A few weeks ago, when we were flying home from St. Louis, skies were blue and clear and beautiful above the clouds. As we started our descent down back home to Philadelphia, we hit turbulence.
It was pretty rough turbulence, as we were flying through a storm with grey rainclouds all around us – we totally lost our picturesque sky blue painting from above and were totally immersed in bleakness as the plane bumped its way down toward our final destination.
You could see passengers start to tense up as the seatbelt sign flashed and the captain instructed everyone to remain seated and buckled up. Really, it felt like a totally different flight in that instant as the sky shifted and the view changed.
Now, if you’ve been hanging out with me here for awhile, you’ve likely caught onto my lovelovelove of metaphors/analogies/etc, so let’s get into that headspace for a hot sec, shall we? 😉
In the storm, we see the storm.
In flying above the storm, everything elevates – our mood, our circumstances, our reality.
It’s a totally different viewpoint – often, one that is brighter, vaster and more indicative of how things are most of the time versus in a moment in time.
The clouds change – our God doesn’t.
Sometimes it rains, and when it rains it pours. In times of turbulence, our sole focus becomes survival – deep breaths, prayers for peace, fighting off visions of the worst case scenario that fly into our brain space like unwelcomed party guests.
But God’s perspective is the bigger picture – the beautiful life above the clouds that He specifically created and curated for us. There’s a powerful message, I think, in really sitting with that thought. That the permanence of our sky is of blueness, goodness, stillness – the sometimes unpredictable, sometimes volatile clouds move in…and then move out.
Our position informs our perspective; when we’re under the clouds or feeling the rain, it’s hard to imagine anything else because it’s not that moment’s reality. But just because it’s not that moment’s reality doesn’t mean the good stuff before, after, and even in the midst of the hard stuff isn’t just as real.
God knows the storms suck, but they simply can’t compete with the vast sunshine a little higher up. We just have to be willing to buckle up, stay seated through the turbulence, and keep the faith that He’s going to carry us through it all – no matter how bumpy it gets on the way.
Our last flight reminded me of a story my friend Rachel’s pastor told some time ago, and how freaking TRUE it rings.
On one particular past flight, he was on a plane, waiting on the runway to take off. He looked out the window and it was raining, cloudy, and the skies were grey. The captain came over and encouraged everyone to make sure their seat belts were tightly fastened for the turbulence they were expecting because of the weather.
They took off, and sure enough, they hit turbulence as they flew through the weather. But it didn’t last long. Soon after, they broke through the cloud layer and were greeted with clear weather, blue skies and even sunshine.
Life’s the same.
We often forget that where we are isn’t all there is.
We forget that just after the turbulence is clear skies.
We forget that the sunshine is happening at the same time as the dreary weather – it’s just our position that keeps us from seeing one over the other.
I always have + always will believe that SO MUCH IN LIFE is dependent on our perspective. Our entire life experience, really. Until I’m blue in the face I’ll say that whether the glass is half full or half empty, the volume inside is exactly the same – feelings aren’t facts. It’s a constant thing I remind myself of so that my emotional reaction never supercedes or clouds reality. So while we all have “our truths,” those are little t truths in the grand scheme of our lives, which also has some Big T Truth. Feeling fat doesn’t mean you’re actually fat, just like feeling ugly doesn’t mean you’re actually ugly or feeling stupid doesn’t mean you’re actually unintelligent – those are little t truths working against a Big T Truth of who and what you really are.
It’s not easy, and sometimes, it feels like a constant storm – constant turbulence challenging our mindset and our peace.
But even the midst of the storm, we can buckle up, breathe deeply, and ride it out.
While we can’t always snap our fingers and change our circumstances in the midst of it, just like we can’t change a plane’s path as a passenger, we can only control how we respond while it’s happening. We can freak the F out – or we can consciously fly higher and rise above what’s happening in the moment to remember what’s happening beyond. Heck, we can freak out AND THEN still choose to fly higher – we’ve got the grace to get it right the second time if our brain goes into fight or flight (literally) the first time around. 😉
No matter your storm, buckle up, have hope, know this won’t last forever. Know that there is sunshine on the other side of the clouds.
Are you willing to dig deep, get real with God and be obedient in the midst of the turbulence?
There are clear skies ahead. 🙌🏼
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