Rising Above the Storm: Dealing With Pain

Flying Through the StormRecently I flew a transcontinental flight from Seattle to DC on my way home to the Middle East. Rain is never normal in my desert life, but per usual in the Pacific Northwest, the skies were overcast and rain pelted the plane as we boarded.

After stowing my luggage and getting comfortable in my seat, I started reflecting on the recent storm in my life that left my heart a dreary gray and wondering if I would ever feel sunshine again. There were more questions than answers as I wondered if God had left us completely. I wasn’t doubting God’s miraculous powers or his sovereignty, simply wondering why he was silent during a time of such turmoil in my heart.

And then we took off. The rain water rushed past the windows creating rivers that skewed my vision. The plane began to bob up and down as the pilot fought his way through the storm clouds. I couldn’t see where we were going.  All I could do was trust that the pilot was communicating with the control tower to get us safely off the ground.

That’s what life has been like recently. Lots of bumps and bobs with no visibility as I fought for my faith, trusting that the sovereign God I know is good and loves me is in control and has a plan. And then, in the middle of the storm in my heart, I laid my pain at the feet of Jesus knowing he was trustworthy and would handle my heart with more love and care than I ever could.

A Wrinkle in TimeThe relinquishing of my heart propelled me deeper into the storm. The dark clouds completely engulfed me. I, like Meg in A Wrinkle in Time experiencing her first tesserract, worried that this would be my undoing. But just as my plane continued to climb through the storm, my heart began to rise. Eventually those dark clouds gave way to lighter gray and eventually to white clouds as we ascended above the earth.

And then we broke through.

What a glorious moment, looking down over the Cascade mountains as we soared above the storm below. Things look so different from an airplane. The storm is still there, but now a part of a greater picture that no human could ever recreate.

So it is with my life. As I climbed out of the storm, my perspective changed and I was able to see things with clarity. I could sense all the beauty that surrounded me and how my tragedy has changed me. I’m more compassionate. I feel God’s presence deeper. I pray more. I worship more. I see how joy without sorrow isn’t joy at all.

The pain is still with me. It will probably stay with me to some degree for the rest of my life. But there is beauty in pain. There is healing. There is joy.

And my heart feels sunshine again.

What do you do when you face storms in life?

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