Promise Within The Pain

We’re not so different…you and I. Like many of you, I am not a morning person. If you greet me before I’ve had breakfast, you do so at your own peril. I also don’t like to be rushed out the door or told to “hurry up”. (Unless of course it is myself doing the prompting.) And just to name a few more for good measure, I also despise candy, spiders, windy days, amusement park rides that go round and round and laying out in the sun. (My people don’t tan…we burn, peel and freckle. Not always necessarily in that order.) Something else we may have in common, I hate feeling helpless and hopeless. Especially both at the same time.

As many of you know, I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time lately. I have good days, even great days. But every now and then, a less than desirable day will creep up on me if I’m not careful. I had such a day recently.

This past Friday was one of those days. I haven’t seen my children since Christmas and on top of that, my ex husband and I had a conversation, via texting, that really upset me.

When the boys first left, I was originally assured that they would be allowed to at least finish off their current school year before being transferred to a different school. (Their father had made it clear that he intended to switch their schools.) On the weekend however, he had informed me that he had taken both of the boys out of their current schools and that they would be placed in new ones immediately. My oldest being right in the middle of exams in grade 9 and my youngest only 6 months away from being able to graduate with his friends from grade 8. I was SO livid! I didn’t understand. At least let them finish their current year! At least let my youngest graduate with his friends before going off to high school! I felt so helpless, and my Mama Bear was ready to rumble. But, after a couple of messages that were clearly going nowhere, I just put my phone aside and walked away. I figured, no response was better than what I wanted to say and I knew this was bait being used to purposefully upset me.

As I laid in bed that night, I started to have so many thoughts that soon began to overwhelm me. How will they adjust to a new school so quickly? Have I taught them well enough to be able to navigate something like that successfully? Who are they hanging out with? Are they good influences? Have I taught them well enough to say “no” or walk away from things that aren’t good for them? Is everything that I’ve tried so hard to instill into them being undone? Do they still know that God loves them? Do they even give God a second thought anymore now that they’re in an Atheistic home? Will they walk away from God completely? Are they lonely? Hurt? On and on it went. I worried so much that my mind went to some pretty dark places that made my heart feel like it was about to leap out of my chest! I was restless and sick with worry over my children thinking about the worst possible scenarios. In between giant sobs, I prayed over my children and their future. I also prayed peace and joy over myself. And then I ugly-cried myself to sleep that night.

A few mornings later, I was on my way to work. I always listen to music on my way to work and this particular gloomy, cloudy morning I needed some gospel. So I put on some Whitney Houston. Now, I’m no Miss Whitney, but me and my twangy country voice were doing our best, singing along to songs about taking it step by step, having Joy, taking all your cares to Jesus and that help is on the way!

As I was driving down the highway towards work, I looked up in to the cloudy sky, and trying it’s very best to poke through was a glimpse of a rainbow! I kept looking just to make sure it was, in fact, a rainbow. The reason I had to keep looking was because it wasn’t a full rainbow that you normally see after a thunderstorm, in it’s full colourful glory. It wasn’t even half of a rainbow. The clouds were covering the majority of it, except for one small portion that poked it’s way through the gloomy morning. It’s like it was trying to push the clouds away just so it could show just a small glimpse of itself and give us all a wink, as a reminder that it’s still there. It made me smile.

Immediately, I had a thought: Even though the clouds are in the way, God’s promises are still there. Hope is still there. You can’t always see it or feel it fully. You might only catch glimpses of it here or there. But it’s always there. The storms of life will always do their best to cover up the truth. Circumstances or other people are always ready to muddle up a smooth sailing, crystal clear, blue sea. But that doesn’t change the promise. The promise that God hears you and sees you. The promise that He will fight for you. The promise that even when it seems quiet and He is not there, that is when He is most often doing His best work.

Seeing that tiny glimpse of the rainbow reminded me that God is an ever present help in times of trouble. That we may cry at night, but joy comes in the morning. That although I can’t be with my boys the way I would want to right now, that God is still with them. Watching over them. Guiding their steps. I really don’t have to worry once I fully grasp the concept that God is the one that is pulling the strings and calling the shots here. No one else. And that thought alone should be all the comfort and assurance we ever need. Although it’s painful, the promise is still there, as a reminder through it all. And the Promise always has the final say.

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