One of my favorite things in all the world to do is cuddle up with a soft blanket and a good book during a downpour. I love to hear the steady drumbeat of raindrops on the roof; it’s like a lullaby to my spirit. But with all the rain we’ve had in the last week, I feel a little like Mrs. Noah must have felt. “Honey, I know you’re excited to test out your new boat, but isn’t forty days and nights a little extreme?”
Here in Texas, it feels like we’re either in a drought or a flood. Why can’t we find a happy medium? It’s either sweltering, sweat-inducing heat or galoshes and mosquitos. And this week, we’ve added a wicked wind-chill to the mix. I think my skin may prune up from simply breathing the air.
The other day, I left on time for an important appointment. Five minutes into my trip, I hit a low spot where the waters rushed over the road with a vengeance. I didn’t dare drive across. I spent another five minutes doing a series of three-point turns on the narrow path, trying to turn around. Then I had to backtrack and go another five minutes out of my way, just to get around the mess. I was late to my appointment, and for once in my life it wasn’t my fault.
All this to say, I’m ready for sunshine.
There’s a popular song that says, “Bring on the rain; I’m thirsty anyway.” While that’s a nice sentiment, I can’t say I’ve ever asked for that kind of rain. I don’t like stormy times. When it comes to my life, I prefer nice, easy temperatures, soothing sunlight, and fields of daisies. Maybe I’m shallow. Maybe I’m just honest.
And while I have had some beautiful, easy stretches, I’ve gone through my share of emotional tornadoes, as well. I’ve lived through my dad’s battle with cancer; he didn’t make it. I’ve suffered a divorce. I’ve gone through countless other difficulties that are too numerous—or too personal—to mention. And I really don’t understand why life has to be so. Dang. Difficult.
But the other day, in the midst of one of the Texas downpours, Facebook notified me of a quote I shared six years ago. “God doesn’t send the storms to drown us, but to cleanse us.”
It’s true. As I look back on my history, I can see how life’s storms have humbled me. They’ve swept away my self-centeredness and helped me focus more on others. They’ve blown out my greediness and replaced it with gratitude. They’ve washed me and left me gentler, more gracious, more loving.
I don’t know why I’ve not been able to develop those qualities during the easy times. But in reflection, I must admit that I’m grateful for those cleansing storms that have made me a better person. But just for the record, next time I need a good washing, I hope God makes mine a bubble bath.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.