The ground beneath our feet was soft and slippery, from yesterday’s rain. The muddy swirls of the earth’s black sediments and the chocolate desert dirt, all mixed together deliciously like a caramel brownie. The best kind. Don’t forget the pecans on top.
The chill in the air, just enough to make San Diego feel cold. Just enough to make it feel like Christmas Eve. The heavy clouds a treat, for a girl who loves weather. The whipping wind the perfect winter song, dancing through the trees.
We had a mile left to go. We had made it up and down the big hills. You’d think the hardest part was over, but our lungs were only sort-of cooperating with the brisk air and the sort-of newness of running again.
We could have made it on our own. We would have made it. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as perfect.
Right when my legs + lungs started heckling my determination to keep going, Christmas came early.
At first, it was just a drizzle. And then, big, fat drops kissed the tops of our heads. Fresh water. Fresh perspective. A chore quickly morphed into a treat.
The rain fell freely, with a mind of its own. First softly, then wildly, sideways and dancing with some hail. Happily. Surprisingly. My heart skipped and I felt like I could run forever.
We breezed through that last mile, energized, laughing at the rain. Smiling at Jesus with grateful hearts. His sweet surprises always coming when we least expect them. When we’re tired and running and grasping for perseverance, He shows up and unlocks heavy clouds, pouring grace + kindness into our lives, refreshing our weary souls.
Christmas isn’t always easy. Those missing, whether lost loved ones or those you haven’t met yet, well they leave gaping holes this time of year. And the ups and downs, those demanding hills, you’d think the hardest part is over once your muddy shoes have pushed their surfaces behind you.
You’d hope for that.
But what we hope for pales in comparison to what He has for us.
A beautiful, mud-swirled life of character-changing events. Just when you think you have your rhythm, your own beat + way, just when you think you can make it on your own, your legs + lungs have a tendency to give out. We weren’t meant to do it on our own. We weren’t designed to pave our own way.
That Christmas Eve rain was a shining star, a reminder to keep going.
We don’t always know how we’re going to get to the end, but if we keep running, trying, seeking, doing, getting out of bed…something or someone will show up, some door will open, some seemingly dark + heavy cloud will unleash a reviving rain. The next step. Patience. Endurance. Whatever it is we might need.
As the puddles filled + expanded and those big, fat drops soaked the tops of our heads, we made it to the parking lot. I could have stood there, in the rain, forever. But Jesse was hungry and actually, there wasn’t much left coming down.
The heavy clouds lifted, and a wispy, painter’s sky took its place. We drove away, out of the park and there she was, just as I was wishing this adventure in the rain would last forever, a final surprise…
A promise that this won’t be the last time He delivers way more than I think I need, so much more than I could ever hope for.