Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Branches in the Yard

‘The sun always comes out after a storm.’

I have thrown out these words throughout the years in my attempt to encourage people who are in a difficult place. I have said this phrase with love, trust, and hope. I have optimistically pointed towards the light at the end of the tunnel without making much out of the tunnel itself.

It is no secret that this summer was a bit of a storm for Brandon and myself. It was a bit of a crazy transition with so much change surrounding us. It challenged us and pushed us to new levels emotionally and spiritually. The winds blew, the rain fell.

And here we are, a couple months into the fall, feeling the rays of the sun.

These past two months have really been great. The Embassy has re-launched and we are having an awesome time working with people, meeting people, and seeing God move in the lives of those who walk through the doors. We have seen God’s blessing on us financially; as of this week we are officially debt free. We have settled into our little apartment with pumpkins scattered around and candles burning. The sun is surely out.

But what I did not realize with this saying is that it does not account for the mess that a storm can leave. It doesn’t account for the weeks, sometimes months of clean up that can take place afterwards. It doesn’t account for the damage that the winds can cause. It is too simplistic, too optimistic.

Although the sun is out, I can still see that the ground around me is damp. There are still some tree branches that litter the yard. There is still some items scattered around.

The sun may be out, but the effects of the storm remain.

And that is okay.

Everyone goes through difficult times, and everyone seems to be okay with that. The problem comes when people take longer than we deem permissible to put their lives back together after the storm. We expect that once the sun comes back out in people’s lives they better have the grass mowed, the branches picked up, and the patio dry within days. But sometimes the damage is greater. Sometimes the clean up takes longer.

Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to look at the mess, feel the dampness, and move the branches around before we can actually know the best approach to move forward. Things may not look the same after a storm.

And so, I find myself bathing in the rays of the sun while still having some branches to pick up around the yard. I am still trying to find my footing, still trying to figure out the best way to clean up, still growing from my experiences.

I am still feeling the effects of the storm long after the last gust of wind blew through.

This week I am putting together a new schedule, I am making room for things that I love. I am allowing time for rest, time to sit with a good book, time for God. I am going to take the time to let the sun warm my face.

But, while I bask in the sun, I will not ignore the branches in the yard.

I will keep picking up pieces, I will keep learning, I will keep reminding myself that cleaning up after a storm is not a quick process.

When a storm hits your life and presses you at all sides, give yourself permission to take some time once it passes to begin working out what it has left behind. Don’t rush the process. Don’t expect yourself to be ‘back to normal’ or have everything together within a couple of days. Don’t stress yourself out over the clean up simply because the sun is peeking through.


Take the time to work out the pieces and rebuild well. Learn something about yourself. Move the pieces around. Grow. Develop. Change. But don’t ignore the mess that will surely be left in the light of the sun.

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