Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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Praising in the Rain

It’s a rainy day here in Houston. I’m something of a critic of Texas, especially the Houston area. It’s not where I would have chosen to live. In fact, it’s a city I would have put pretty high on a short list of places I specifically would not want to live. But this is where we are. And I’m learning to like it. The people are great, but it has taken a while for us to really find a community here. And Houston is a sprawling city. It’s not pretty. It’s flat. It’s almost always hot. And oh, how I miss the seasons and the accompanying change of scenery.

On a rainy day, though, I can appreciate Texas. Instead of moping and complaining when it’s dreary outside, people are raising their hands in praise to God for the rain, grateful for the water that gives life to dry and barren lands.

Texans know what it means to suffer from periods of drought. We moved to Texas in the middle of a long heat wave two years ago. I think something like 29 of 30 days had seen temperatures over 100 degrees. It hadn’t rained in a long time, and no small amount of rain would be able to refill the dried up lakes and ponds or nourish the soil.

Toward the end of summer, wildfires ripped through the areas north and west of Houston. We were in College Station then, and women in my Bible study talked about how it looked like it was snowing on their land because the ash was falling so thick. Cows were being sent to slaughter early because there was no hay for them to eat. The grass was all but gone from the landscape and they were starving. I took a drive with DH’s grandparents to visit their first great-grandchild and we drove through burned out forests, blackened, looking like a set for a horror movie. I wish I had a picture.

And when it rained? People were praising and whooping and hollering in joy. It was a sight to see.

Gradually the lakes refilled, though most have not yet returned to their predrought levels. And on a rainy day people appreciate that sometimes it takes a good hard rain to make things right.

And it’s a good reminder. When it rains, I appreciate Texas a little bit more. And I remember that we need rain to get us out of a drought.

The rain makes mud and slows traffic and leaves streaks on freshly washed cars. It sometimes knocks out power or breaks off tree branches. It makes a mess.

But it’s a good mess. A mess that leads to growing. A mess that brings new life. A mess that helps us appreciate the sunshine.

Can I praise God for the storm I’m in now because I know that it will lead to something better? Can I thank him for the absolute mess because I trust that it will bring something new and right and wonderful?

Somehow it’s easier on a rainy day to lift my hands in praise.

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Modern Miracles?

I’ve been a negligent blogger lately. I guess if I want to over-analyze, it’s probably not a bad thing. I started the blog because I needed a space to write and air my grievances, a space to heal. And I needed to know I wasn’t the only person out here on this messed up ride called infertility. So the fact that I haven’t felt as compelled lately to post–well, I think it may indicate that my attitude has improved. And it has. The peace I mentioned in my last post apparently wasn’t just a momentary fluke, because I’m still feeling it.

My circumstances haven’t changed. We’re still waiting. And honestly, hoping and praying we’ll end up avoiding actually doing inferitlity treatments. It’s a long shot, for sure, but wouldn’t that be amazing? And I know nothing is too difficult for the LORD.

All this has had me thinking lately about miracles and answered prayers. How many miracles do we ignore completely? How many answers to prayer do we miss because we’re too caught up in the day to day? This season of infertility has called our attention more and more toward how God is moving in our lives all the time, in ways we maybe wouldn’t have called out or mentioned before.

It has been amazing to grow through this difficulty with my best friend. I’ve watched his faith deepen throughout the past several months. He’s thanking God for things I don’t think he would have seen God’s hand in even six months ago. He’s taking more leadership for our family as the spiritual head of our household. I have a tendency to step in and take over, infringing on his leadership, but I’ve been praying that would change, and that DH would really be the spiritual leader of our house. Another answer to prayer?

And little tiny things–like how DH’s car passed its inspection this weekend despite having an indicator light on that best estimates suggest will require a $1000 fix we just can’t afford right now. And how our first two rounds of medicine were free because the insurance company and/or the pharmacy messed up and told us they were covered 100 percent, and they actually went by what they told us despite the fact that it should have cost $500+ each time. And how they billed our most recent round of meds as a $20 copay (by the grace of God!).

There are everyday little things that may seem insignificant, but it is so nice to be reminded that God has not forgotten us. He hears us and he cares about us. He’s in it with us and he knows how he will resolve things for us. What an incredible relief!

Ultimately, it’s a reminder that I’m a benefactor of the ultimate miracle: that God loved me enough to find a way to pay the cost of my sin. Forgiveness: What a miracle.

Miracles really do happen all the time. I pray that I won’t be blind to them in my life. And that seeing miracles–both those that affect me directly and others’ answers to prayer–will strengthen my faith that God is, absolutely, beyond any doubt, able to work the miracle of children in my life should he choose. And if not, it’s not because of any lack on his part. It’s because he has something better planned.

Praise God. The God who heals and hears and IS.