Sometimes it rains very, very hard. And you don’t feel the rain falling. Maybe because you needed the rain or you were thirsty. Maybe you had your umbrella. Maybe you planned to play in the rain and the heavy drops don’t hold you back. Sometimes it rains hard and you don’t even feel the rain falling.

And, sometimes, you feel the storm coming. You are not thirsty and you have no plans for dancing. You wrap your arms around yourself and wait to see if you will still be standing when the rain stops.

I haven’t held onto myself in a long while. It is the kind of bracing that empties you of the buffers that usually are your strengths. You acknowledge fears and the truth as they are within you. You are spilled out so you know that, at this moment, there are not any more layers to peel back. This is a kind of core. This is the center of yourself that you are trying to hold together as the storm blows closer. While I hold on to myself, I press the tissue down in a crumbled ball on my nose and lips. I see that can’t hold back while I hold on. I don’t move, I just stand. I think to myself that, if there is a place to be standing, holding on to myself, it would be okay for that place to be the sanctuary of the house of God.

That is where I am. That is where I plan to be while I brace for this storm. While I watch the clouds of my fears roll in and swell up with water. While I anticipate the thunder and lightning. I do not know what my life will look like after the storm passes. I do not know what my life will look like after the storm passes.

I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. Jeremiah 5:22

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope …” Jeremiah 29:11

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