In Oklahoma, it doesn't rain often, but when it does rain, it rains! It pours down like someone standing above my head with a hose.
As the rain was pouring down, the wind began to pick up. Shortly after that, the lightning and thunder started.
It was an all out, big, nasty storm.
The storm lasted all day. It seemed to get worse and worse. The power went off for about 10 seconds. If that was not surprising enough, it went off right as there was a lightning strike, startling me into thinking lightning must have struck the building.
The storm was brutal. Trees swayed in the strong wind, the rain poured so hard that I could barely see beyond 20 feet outside my window, and lightning and thunder roared for hours.
I fell asleep late that night, still hearing wind, rain, and loud thunder.
I was really expecting to wake up to more ugly clouds and gloomy weather. But instead I woke with a big smile as the sky greeted me with absolute beauty.
I then remembered that, that's how Oklahoma weather tends to be. Storms are bad, really bad, but the weather that follows is phenomenal. I am still used to Oregon weather where all I'd see for days, or even weeks, was cold rain and clouds.
When I fell asleep to terrible, and woke to beautiful, I was filled with awe, and reminded of how there is always good just around the corner of every trial.
Sunday morning I began to think about how everyday is truly a new beginning. While Saturday was dark and stormy, the next day the storm was out of sight, and the area was even more beautiful than before.
It reminded me of some of the hardest times in my life, and how even though some very ugly, very stormy events occurred, once it was all over, I could see God's beautiful saving grace through the hard times.
When I became a Christian, I was deep into some terrible addictions and actions. But when I cried out for God to save me, he did not leave me in that dark despair. Instead, he answered my cries, forgot my past, and gave me a bright tomorrow.