Around this time of year, I always seem to be blessed with a great, beautiful thunderstorm. The first one with significance was my freshman year of college. We were almost done with classes and I remember going into the room of my next door neighbor, who I was thrilled to have as my roommate the next year. We made some tea, opened the window blinds, turned off all the lights, and sat and talked about how our years were wrapping up and what we were excited for in the next year while the rain poured and the lightening dazzled. A year later, I was grieving having to leave my dear roommates, but one thundering night, visited with the sweet girl who would take their place the following year. It was a pleasant time, but also a little sad because I felt like I was losing something, remembering all my expectations from the previous year. Senior year, we were walking back from one of our last times of prayer as a group and the rains poured. We ran back to our dorm and then our brothers convinced us to come back out since we were soaked anyway. We ran around and laughed and played and later I thought about all of the joy I had experienced during the three years and how deeply I was going to miss those lovely, like-minded friends.
This year, I got my thunderstorm at the start of rainy season here in Guadalajara. This time I was alone, processing after a rough week with many pressures and disappointments. I have been separated from many things I love for an extended time. I miss making music with other people. I miss campfires, tubing on the James, and hiking the beautiful hills. I miss having intellectual/theological discussions with people just for the fun of exploring an idea. (I kind of talked my roommate’s ear off when we got home from work because we were both making dinner and I had been thinking about stuff and wanted to talk. I hope she was okay with that.) For this thunderstorm, I turned off the lights in my room and pulled some pillows to the floor and just watched out the windows. I sang a little, prayed a little, waited a little. I asked God for something that I have missed for awhile now. As I thought about how He is the giver of all good things, I realized that maybe I had had an unjust thought that He had been withholding it from me as a punishment. God disciplines those He loves, but He took our punishment on Himself long ago. Perhaps, I have been too uncertain to ask for it again or too afraid that I will not be able to handle it. Either way, I asked. It will be exciting to look forward to next year’s thunderstorm for reflection and see how He has answered.