In the past 5 days, I’ve been to a family reunion, watched my cousin and her husband perform in a play, have spent time with all of my nieces and nephews on both sides of the family (including my newest nephew Connor!), and worked on a home improvement project – all on top of all the normal wife & mom stuff!
It’s been busy, but good!
And like nearly everything in life, it’s so easy to look at someone else’s highlight reel and feel sharp pangs of loneliness or heartache because we see something someone else has that we feel will never be ours.
But we don’t see the mess lurking around the corner.
I know that when I post before & after photos of my fixer-upper, nobody else can see how exhausted my family was from that project, or how much strain it put on us. It’s not that I’m trying to hide those things, it’s just that those things can’t fully show up in a photo or a caption.
We don’t necessarily see that family members are quarreling but they smiled for two seconds for a photo. Or that they used to feel like enemies but have done a lot of work to have a good relationship.
Nobody else sees the storms, and even if they do, they might think those storms look beautiful.
Because storms really are breathtakingly beautiful, from a photo. Even though we know what a storm is, we forget about the wind, the crashes of thunder, the slight to extreme fear if we’re caught outside in a bad storm. We only see the beauty in the photo and that’s what we focus on.
It’s so easy to see a photo of someone else’s life storm and think their storm is more beautiful, or more fair, than ours.
It’s easy to think we have the hardest lot.
To grow bitter.
To wonder why God didn’t protect us from the pain of the storm we’re currently weathering.
But Jesus didn’t promise to prevent the storms – He promised to be a refuge in time of storm.
“… in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.” Psalm 57:1 ESV
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
If you’re going through your own difficult storm right now, I hope you remember the God who created the universe, the One who is the King of kings, loves you so much. He didn’t give you a storm to punish you or because you deserve something bad. These storms come because the world is a broken, fallen place.
But that doesn’t mean we’re loved any less or that joy and peace have to allude us.
Sometimes, the storms in our lives give us an opportunity to lean more deeply into Jesus, to let our hearts connect closer to Him.
You are loved, friend. Not because of your storm. Not in spite of your storm. But because the God of the universe created you in His image.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 ESV
Friend, I ugly-cried when I listened to this Out of the Ordinary podcast episode with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy. If you’ve ever wondered why God didn’t protect you or your child from a horrible storm, I hope you’ll drop everything right now and listen to the episode about when your worst fear comes true.