Storms of Life...The Big Hailstorm
Storms of life…They come in so many forms, in so many levels of severity. This summer has kind of been full of storms for our family. For the first half or so of the summer we were dealing with the aftermath of a literal storm. On the night of June 18th we were hit with a massive storm with baseball-sized hail. It was terrifying. We heard the hail coming; Aaron had gone outside to cover the garden with some blankets, and he heard this weird noise that he mistook for semis on the highway at first. He quickly realized what it was, and had me poke my head out to hear it. It was almost a roaring sound, and as it got closer we could hear it hitting and shattering things. Aaron pulled me in right before the first balls struck the concrete. We stood at our sliding glass door watching for a few moments until the ping pong balls turned to baseballs, and we ran upstairs to get our babies away from the windows, ripping them out of bed.
The sound was deafening, and we could only watch as our home and cars were pounded. There was of course a ton of damage, our van’s rear window was shattered out, as was the sunroof. Aaron’s windshield was cracked all over, and both vehicles have massive dents all over. Our roof, shed roof, air conditioner, and various other things around our home were hit pretty hard as well. When the auto insurance adjuster came, he told us both cars would likely be totaled out. The days that followed the storm were stressful; countless phone calls to the insurance, rental car companies to track down a vehicle along with the hundreds of other Coloradans in need of a temporary vehicle. It felt nonstop. Aaron drove his car, even though he probably shouldn’t have because the windshield was so bad, but the van was completely inoperable, so the kids and I were stranded at home, in desperate need of groceries.
It was easy at times to let the stress start to overtake us and be a little on edge with the kids and each other. We know it’s important to not let our emotions overtake us, but seriously, it’s hard sometimes. It’s so much harder to not snap at your kids when you’re dealing with the 800th phone call of the day. It’s hard not to get frustrated about having to eat a peanut butter and jelly tortilla roll up for lunch again, because we can’t get to the store. But then conviction hits, and you realize that at least we get to eat something. And you realize that yeah, there’s quite a bit of damage, but we’re all okay, which is the most important thing. And you remember that God has all of this under control; it was a surprise to us, but not to Him.
...But then you realize that replacing two cars is not going to be cheap, even with insurance money, and I was on summer break from work, and Aaron had to leave work early a few days to deal with the fallout from the hail. I won’t lie, it’s hard sometimes to remember that in the midst of chaos. It’s easy to lose track of who God is, and the promises He makes us. Promises like “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). It’s easier to look up and be like, “why, God? Why are you doing this or letting this happen? If you were really for me, this wouldn’t be happening.” I used to think that thoughts like that, doubt, meant you have a lack of faith, but now I’m starting to realize that God’s love and grace is so much bigger than our doubt (and baseball-sized hail).
Faith isn’t the opposite of doubt, faith is choosing to believe God’s goodness in the very midst of doubt. When life seems to be crashing in around you, it’s perfectly normal to question what God is doing. It’s okay to look at God with your hands out and be like, “what the heck God?!” But then follow it up with “I know you’re good and you love me and I’m really trying to trust you right now, but this seriously sucks! And I’m not cool with it at all, but here it is Lord, you’re gonna have to figure it out because there’s no way I can, so here you go.” And let Him have it, all of it. Your doubts, your fears, your anger, your questions. Wave the white flag of surrender, and rest in knowing that He can handle all your doubt and emotion. Faith and trust aren’t the opposites of doubt; oftentimes, especially in the storm seasons of life, doubt allows our faith and trust in God to truly bloom.