Have you ever walked straight towards a storm? Your first clue that it’s coming is the lightening that splashes the night sky in front of you with cracks and creases of white. The clouds are still and somber, but the trees are rustling a particular kind of warning as you pace beneath them. Your stomach clenches and your shoulders tighten, but your spine is made of steel and your path is straight ahead.
When I was seventeen I stood on a cliff call Lover’s Leap and stared into a clear sky knowing I was walking into a storm. That image got stuck in my soul, reminding me that sometimes when you jump, you fall, because you don’t know what it takes to fly.
I think a lot about flying and falling because I’ve done my fair share of both. I care deeply and sometimes care can cut you wide open, sometimes you think it gives you wings only to find that it was a gust of wind that can only carry you so far. And if you fall, then you risk not being able to pick yourself up or worse, put yourself back together again.
And there are days where I stare at the storm, painfully aware of all my broken, bruised edges where I’ve mended what I could from what I was left with when I fell, and wonder how I’ll walk through this rain and wind and sleet without coming undone.
Faith will give you wings, but fear will let you fall. It’s all a matter of how you see the storm. Peter stepped out on the middle of a lake in the pouring rain by the moonlight because he saw Jesus just clearly enough to believe he could walk to Him. And isn’t Jesus where we want to be in the middle of life’s storms, even if it means getting out of the boat and stumbling across some waves? He will always be where the storms are with the promise: “It is I, don’t be afraid.”
So I walk into the storms, shattered sometimes, but spine straight. Sometimes a rainstorm doesn’t make you damaged goods, sometimes it makes you clean. Sometimes thunder is music is lightening is the strobe lights at the concert and God is putting on a show to show that storms can be scary like second chances and spreading your wings at the edge of a whole other cliff, but you better jump, girl, cause this time, you’re gonna fly.