running through rainstorms.

Dark clouds gather above with fury and you feel it before you see it so you push your feet to move a little faster as you travel over the trails. Miles away from home, you feel the threat of a storm overhead but you can escape only as fast as your feet allow. You are the only one with that power; the control in an uncontrollable moment. As rain drops fall heavy and wet on the tree tops, reaching through to the pavement and soaking through you. You, your clothing, your skin- the water washes over you. There is no option to stop- to stoop in a bush until the storm passes. You cannot wait it out. You can only adapt and move through the gushing rain, gathering heavier and heavier by the minute. Lightning cracks and thunder roars above you, just above you. You feel a surge in you- a voice: if lightning strikes, it will strike just before me or just behind me. It will not strike me”. Though unfamiliar to you, you recognize a promise from the Lord. That promise gives power and you move swifter and stronger still. Another burst of thunder and rain is now so heavy that it weighs down even your little eyelids. You wipe away a mess of water and mascara and laugh- throw your head back and laugh. There is no other option but moving ahead and filling each space you step into with laughter.  You finally round the last corner, sloshing through a puddle and are splashed with excess water all over your already soaked legs. You laugh again. Adrenaline pumps and you remember how very alive you are. You run up the final hill and into a very concerned boy’s arms- holding a towel and then an “I told you so” look upon his face. Why did you go out in the first place, trying to beat the storm, to outrun it? You couldn’t and it only made you feel promises and laugh and run harder. You moved through the storm because that was your only option. You stand on the other side, on a small porch watching the heavy rain fall, covered in water and grace and smiling from ear to ear.

If only I ran through other rainstorms with the same excitement and adrenaline. If only I saw a long day or a challenging student as a crack of thunder that made me repeat promises and push down harder into the soles of feet. If only I sloshed through criticism and inadequacy with the same giddy laughter. I can’t control this storm, ha, but I can control my motion through it. I can choose to be weighed down by the pounds and pounds of Heaven’s tears pouring over me, or I can soak it up as new mercies and dance through it. The trees around you on a trail stand strong; take on the water and let it fall through their branches. But we were made human; made with the ability to move through the storm.

This is my challenge to myself this school year. In one week, I have already felt small, not enough, exhausted, and empty. That is the nature of fourteen hour days, moving from minute to minute trying to help and teach and coach and listen to girls you just met talk about friendship problems and parents asking your advice for their children. It feels like rain, but it needs to be recognized as storm that is bursting with excitement. It’s not slogging you to stay in place, to huddle and hide. It’s saying MOVE THROUGH. Put on your running shoes and glide. Take the thunder and lightning and promises and with each second the rain falls harder, run faster through it. You will make it to the other side, exhausted and full of laughter. Take that rainstorm into the school with you, into a dry classroom. Face the rainstorm, don’t hide. Run right through it.