Tonight I went to Wegmans to get some dinner. When I went inside the weather was sunny and warm...unusual for this time of year...so warm I had the air conditioning on in my car. I was inside for only 10 minutes. When I came out, it was raining buckets. The raindrops were the size of peanut m&ms. I stood there thinking "seriously?" I couldn't believe how drastically the weather had changed in just 10 minutes. I waited a minute but the rain only seemed to be getting worse. I could stand there and wait or run to my car. I hesitated because I had flip flops on and I knew my feet would get soaked. I pictured myself slipping and falling. Other people were either waiting under the awning or getting umbrellas from inside. Nobody was in the rain. Everyone was avoiding it. It seemed they were all protected...waiting for someone to drive up to their rescue or having the shelter of an umbrella. I felt completely unprepared for the rain and since I was all alone I had nobody to go and get my car. I decided to run....fast....and in less than 30 seconds I was completely drenched....my hair, my clothes, my feet, my face...all of me. The rain drops were so heavy and I couldn't even try to dodge them. They were big and wet and smacking me in the face. I felt exposed, unprotected, and alone....being the only one who decided to run through the rain.
I got to my car and jumped in as fast as I could. I put my key in and turned on the car. The air conditioning was still on and from being so wet I was freezing. I turned the heat on and just sat in my car feeling happy to have it's protection from the rain. I was also feeling a little annoyed that it seemed I was the only one who got soaked. Everyone else had a better plan and escaped the rain one way or another. I was kind of mad at myself for running through the rain and not coming up with a better plan. I don't know why but I just sat there in my car until the rain ended...about ten minutes. The sound of the rain was soothing, now that I was finally under shelter. It went from pouring and a black sky, to a steady rain with overcast clouds, to light sprinkles with the sunshine peeking through, to no rain with rays of sun shining down again. My wet clothes clung to me and I shivered the whole way home...even though I felt uncomfortable I felt happy that the rain had stopped and I had found shelter and I was able to put warm dry clothes on once I got home.
I sat there thinking of how this last 15 minutes paralleled our adoption pretty accuractely. So many times it has gone from sunny skies and warm temperatures to freezing rain and black skies...all in the blink of an eye. During the adoption process, I have felt alone, exposed, drenched, annoyed, and lacking a "plan" at times. I have looked around to see others who are adopting having an easier time...having a plan to escape the rain...having an umbrella to keep from getting hit with the enormous obstacles falling from the sky....and wondering why it seems I'm the one who keeps getting caught in the storm and having to run for cover. I can relate this to my relationship with God on this journey. Every time a storm comes I try to come up with a plan on my own and end up getting soaked. It usually takes me some time to remember that I have the shelter of the Lord. From the time it takes me to remember this, I get caught in the storm, feeling alone and uncomfortable, but I always find shelter in his arms...although usually not before getting drenched from trying out my own plan. Just like the storm today, every time we've had a "torrential downpour" in our adoption process, the sun has always come back out in the end. I take comfort in knowing that no matter how bad the storm, the sun eventually comes out and dries up any traces of the rain. Even when I get caught in the storm, I'm never soaked forever. God is great and he has been my shelter, he has given me warm, dry clothes to put on after each storm I get caught in. Sometimes it's my own fault I get caught in the storm...but it doesn't matter to him how many times I forget to seek His shelter and cause myself to get caught in the storm...he is always there in the end.