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As I was getting the kids ready for bed they were looking out the window and saying mommy what is different about tonight? Why does it look like morning time when its supposed to be bedtime? And then I looked up and the sky was lit up, not only with beauty but with intense light. So Avery and I opened the back door and I bent down, put my hands around her belly, my head placed on her shoulders and we gazed at the skyline together in pure amazement. I whispered in her ear, “Can you see the beauty of God’s creation?” “Can you see how blessed and thankful we are to have a God that creates and brings us so much beauty, even after the gloomiest and darkest of days?” We gazed a little longer and then came back inside to go to bed. After I said goodnight I got on facebook and my feed was overtaken with stunning, breathtaking photos that people had captured of the amazing sky, from all different areas, angles and perspectives, where light was shinning through the darkness and where you saw Gods creative masterpiece of beauty at its finest.

Isn’t it amazing after a heavy storm, when things are brought to the surface, when there is damage and flooding, things broken and “unfixable”God shows us an amazing picture reminding us he is ever so present, never leaving us nor forsaking us, and that he is right there with us guiding our every step? And isn’t that true after a heavy storm hits our lives and rocks our souls?? When things get brought up, shaken and when we feel as though we are drowning in a sea of defeat and emotions. When the unthinkable happens and we don’t know how we are going to get through the next minute non the less the next day. When our world is shattered and we have been on bended knee before the Lord, pleading and begging with him to show up and change the outcome of the story. Isn’t it then when the eye of the storm has hit, when we are at our darkest, most broken hour, when we are face down in the yuck of the mud that suddenly we see this bright light shinning through the darkness and in a split second we look up and the sky is magnificent. God shows up, our souls are refreshed and we see the beauty God has placed before us. It’s after the heaviest gut wrenching storms enter our lives that God shows up in powerful ways and we can slightly understand and get a small glimpse of his purifying perfection.

This doesn’t mean when the storm ends the rubble is gone, things are miraculous fixed, healed and restored. No, all that takes time and work and an intentional mindset to allow yourselves to be transformed, allowing God to be God and allowing him to create a beautiful masterpiece within you, turing your ashes into beauty. No one enjoys the storms of life or even riding them out because our timing and Gods timing doesn’t always match up and you never know how long or heavy the storm is going to get. Sometimes the rain keeps pouring down, getting heavier and heavier and you think to yourself there is no way I will ever make it out of this. You cry out to God, you reach your hands up to him to grab you, rescue you, anything, but there is nothing and you feel deserted and alone. Your hope grows dim and the the darkness gets darker. But hold on and hold on tight because I can promise you this. No matter how far down you are in the storm, no matter how heavy the rain is falling and no matter how many crackling, house shaken, piercing hits of thunder you encounter, you need to hold onto this truth. God is with you every step of the way. Even when you feel as though he is no where to be found and he has left you to drown, He is there. He is hope, He is life, and He is love. No matter how discouraged you may feel don’t give up, persevere, fight do whatever you need to do because when the storm is coming close to an end you will begin to see the glistening light shining through your darkness. You begin to see something different that immediately opens your eyes and restores your hope, giving you a reason to keep on going. You begin to find your way out of the high waters, you stand your feet on level ground and begin creating a new normal for yourself. You know there maybe some mud piles you sink into as you make your way out of the storm but as you trek through them you will begin to run with such strength and perseverance because you know the eye of the storm is finally over and what you see ahead of you is so breathtaking that you fall down in awe of what God has done in and through you.  You look back at all the pain, anguish, heartache and sleepless nights you encountered and then turn your head back towards him, giving HIM nothing but praise and glory because HE carried you through and brought you something so much bigger than you could have possibly wanted or imagined. His purifying work through you during your darkest hour is what now brings healing and restoration to your soul. It carries you through, brings you hope, brings you life, and brings you closer to HIM. Rest in that truth.

Be still and know I AM GOD.

Picture by Courtney Magouyrk.. #unfiltered