Thursday, July 16, 2015
Weathering the Storm
About two years ago David and I were in the thick of our cancer storm. I was still not in remission after a few types of chemo and we couldn't move forward to a stem cell transplant without a complete remission. Staying active was one way we coped, so we decided to take our two dogs and head out to Haw Ridge for a hike. We had looked at the weather, but thought we could beat the storms that were coming later in the afternoon. When we arrived at the trail head that morning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and we were looking forward to our time together.
We hiked about 2 miles in and everything was going well. We spent some time reflecting on where we were and discussing what we hoped would happen in the future. We had just started to head back when we heard some thunder in the distance. We picked up our pace a bit as we saw lightning paint the sky. When the rain started, we just looked at each other and laughed. We were grateful to get a little relief from the heat.
The mood changed quickly, however, as the rain increased and the lightning and thunder became louder. We heard a few trees fall in the distance and our anxiety increased a bit. By this time we were still over a mile away from the trailhead and the safety of our car. The rain was so heavy that a rushing stream had formed where the trail once was making it almost impossible to continue going safely. There was no shelter in sight and we were literally stuck in this storm. The dogs were nervous and David and I were uncomfortable, but we decided to just wait it out. We figured it would pass quickly like most summer storms do.
Then things got worse when the hail began. We looked at each other in disbelief and I saw concern on my husband's face as we hard another crack of lightning and a tree fall, this time not too far from us. The hail was about the size of a pea, maybe a bit larger, and didn't feel great on my bald head!
I gathered the dogs at my feet and did my best to arch my body over them so they would be protected from the hail. David did the same over me. We kept watch in opposite directions for falling trees. It was pretty intense, but I felt safe huddled there with my little family! We prayed that the storm would pass and like all storms, it did.
The hail stopped and the rain slowed down. As it was stopping, we made our way down the slippery trail back to the car. When we were almost to the end, we rounded a bend and went up a small rocky hill. The sight before us was literally one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. We stood in silence as we watched the sun burst forth from the clouds. I will never forget the way the golden light fell on everything before us and what the Lord spoke to my heart in that moment. David grabbed my hand and we exchanged tearful looks. The summer storm that took us by surprise and kept getting worse when we thought it would get better had passed. We knew in that moment that our storm wouldn't last forever either and what waited on the other side of it would be even more beautiful than the sight we saw that day. I went on to get remission and then relapse again. Our storm got worse after that day, but I have held onto that memory for the last two years, hoping and praying that I would see the things the Lord spoke to my heart that day.
With the recent clear scan, I finally feel like the sun is breaking through the clouds. I can see it. We are stepping out again, eyes blinking, cautiously praying that good weather lies before us.
The storm has changed us. It has brought us closer together. It has transformed the way we see life and see each other. I am grateful for the storm because I am not the same person I was before it came.
I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I could not have survived it without my husband. David you have protected me, walked with me, hurt with me, celebrated with me, and loved me through a very long and difficult storm. You have literally become my umbrella at times when I couldn't stand the rain. You have watched for falling trees and sheltered me from hail. I am so grateful for the gift that you are to me and I am looking forward to the sunny days ahead. I don't know what all lies ahead of us, but the clouds are breaking my love and I'm so glad to have you by my side.
Happy Five Years. Here's to many, many more!