Linking up with Kaitlyn Bouchillon and other #fmfpartysnailmail ladies over at Kaitlyn's new space today - head here for more details, and more posts on encouragement!
Last Monday, Adam left for a three week long military school in Louisiana. After seeing him safely off, Brooklyn and I headed to Fayetteville - stopping to check the mail on our way. In it was an #fmfpartysnailmail letter (from Alaska!) that included a sweet note and a little card with a photo of a bird's nest and Zephaniah 3:17 on it, which was a very nice way to begin our trip.
The week started well - a good drive to my parents' house, getting to talk to Adam every night, accomplishing the tasks that I needed to while I was there. Then Brooklyn and I started getting progressively less sleep each night (once because she wanted to snuggle, once because she was having tummy trouble, and finally because she woke up at 2am feeling better and wanting to play). By Saturday we were both exhausted and just needed to be home.
As I started loading up the car, it started to rain. We drove out of it on our way to the interstate, but before us loomed a beautiful, dramatically lightning-splintered black cloud. Because I am of the belief that rain moves so your best bet is to hope you're moving in the opposite direction (which we were) and can get out the other side, I drove on.
For the next 3 hours, we drove between 45 and 60mph (trending toward the lower end of that scale), windshield wipers on full speed, doggedly splashing along and dodging the occasional traffic barrel that had been washed out of place. Overpasses provided enough respite for half a breath, I was tempted to stop in the one tunnel that we went through because it was so peacefully, quietly dry, and the three stretches of construction we encountered were a welcome relief because they did mean stopping for a few minutes.
At one point a wall of pouring rain (and we were already in the rain, this was just rainier) loomed up in front of us while the sun shone tauntingly to our right. I sighed, and felt like I was living a one-afternoon metaphor of how my life's been going lately. It seems like discouragement just keeps pouring down, and the brief breaths and breaks that I'm able to get aren't nearly enough - and when I count gifts or ask God how on earth this is for my good or His glory, then I'm offered the prospect of a bit of hope that ends up not following through.
We finally got free of the clouds and spent the last hour of our journey (what normally takes three took us four) in the fading light of a sun that was in the process of being swallowed up by the storm we were leaving behind. I checked the mail as we pulled in, and found another #fmfpartysnailmail letter - this one from Canada, with a bright, sweet note offering prayers for patience and a little watercolored card bearing the message "Joy comes in the morning."
It was an encouraging reminder that I desperately needed. It took us a day to reset (we were both still worn out yesterday, and my empty-the-fridge-before-leaving-town tactic backfired as we had to visit three different grocery stores before we had the supplies to make a meal) but this morning was noticeably better. We both felt much better, we successfully ventured, I organized and Accomplished Things and pinned that little watercolored reminder to a newly-hung bulletin board, and if you'll excuse me, I need to go make a bowl of rice for us to share for dinner now.
How have you been unexpectedly encouraged?