Friday, April 1, 2016

Flowers from Rain

I remember the first time I heard the phrase "April showers bring May flowers."  For some reason, it's one of those random memories from childhood that sticks out.  The phrase came back to my mind today as I was driving in the rain.  I'm sure I'm not the first one to make this connection, but flowers, things of beauty, need rain.  These beautiful flowers are not possible without the rain.  Maybe we personally experience greater joy from going through the struggle and heartache of mental illness.

As I referenced in yesterday's post, the past five months have been somewhat of a thunderstorm of OCD/anxiety/depression.  But today and yesterday, I've experienced the flowers.  Even in the midst of the intrusive thoughts that continue to threaten me, my heart has overflowed with joy four times since yesterday afternoon, and all because of other people:

  • My sister told me of how her wonderful boyfriend sees and treats her as the treasure that she is.
  • I can't remember exactly what was said between my two boys in the car, but they were playing so well together and having the cutest preschooler conversation.  
  • The third time happened just a few minutes ago when my oldest son was interacting so, SO sweetly with his baby sister and making her laugh.  It was precious.  
  • And as I write this, I'm listening to my just-turned-three-year-old yell-singing from his bed when he should be napping.  He was just calling for help, and I went to see what he needed.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  He was pretending to be Woody from Toy Story with his stuffed animals, and Woody was calling for help.  
Such simple things, but would I feel these joys so deeply had I not experienced such deep suffering?  Would these feelings of joy be the same regardless of my struggle?  Or do I feel them more deeply because I have intensely felt the opposite?

Laura Story has a song called "Blessings" that beautifully speaks to this.  Here is the chorus:

"'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"

Thank God for the flowers!