Chicago adventures faith From my journal

The Rainbow.

January 13, 2016

This blog tends to be a bit of a mixed bag. Perhaps that’s why I have such a hard time answering the ever-common question, “Well what kind of blog is it?” Often times I’ll answer with “Lifestyle” but it always makes me feel pretty uncomfortable considering in no way shape or form am I deeming myself qualified enough to say to others, “Hey, this is how you do life, ok?” I mean really, I wouldn’t even say that I myself know what I’m doing most days (um, hello). But I do have lots of stories to tell – all of them swirling around in that big bag of mix, and I have chosen this space in which to share those stories and thoughts. If I were to teleport myself to when I’m 80 years old, and then look back on my life – I’m willing to bet that I would still say it was a mixed bag. A glorious mixed bag, but a mixed bag just the same. And I prefer it that way – my life and also this blog – because I think that’s very much who I am: a little of this and a little of that. I once had someone ask one of my best friends to answer how I might feel about a certain situation, to which my friend replied, “Well that depends… what kind of day is she having? How much coffee has she had? Is she wearing flats or heels? What music has she listened to today?” All of this of course made me laugh and nod in agreement with my friend’s answer because she knew me well enough to know that there are many factors that can make up my feelings about something that might not even have anything to do with said factors 😉 And if you were to ask me how I feel about the exact same thing a week later, my response might be completely different.

I journal a lot, I always have. In fact, I have shelves of journals- some completely full, some only half scribbled in, and others that have yet to be opened. When I was in the 4th grade, I remember having so many thoughts in my head – about everything and anything – and feeling all of those things so strongly that I felt like if I didn’t get them from my head, through my fingers, and onto the paper, the feelings and thoughts wouldn’t be true. And so, I wrote them down. The entries weren’t meant to be shared with anyone, and I rarely read them back after they were written. In fact, it gives me anxiety to even think about going back and reading any of my journals from years ago… because perhaps I was a different person then, or maybe I am exactly the same. Regardless of whether I read them or not though, I keep every single journal… because each entry is a part of my heart.

While the posts that fill this blog could be looked at as my life’s journal – because my heart is most definitely in each and every post that’s shared in this space – I have only ever shared an actual entry from one of my journals on this blog twice (Cleopatra Heals and Canyons.) Today I’ve decided to share another one of my entries, this one from 2013. I believe there is a time for all stories to be shared and when I randomly thought about this particular moment in time earlier this week, I felt like perhaps it was a nudge to share it in this space… that maybe someone else out there is in need of the reminder that even through the storm – God’s promise to us remains.

June 2013 – God’s Promise

Today I witnessed one of the worst storms I’ve ever seen, and I mean this quite literally. I watched it from the other side of the window while I rode the train home from work. It was deafeningly quiet on the train – the kind that makes your ears ring – and I tried not to stare at the big tough-looking man who sat across from me – the fear in his eyes as the train was stopped on the elevated tracks while the wind blew us so hard, no one breathed or moved for fear we’d go right over. In any other circumstances, one might look at the group of us in this particular train car and point out how different we were. Different backgrounds, upbringings, jobs, futures, skin color, languages, likes, dislikes. We all could not have been more different and yet there was an unspoken camaraderie as we all now glanced at each other, seriously wondering if we were about to die. 

The storm slowed a bit and the conductor moved us forward, slowly making our way to the station. By the time we pulled in and the doors opened, the heavy downpour had turned into a light mist… and just like that, the storm was through. We all slowly walked off the train and down the stairs, many people helping others down the slippery steps. I couldn’t help but smile – it was like we’d all just beaten some terrible beast and no matter how we might have tried to recap it to our friends later that night, nothing said would’ve done it justice.

As I began my walk home, the sun came out and I noticed a crowd of people in the distance, taking pictures of something. I walked across the street so that I was out from under the trees and I saw it. It was, by far, the most beautiful rainbow I’d ever seen. It was the brightest rainbow I’d ever seen. And it was the first double rainbow I’d ever seen. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I stood there, outside of the coffee shop, with the rest of the people- all of us just quiet as we breathed in the beauty. I loved that no one was saying anything. The silent space wasn’t in need of being filled. I wasn’t sure what anyone else was thinking about in that moment but I felt my heart whisper that this was more than just a beautiful rainbow. It was then that I looked over my shoulder and saw the guy who’d been sitting across from me on the train. He looked at me, smiled, and mouthed the words, “God’s promise.” This tough-looking guy spoke the words my heart had just felt. And he was right. These rainbows were a promise that was made long, long ago and would stand true until the end of time. And I breathed easier as I acknowledged that even the worst of storms can’t keep God’s beauty… His promise… His love, from reaching us. And because we humans often miss it the first time around, He sent a double reminder on this day. God is awesome like that.

When I finally got home, Christian greeted me at the door with a concerned look on his face. And instead of telling him all about the storm, I exclaimed, “Have you seen the sky?! The most beautiful rainbows you’ve ever seen.” Because even after such a harrowing storm, the beauty and promise that followed was all that was worth mentioning.

 

I have set my rainbows in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

-Genesis 9:13

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  • Thank you for sharing! (and can I just say, your journal entries are much more well written than mine, ha!) I love the verse you included… aren’t rainbows such an amazing reminder!

    • Lady, I have plenty of journal entries that are ramblings and totally random. They’re not all like this! ha! But *thank you*. XO

  • you do have extremely beautiful journal entries. I have not journaled since i was around 15, and of course nothing to that quality ever came out of those entries.

    Beautifully written, thank you for sharing. Beautiful, important message to carry with us through all our personal storms too.

    • Oh I have a lot of ramblings for entries, too! ha! Thank you for this sweet note, Andrea.

  • I have always been fascinated with rainbows since I was a little kid. I remember once my grandpa telling me that exact verse and ever since then I knew God put things on the earth for me to love and enjoy, even if we have to bear a storm or two to get there. That was probably my first encounter remembering something that someone took a moment to explain regarding God. Puts a smile on my face remembering my grandpa 🙂

  • Beautiful, friend. I am the same way with my journals…I have so many, but it makes me anxious to think about going back and reading through them.

  • Thank you for sharing! I’ve always loved rainbows – both for their beauty and the promise they represent.

  • That is so beautiful! Both the words and the picture. I love the meaning behind rainbows – so simple and awe-inspiring, yet such a powerful reminder of His promises to us.

  • I just love this, Emily. I love the unspoken connection made on the train and the gathering of people under the rainbow. What an incredible story and experience.

  • I think you definitely have a lifestyle blog. I have always thought of lifestyle blogs to be about life in general…not necessarily telling people how to do life. 😉

    That being said – this is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • A few times I’ve just said “it’s a life blog” haha 😉 Thank you for this sweet note, Steph. And for reading!

  • I think about this type of thing all the time. and I love your take, that this can be whatever you want. and I’m glad that today you wanted it to be a journal, because that post was beautiful. the beauty at the end is what we’re all living this life together for, isn’t it?

  • I love your words and stories! Always beautiful, even if you’re laughing at yourself (which, might be even more beautiful!) – thank you for sharing with us!

  • Kari @karilife.com

    I think seeing how people live their life is so interesting! To each their own! And some people may see your way of living life (even your recipe following skills) something to be attained! 🙂

  • This is undo beyond beautiful, Emily. And such an incredible reminder.

  • As your blogger friend (I call myself this) you should never doubt what you write does not touch others. Lifestyle, journals, encouraging, whatever you want to call it. You bring such class and magic to ordinary life moments. This being one. I’m sitting here enjoying my glass of wine (happy hour, yes, it’s Wednesday) and I say, “Lord blow me away today in the blog world.” One other post blew me away before I read yours (see FB) and yours is my next one. I. Love. This. Poetic, inspiring, a reminder that a great and awesome God is present in every aspect of our lives. Even in a simple rainbow after a storm.

    • Michelle!! This means so much, thank you. (You know I love your happy hour! haha!) Heading over to your FB!

  • I am right there with you! I feel like people ask me what type of blog and I just say I write things haha. But seriously, I started mine with the main overall being to help others and to me that is enough! P.S. I really enjoy your blog!

    • haha! “I write things” – I like that.. I’m going to use that next time. Heading over to your blog now, Sierra! Thanks for reading!

  • I felt as if I were right there with you as I read your words. Simply beautiful. I’m right there with you in regards to boxes of journals throughout the years. There are many that I do not read and there are some that I have reread several times. I love that these journals are the marker of where we have been and what we have seen. XOXO

  • No wonder you are a blogger and writing a book…your gift lies in your words and the beautiful way you share them! Thank you…. XO

  • This is an awesome story! So beautiful.

  • This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • chall1018

    So beautiful!!! And such a great reminder – find the beauty after (or even in the middle of) the storm.