Quite frankly, I have not seen anything like the winds we encountered here yesterday. At least not in the winter, or since moving. It was like watching a National Geographic special on PBS about Antarctica–the winds thrusting the snow all around in fierce fashion. It was pretty insane.
Growing up, it was just a known fact: spring meant wind. And with high drought, and living among potato fields, this meant a lot of dirt, sometimes dirt devils too. Oh, and did I mention that we lived an hour from The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve? From where we lived, the dunes made a tiny gold outline against the San Juan mountains. But entering the park, the dunes are a mass of towering hills of sand. When the wind started to blow, whether you were climbing the peaks or not, often the hot sand would swipe and tingle your arms or legs–not the greatest feeling, but rolling down the dunes was always worth strenuous upward trek.
There are several other notable times when strong winds were evident. Once, during VBS, I was leading the Sing and Play at the end of the day, before our youth pastor took over with the concluding end lesson. The wind that day was so powerful it knocked the power out of most of the town–so there we were…around close to 200 in the sanctuary with no lights, microphones, nothing. Of course most of the kids think it’s great and thankfully it didn’t scare the little ones too bad. I got some help on stage in the vocal area, and we sang a capella before Josh took over–he didn’t need a microphone anyway. On our way home, we passed by a grove of huge trees; one had simply snapped like a twig under the wind.
The summer of 2009, I moved to Denver as that Fall semester would be my last of college days. Between part-time work and volunteering once a week with the street church kids, I was finishing the last of my Gen-Ed courses online (which I enjoyed and should have taken more advantage of earlier…but no regrets.) Me and a few roommates from school rented an apartment a few blocks from campus. We didn’t have internet set, so it was my routine to swing by campus on my way home from work to submit assignments or fill in my two-cents of discussion in the forums.
I had permission from the security office to stay later than when the computer labs closed and often they came around to check on me, which I appreciated very much. One night, it was stormy but I had to submit a paper by midnight. I text my roommate that I would be coming in late so if she was going to bed, don’t bother leaving a light on for me. I get to work and being at the bottom of a drafty stairwell, don’t think much about the wind and rain, until I glance out the window and see massive hail balls pelting my car and the cement. My phone starts vibrating and I start receiving all these texts from my roommates telling me to stay put–the tornado siren had just been heard. Not by me.
I still had my paper to finish, so I moved a chair to the middle hallway’s door and sat under the frame structure. I figured that was the best I could do and continued to type. I submitted my paper by 11:58pm. Barely made it! I was surprised that I even had a car when I went outside; I had parked under the biggest tree on campus which had lost many large branches in the wind. I drove back to my apartment with only a few dents on my hood and minor cracks in my windshield.
Last night I watched a few old episodes of 19 Kids and Counting on Netflix with Mom. One episode we watched was when the Duggars announced their exciting news of expecting another child, but at 18-weeks, Michelle (mom) has a miscarriage. A very heart-breaking episode to watch. As Michelle talked with tearful eyes about their time of mourning and grieving the loss–she also that they would see their little girl again someday in heaven. They were given peace.
One comment that Michelle said stayed with me. I woke this morning deciding that yesterday’s wind was a bit parallel to what she discussed. She simply mentions that if we were given the ability to see into our future, we most likely wouldn’t want to face it, at least not the hardships. So I thought about my own life–if I saw my future ten years ago to what I am now, I wouldn’t (then) want to face this…all the changes the disease has caused. And I can say now that I don’t want to see my future, as much as I have tried to plan my course in the past.
The future is like the wind–invisible; yet I am certain there will be winds of pain and sorrow, but also joy, hope and peace.
Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may beperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:2-6, ESV