Spring and Rainbows

Spring and Rainbows

There have been a few defining moments in my faith that have forever affected how I live.  These moments are simple ways in which God powerfully reminds me that he IS real and he IS in control.  They are not clanging gongs or loud claps of thunder, no nothing as obvious as that.  These moments have been quiet, simple and beautiful.  A moment that passed between just God and me.  A moment that will never leave my soul.

The first was in 1994.  My life had become a series of unfortunate events.  Bad choices in men.  Bad choices in my career.  Bad everything.  I was having a seriously grumbly moment on a Sunday evening so I took my dog, Fenway, for a walk.  As we strolled through my parents’ neighborhood (yes, I was 26 and living at home again.  Don’t judge.), the skies were dark, filled with leaden clouds that weren’t so threatening as they were annoying.  They had hung around all day and just brought with them an all-pervasive gloom.  At least for me.  I was crying, frustrated, angry, depressed—a complete smorgasbord of emotions.  Finally, out of sheer and utter frustration, I looked up to the heavens, an angry countenance on my face, and said out loud, “God!  Are you even there?”  I waited.  I actually waited for it.  You know what “it” I’m referring to—the loud booming voice of God saying, “Why yes, Lynette, I am here.  How may I help you?”  Or at the very least, that answering clap of thunder or bolt of lightning.  What did I get?  Nothing.  That’s right.  NOTHING.  The clouds sat there and mocked me with their stony faces and continued moving along, almost pitying me and my puny, mortal existence.

I knew it.  God didn’t care.  He was too busy elsewhere, he was punishing me, he was irritated with me, he was on the other line…who knew.  I just knew it was as I had suspected…I was on my own for this struggle.

The next morning, I got up and began preparing for the drudgery of another work at a mindless job in a pointless existence.  I walked outside and started to get in my car.  For some reason, I looked up again.  The clouds were still there, but the sun had poked through.  When I looked up, what did I see?  A rainbow.  I almost dropped everything in my hands.  A rainbow!

I just stood there and suddenly felt this dumb grin creep across my face.  How typical of God.   We expect loud proclamations of his glory and he brings about a simple, silent moment of beauty.  Sort of like a baby born in a manger…

I made it through that day with that same grin on my face, coupled with no small amount of guilt for being so foolish the night before.  God blessed me that day.  But he wasn’t finished.

The next morning, I was blow-drying my hair.  The joy of the day before was long gone and the doubts and fears were lurking at my door again.  I remember how I had my head down to dry the underside of my hair and I prayed, “You know, God, I don’t deserve it (at least I got that part right!), but if you could send me another rainbow, I would sure appreciate it.”  Not expecting much (aaaand there she goes, another mistake!), I got dressed and headed out the door.  I looked up, hoping but not believing and what to my wondering eyes did appear?  Yep.  A rainbow.  I don’t remember but I’m pretty sure, knowing me, there were tears involved.

I got to work that morning and told my friend, a fellow believer, about the last two mornings.  She looked at me with this knowing grin on her face and said, “Oh, so you’re one of those who requires a 2 by 4 against the back of the head to get it, huh?”  Apparently.  But God STILL wasn’t finished with me.

Every single day that week He gave me a rainbow each morning before work.  Every. Single. Morning.  By Saturday I was well and truly on my to becoming a different person.

That Saturday, I met a friend at Busch Gardens for the day.  When I got on the tram to get to my car in the parking lot, it had been raining but was starting to clear.  The tram turned a corner and lo and behold…there it was.  A double rainbow.  Double!!  I could almost see God sitting up in heaven saying, “Now top THAT oh you of little faith!”

That week sent me on a path that brought me to where I am today.  Two months later I moved out of my parents’ house to a new state and city, started a new job and met my future husband.  All by January 15th.

Fast forward 21 years.  I am suddenly divorced, living with my daughter, her boyfriend, his puppy and her best friend.  Not to mention my 2 cats and 3 dogs.  My small house keeps shrinking.

I doubt my decisions every day.  I live on a perpetual roller coaster ride.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I vehemently dislike roller coasters.  I go up and down between contentment, peace, happiness, joy and despair, heart-shattering sorrow, pain, anger, jealousy, depression.

I read my Bible every day.  I pray fervently.  I plead, I beg, bargain, anything I can think of to get God’s attention.  I no longer foolishly expect him to send me a booming thunderclap.  No, no.  That’s for children.  I expect much more now.

Music has always been my main source of worship and connection with God, especially in my darker times.  Post-divorce, this has been exceptionally true.

I have a playlist on my iTunes called “Encouragement.”  Self-explanatory.  I hit shuffle every time I turn it on, and I believe in my heart of hearts that God uses the song choice to speak to me.  Lately, he has been using a list of songs that continually play, regardless of how many times I hit shuffle.

The first one is “I Look To You” by Whitney Houston.

As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I’m lost without a cause
After giving it my all

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I’ve been through
Who on earth can I turn to

I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song
I look to you

About to lose my breath
There’s no more fighting left
Sinking to rise no more
Searching for that open door 

And every road that I’ve taken
Lead to my regret
And I don’t know if I’m gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song
I look to you

My levees are broken
My walls have come
Tumbling down on me
The rain is falling
Defeat is calling
I need you to set me free
Take me far away from the battle
I need you
Shine on me

I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song
I look to you

The next ones include “Praise you in this Storm” and “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns, followed by “Be Still” by Evie, “I’ll Keep My Eyes on You/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by  Cynthia Clawson, and lately, “Manifesto” by The City Harmonic, which is essentially a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.  I’m starting to think God is trying to teach me how to pray.  And finally, a song by Stephen Curtis Chapman, written during what was surely the darkest hour of his life, after his daughter was accidentally and tragically killed by his son.

“Spring is Coming” is my latest defining moment.  It’s akin to the rainbow.  Lately, almost every time I turn on my encouragement playlist, it is the very first song that comes on.  The very first.  I love Spring.  It was always my favorite season up north.  The freshness in the air, the first warmth on the breeze after months of biting cold winter winds, the beautiful pinks, whites, yellows, greens, of new life as it wakes up from a long winter’s nap.  It’s the promise of sunlight, long, warm summer days; t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops; late evenings sitting on the back porch with friends in the candlelight; the feel of the grass under bare feet; the sounds of kids’ laughing and playing outside well after the streetlights have come on.  Spring is hope.

That’s why the words to this song have resonated with me.  I have felt like God is reminding me “Relax, kiddo.  I got this!”

“Spring is Coming” by Steven Curtis Chapman

We planted the seed while the tears of our grief soaked the ground
The sky lost its sun, and the world lost its green to lifeless brown
Now the chilling wind has turned the earth hard as stone
And silently seed rise beneath ice and snow
And my heart’s heavy now
But I’m not letting go of this hope I have that tells me

Spring is coming, spring is coming
And all we’ve been hoping and long for soon will appear
Spring is coming, spring is coming
It won’t be long now, it’s just about here

Hear the birds start to sing
Feel the life in the breeze
Watch the ice melt away
The kids are coming out to play
Feel the sun on your skin
Growing strong and warm again
Watch the ground – there’s something moving
Something is breaking through
New life is breaking through

Spring is coming, spring is coming
And all we’ve been hoping and long for soon will appear
Spring is coming, spring is coming
It won’t be long now, it’s just about here

Spring is coming
(out of these ashes, beauty will rise)
Spring is coming
(sorrow will be turned to joy)
And all we’ve been hoping and long for soon will appear
(all we hope for soon will appear)

Spring is coming
(out of the dark clouds, beauty will shine)
Spring is coming
(all above in heaven rejoice)
It won’t be long now, it’s just about here
(Spring is coming soon)
(Spring is coming soon)

So I have been clinging to the hope of Spring.  I have been holding out that it will be here soon.  God is telling me, “hold on a bit longer.  It’s all coming together now.  Just be still and know.”

So I wait for spring.  Now if he’d just throw in a rainbow or two….

About Administrator

Divorced. Mom. Friend. Writer. That's who I am.
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6 Responses to Spring and Rainbows

  1. Ruth Bishop says:

    Beautifully written!

  2. Marcy says:

    Love this Lynette!! God lives in my shuffle too as well as my Pandora. The disappointment I feel with life is staggering sometimes but then God lets me know that he sees me. Mostly, it’s good enough for another day. Here’s one of the songs that’s on my ‘in a way’ playlist. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ouLgCRP-U-I

  3. Rebecca says:

    We are cut from the same cloth. Steven Curtis Chapman has always been a favorite, no, in fact, my very favorite. He writes the way my heart hears God best: with music, with words of honesty in struggles and in triumphs. I, too, have been found eyes closed, head back, soaking in his music and the words God has given him. (http://www.lynettesnell.com/2013/02/27/spring-is-coming/) I love you dearly, and I await in eager expectancy with you as God’s plan for your life continues to unfold.

  4. Administrator says:

    I love how I know I’m not alone in my struggle. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Administrator says:

    I love you, darling girl!

  6. Administrator says:

    Love you, mom!

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