[Guest Post by April McCullohs] I was sixteen when I stepped outside baggage claim and into the West Palm Beach air.
The sky had caramelized over, burnt brown and swollen with moisture, so thick it stuck to your lungs, and all I could remember was Dad’s promise that the skies here were crisp and blue, a far cry from the California haze we were accustomed to.
Fires had driven away the blue this week, Dad told us, on our drive to the townhouse.
Welcome to Florida, I thought.
It rained every day that July. At precisely 3:14 p.m.
And with the rain came lightning, the likes of which we had never witnessed before.
From the dock, we would watch the clouds roll in, pregnant with charcoal underbellies. The electrons would excite and flash across the skies, sometimes all at once, as if a light fuse had just burnt out; at other times, stretching from one end of grey to the other, long spidery fingers reaching, revealing networks and channels of energy, a map of the heavens, my grandmother’s varicose veins.
We were virgins to this phenomenon;
it was pure magic.
When the storm grew too close to the dock, thunder and lightning transpiring simultaneously, we’d get out the lawn chairs and watch from the garage, garage door pulled back like a velvet theater curtain, and the show would commence.
It was a rough transition, the move from California to Florida. My junior year of high school would start within weeks, and with it, a strange and difficult world to navigate, but the memory of my first lightning summer would stick with me.
Somehow, it spoke of promise.
Fourteen years later, the husband and I would venture out for the first time as a family, moving from Florida to Virginia. Anticipation filled my heart as we drove through state lines and the grey skies that welcomed us were acceptable, even romantic, those first few weeks.
And then the adrenaline wore off.
This Californian-born, Florida-transplanted, girl was in serious need of some warmth, in more ways than one.
On one particular morning, when my spirits were about as high as the clouds that wouldn’t lift, something outside caught my eye. It was a daffodil, growing around the base of the oak in our front yard.
And it had friends, about to bloom alongside.
Over the next several weeks, daffodils sprung up all over town. Their brazen yellow hues waged war against the grey, prophetically declaring that something better was coming, and soon.
Spring was on its way.
This is the way God works,
granting tokens of promise,
symbols of hope that speak to something better.
The Land of In-Between is a place every child of God must know. We’re pilgrims, after all, sojourners in this world. Were it not for unmet desires, for unfulfilled dreams, for unanswered longings, we might just settle here, content with a life full of blessings.
So, the promises are given.
And some of them will be fulfilled in this lifetime,
while others are destined to meet their glorious purpose on the other side.
In the meantime, we are to lift our eyes,
to not despair,
to press on and watch for
the lightning, the daffodils, the scripture and the Spirit,
the beauty of the now that whispers sweetly of glory to come.
April McCullohs has too many dreams for one lifetime. She lives in Virginia
with her two boys, Carter (5) and Walker (2) and her husband, Neal. They
eagerly anticipate their third child coming this October. April blogs at
aprilmccullohs.com, where she wrestles with the tension between this broken
world and the coming kingdom of God. She’d love to hop on a plane and start
a women’s clinic in Haiti, but for now, there’s burnt oatmeal to be scraped
out of breakfast bowls.