There was a severe thunderstorm heading directly toward our shoot location and it was going be hitting precisely when we were supposed to be there.
The rain started pelting our van and the hail rattled on the windshield and I mourned the immanent loss of the photo showing a reasonably sane family and tried to get my head around the idea that I might not even be able to hide the Crazy of our world in front of a camera lens either. It actually made sense that we would be shooting in a thunderstorm because it's very representative of the chaos of life with three boys sometimes. You can go from sunshine and tulips to lightning bolts and hail in about four seconds flat.
We sat in our van inside a parking ramp for a while to try to wait out the rain and I kept the kids entertained by giving them snacks while they watched The Princess Bride on the DVD player. (Isaiah makes me skip the part where Wesley fights the Rodents of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp.)
Eventually we meandered up to the capitol building under the protection of our golf umbrella and got in a few sheltered shots under the safety of an overhang. But before long, the clouds moved out and the rain started to dwindle.
And just like that....the sun came out once again and the water left covering the stone of the building made it almost look like it glistened. The drops on the tulips seemed to make them sparkle just the tiniest bit.
I said a little prayer that the boys and my hair would behave and we started posing and smiling.
Friends, our photographer posted a single "sneak peek" image from our shoot on Facebook last night and I felt like a weight had been lifted. Because even when the storm clouds roll in and the rain and thunder seems to take over everything, you can rest assured that there will come a moment when the sun returns and things start to look hopeful again. It might take a while. The waiting will seem frustrating, disheartening and pointless.
But waiting time is never wasted time. (Thanks to She Reads Truth for that lesson.)
If we hadn't waited out the storm, we would have missed the sun gleaming on the granite. When I saw this photo, it felt like I had been given a gift. Like the Lord was saying to me, "Look daughter. Just wait until the storm passes and I will bring to to a beautiful place." Persevere. Wait it out. Stay hopeful. And the time spent in the storm will most certainly come to an end.
Praying today for so many in Oklahoma for whom a devastating tornado was only the beginning of what may be the worst storm of their lives. May this time of darkness be short and may those who have lost so much come quickly to a place of peace and grace, where the light begins to shine once more.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)
P.S. I will share more of the photos from our family photo shoot when I get them, but I was just too excited about this first image not to show you all!