was made, I'd driven up to see Jason at the office. We were talking over logistical stuff for the move, prioritizing what needed to be done first, talking about finances, etc.

I get a little stabby when I have to talk about logistical stuff. I'm just not very good at it and it makes me anxious. So I was stressy and stabby. (If I ever have twin girls, should I name them that?)

I left the office to drive home. I buckled little Ava into her car seat, and pulled out into late afternoon traffic. I was looking at the road of course, but what I was seeing was my life changing in nearly every way I could think of. I was thinking of all that would need to happen in the months to come and wondering how, how, how in the world it all would. I know that people have moved their families overseas--it happens all the time. But I'd never done it, and I was freaked out.

Then I made a left turn and as I did, looked up and saw a huge rainbow in the sky above me. It was striking and beautiful and my jaw dropped when I saw it. And it's so hard to articulate without it sounding like I think God engineered the weather patterns of North Texas that day solely for me. But in that moment, I thought, That rainbow is for me. Like God was saying, "Look I can do this without even trying. Do you think I can't help you and make your way clear?" He was bragging a little, I think, but He can do that. Being God and all.

It was kind of a moment for me. Like a dollop of stillness dropped right into my hand-wringing, anxious, stabby soul. My hunched shoulders relaxed and I smiled a little. All my worries didn't magically disappear or anything. But I was reminded--powerfully--that I was not left on my own to figure everything out.

Those kind of moments are hard to quantify, or explain in a A+B=C way. Like, stress+rainbow=God loves Amy. Say what? I can't show you a formula on a whiteboard that empirically proves I love my kids. But I do. I just do, and I know that I do. So whether or not it makes sense to anyone else, that rainbow made sense to me.

And now when I see a rainbow, it reminds me of that crazy-making season of our lives. (And incidentally, that baby-making season of our lives.) It reminds me, even if only for a moment that, see? It all worked out. Not perfectly, not without angst. Not exactly how I would have planned it to. But it worked out.

And I remember all that, and I resolve again not to stress too much or stab anyone.

P.S. I am a firm believer that God will give you your own rainbow too. Or maybe even a pony. But probably not a rainbow pony. I don't think.


  1. This is a touching story. I remember those days well and just how many things had to be worked out before you guys went Down Under. You both have been examples of "living by faith" I think. I love your phrasing of " a dollop of stillness" as it perfectly describes all of our lives sometimes. I am thankful that God gives us those moments when we need them. And maybe He gives them to us even when we don't notice. Perhaps we should pay attention more closely. Thanks for this lovely post.

  2. I am the stressy one too. Thank God for even-keeled husbands. And yes, I know exactly what you're talking about. Those moments when God is so clearly touching you through something only He could do, it catches you off guard and causes you to feel like a puddle in his arms. Love those moments. Love this story =).

  3. March 1998: When we were standing on the side of the hwy in NW Texas, right after I had hydroplaned that rental van on the way to Denver, while the paradmedics were treating Chuck and his broken back, I looked up and there was a rainbow in the sky. I was so shaken and scattered and scared, that rainbow was a gift and a reminder of sacred presence. It comforted me unlike anything else could.

    I'm picking up what your putting down here, girl. Thanks for the story.

  4. Awesome story. And you could never be stabby!

    Rainbow ponies for everyone, stat.

  5. Is it alright to get teary - coz that's just what happened as I read this post:) God is so good isn't He!

  6. Rainbow ponies WOULD be pretty awesome.

    Amy--gosh, I don't know if I ever heard you tell about the rainbow that day. But man, watching in horror as that van slid off the road and tipped over is just seared in my memory. What a day! And even as frightening as it was, God took such good care of all of us. Miss you!

    Rosemary, aww shucks. It isn't easy to make you cry! ;) xo

  7. I love it. For me, it's been the occasional shooting star. It'll find you even when you're not looking for it.

  8. The Lord supplying you with your personal rainbow doesn't surprise me at all. For years I have thought that if I had a wet ox that I needed to be consumed by Heavenly Fire, you were my go to gal. But then, I think He lets you win at Goofy Golf, too.

    PS. My word verification was "tellamyisaidhelloJHWH" See!!

  9. Dad, I nearly choked on my morning tea when I read that. You are hilarious! Xo

  10. And I never win at goofy golf! But I guess it's the proverbial thorn in my flesh.

  11. Our dad just made a word captcha joke. How is he this hip? It is wrong.

  12. just popped over from joyfulmum - love your blog. Rainbows are just beautiful - I saw one the other day driving home and it was so pretty.

  13. I think "stabby" is my new favorite description for my most frequent mood. :-)

    I love this story. It just reminds me that I often lose perspective, too, and it only takes something small to regain it.

  14. Thank you for sharing this Amy! It hits home for me right now because that is exactly where I'm at with God... trying to trust that even though I don't know what the future holds, I gotta believe He's got it all taken care of. Love and Miss you!