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Rainbows & Rain




"If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

Dolly Parton


Yep, I'm quoting Dolly Parton. I don’t know about you, but that little sentence pretty much sums up various times in my life.


There are moments when storms are raging, storms that can bring on immediate anxiety, worry, and fear. Storms that make me long for sunshine, rainbows, and peace. I personally have journeyed through storms of financial insecurity, loneliness, loss of loved ones, miscarriage, divorce, cancer, and strained relationships.


So, in the midst of storms, how have I found peace?


I have learned to be intentional in acknowledging and seeking Him.


"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)


First, I want to encourage you, don’t pretend it’s not hard. When it hits, acknowledge it. Feel it. Let yourself cry. 


But never sit in it and get stuck.


Letting go of the hurt and frustration creates an empty place that can be filled with joy.


Be filled with Him.


Acknowledge the hard, acknowledge the pain, and acknowledge Him.


Seeking Him leads to discovering that when life has turned everything upside down, anxiety has set in, and it feels like there isn’t anything else to give, there is a choice to make. I can either hide inside and let the fear and anxiety of getting struck by lightning paralyze me, or I can stand out in the rain to be washed free of everything but the comfort of a God who I know and trust would never let me fall.


"He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall.

God is my keeper; He will never forget nor ignore me."

Psalm 121:3 (TPT)

 

I choose to be washed free.


There is a quote by Carlos Castaneda that says, "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."


When I saw this quote, the part that struck me is people work to make themselves miserable.


What? That sounds ridiculous! Why would we work to make ourselves miserable?


When I sat and thought more about it, I realized that we have all been those people at points in our lives, those times when sitting in our misery and anxiety seems like an easier task than finding a place to sit that had a better view filled with peace.


It really is work to be anxious and miserable. How?


Because each morning when I wake up and choose to look at my burdens instead of my blessings, it may not seem like work, but the physical, mental, and emotional stress in that storm is also a lot to endure. For whatever reason, it's a more natural response to our burdens than waking up and focusing on the blessings, but we can be intentional in choosing to change our focus and be filled with His peace.


It takes work to be anxious and miserable, and it takes work to be filled with joy and peace.


We all have seasons when we endure so much rain; and it is during those seasons, my friends, that I encourage you to be intentional in seeing the blessings and seek out all the rainbows you are blessed with during and after the storms.


The rainbows I have been given from the storms I have endured include: a deeper relationship with God, a deeper relationship with my children, a Godly husband for myself and father to my children, the blessing of the years I had with the loved ones I lost, and so many wonderful memories with family and friends that I would not have if the storms hadn’t happened.


One lesson I learned from the anxiety that overcame me after losing my dad and sister is that peace didn’t come from just putting my life in God’s hands. Peace came from remembering that my life is not mine to begin with. It has been His from the beginning, so I must step aside and let Him do His work through me, because I am His.


My job is to pay attention to Him and enjoy the rainbows!


I figure if I'm going to put in the effort either way, I might as well have a pleasant outcome in the end!


Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

~Anonymous

 

Notice the above quote doesn't say that peace in your heart wipes out the noise and the trouble and the hard work. It just makes them bearable. It makes them the background noise to everything that's important...the blessings.


The peace and joy that I receive comes from choosing to look at my blessings more than my storms. The storms can be persistent and rear their ugly heads at times when I don’t expect it; and I also know and believe that if God didn't have a purpose for the storms, He would take them away.


So, it is during the storms that I stand humbly before him and pray that if He has a purpose for me, I want to pay attention so I don't miss an opportunity to serve.


"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you

 and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Isaiah 43:2-3 (ESV)


So in the storms of life, seek and acknowledge Him.


Choose to intentionally see the blessings in the midst of the storms.


Enjoy every rainbow He sends your way. It is His promise of peace!

 

With love and joy,

 

Laura

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