The River Jordan and the Cleansing Rain

So this past month hasn’t exactly been an easy one. Who am I kidding? This entire summer has been quite a rocky adventure. This past month, however, has been one mishap, misadventure, fearful excursion, disappointment, and frustration after another. Culminating in my total emotional and mental meltdown yesterday morning, stomping out of one apartment, trudging uphill to the other still-smoke-filled apartment and then storming back downstairs and into my car to drive—somewhere, anywhere other than here. Funny how you can’t really leave yourself behind.

Yesterday morning was a pretty awful exhibition of my own personal immaturity. I drove, allowing my mind to concentrate on the roads, the traffic, the changing scenery, and letting bible stories drift in and out of my consciousness. The one that kept replaying in my head was the story of Joshua preparing to enter the promised land. The part that kept playing over and over was where the Lord tells Joshua to send the priests forward with the Ark, in front of the Israelite people to lead the way across the Jordan River. God tells him, “When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river AND STOP THERE.” The water is high. The water is fast flowing. But unlike when Moses parted the waters of the Red Sea BEFORE they crossed, God wanted Joshua and the priests to step INTO the water, letting the water touch their feet before the waters would part to let all the people pass safely across behind them.

Crying and praying and driving across the backroads of central Texas, I asked God why. Why did I have to step out in faith BEFORE he’d part these waters for me. And anyway, I had stepped out first. We knew this move was the right thing to do. We didn’t know why, but it was right and we knew it. So we stepped forward. And yet, every step of the way, the waves of the River Jordan flowed further over our heads with each step. When were the waters going to part? When would the way be clear? I had taken the steps of faith, and now I was standing in a raging torrent of river water rushing over my head—and not only am I not a strong swimmer, but I never learned how to float.

And as I prayed to God to tell me why, I remembered rule number one to the art of floating. The one thing I’ve never been good at doing in the water—relax. Let go. Relax and let the current lift you. Have faith that the water will buoy you up. I got it. I understand. It’s the one thing I have yet to do in this move. Relax. Let go. Let God. Have faith that HE is able. Not me. Not Brad. Not the builders. God is able…and in His time, He will be willing to part these waters that seem to be so high right now.

After driving all the way from the northwest corner of San Antonio out to Bulverde, TX, by way of only backroads, I decided to pull up my big girl panties and grow up and show up for the builders’ meeting I was supposed to be attending, but was now 20 minutes late for—except they had had to delay the meeting due to unforeseen events (nothing new there). So I went and had lunch, called my hubby and apologized for my childish shenanigans, and then headed back to the new house for the rescheduled meeting.

Nothing was really accomplished, as usual, but the sales agent did manage to “unmask” the kitchen/living room so I could actually see what it was I was striving toward. There was a little emotional blackmail in that tactic and I was fully aware of it. But both the sales agent and I were teary-eyed standing there and looking at the fruits of our hard labor—yes, she has done way more than her job description entails in order to help us get this baby birthed—in all its glorious beauty. Over dramatic, maybe. How we all felt, definitely.

Then it was back to the apartment to move back into the now-fixed-old-apartment-with-the-new-water-heater-and-hopefully-no-more-electrical-fire-smell from the new-temporary-but-only-one-bedroom-but-not-stinky-apartment. Except wait…my two youngest awesome sons in all their awesomeness had already moved us back—complete with cranky cat and all his smelly accoutrements. What a blessing it was to not have to trudge up and down two sets of three flights of outdoor stairs to move what few belongings we have, yet one more time!

So on to dinner. No, the “furnished” apartment doesn’t really have a fully stocked kitchen in its “fully stocked kitchen” cabinets. But somehow, even cooking in “primitive” conditions can be a cathartic endeavor. I do truly enjoy making a meal—even a simple one—and sharing it with loved ones. And in the act of cooking some of the tensions of the day, the week, the month, began to pass just a little.

After we cleaned up, I stood outside on the balcony and watched the summer rainstorm. Not the 15-minute downpour of the past weekend—ripping a river in the dried ground, blowing the leaves from the trees, scaring the birds into hiding, and leaving no trace of its own existence within an hour’s time. A slow, steady, ground soaking, stand in the rain and sing, enjoy the glory of nature and its Creator, kind of rain.

I stood at the edge of the balcony, and watched the grackles scramble their way up to the tip top of the live oak trees and spread their wings wide to bask in the fresh, cooling, cleansing rain, letting it wash away the dust and heat of a long, hot and dry summer. I too, stood with arms extended wide into the downpour, and let the cold drops of rain wash away some of the tension of a summer filled with disappointment, confusion, and chaos, letting the tears fall on the railing like the rain falling to the thirsty ground. And as I let the soft, cool breeze kiss my wet cheeks and arms, I realized…even in my advancing years, I may not yet fully grasp the ability to relax and float into the waves of my own River Jordan, but I am slowly learning the art of dancing in the rain. One step at a time.

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