After the birth of both my children, I experienced motherhood like a storm that often comes before those rainbows we all love—the way the sky is so beautiful in an eerie way right before the clouds roll in over the green lush of the mountains. The sky, alive with colors of gray and pink—magical, really—was a harbinger of what was to come: a change was coming and it was unstoppable. I could feel the rain in my bones, the way I can now smell snow after a lifetime in Pennsylvania, but I had no idea what it would mean for me. I could see the colors in the sky, of course, but back then, I would seldom take the time to see them, appreciate them, understand them as the paint strokes of God.
Motherhood was as if a small child took all the pieces of me and threw them up into the air, and they were picked up by the storm. The storm turned into a tornado, and for quite some time, those pieces circled in a funnel. I felt disoriented and confused as all of whom I thought I was at thirty—carefully constructed and sure—metaphorically circled around me, pieces of my identity scattered here and there. When the tornado passed, as they always do (remember: they always do), I was left with the pieces of the Kara I had once been and had since become.
Over the years, I’ve picked up all of those pieces, but the puzzle of me is forever changed. It looks more like the little girl in the clearing used to. The colors in the world—similar to the colors in the sky before a storm—have come alive again for me, just as they were when I was a child, just as rainbows appear high in the sky after such storms, stories of color over mountains. Often, we’re programmed to think of our days, of our lives, as something to “get through”—our lists and places we need to go and be—but we can change our perspective and realize the spiritual journey of seeing the world alive with color. That’s not always easy, of course. Rarely is it.
Like other tornadoes that have come since then, the one I found in new motherhood was necessary for me, and it came to help me remember myself as I once was before the calculated exterior I had created in my twenties. Your metaphorical tornadoes may be different, but I’m sure they have been necessary for you. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I became more appreciative of the life I had when the storm passed and I settled into the journey of motherhood. In life-changing moments like these, we grow and, in the end, we’re never the same. That’s been so very true for me. I’ve been taught how to live again—how to see beauty as I did before, to remember who I really am, and to find God everywhere.
Taken from Everywhere Holy by Kara Lawler. Copyright © 2019 by Kara Lawler. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. (www.everywhereholy.com)
This is an excerpt from Kara's new book, EVERYWHERE HOLY: Seeing Beauty, Remembering Your Identity, and Finding God Right Where You Are, available on 12/3 everywhere books are sold! To see a list of retailers (Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and others or watch the book trailer, please visit the book's website, www.everywhereholy.com)
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