Choosing Joy in the Rain

Inspirational

I looked at blue skies and knew the clouds were coming soon.  I marveled at a shadow cast across my floor and wondered how long it would last. I saw an autumn scene and saw only gray, ignoring the greens and browns and reds of the trees.   I saw the world half empty, the glass barely even watered.

Moving from the deep south into the Canadian Raincouver created in me a loathing of the rain, a tendency to see the negative without acknowledging that Christ can even be in the rain.  With an “I do” and an “I do, too” I left behind everything comfortable, replaced it with nothing but newness, and started a journey of transition.

And all I could see was the rain of my new home. I saw it as miserable, dreary, life-ruining, pain-bringing, misery-inducing rain. I ignored the reality that without precipitation the green would turn brown. Without waterfall, the snowcapped mountains would be barren.  Without hydration, the beautiful forest would shrivel. Rain makes my new homeland beautiful. My nemesis is actually my friend but I couldn’t see that when I forgot to acknowledge the God who made the sunshine also created the rain clouds.

The God who made the sunshine also created the rain clouds.

I can either be annoyed by the inconvenience and grayness of British Columbia’s perpetual rain, or I can choose to see it’s beauty. In life, I can either be annoyed by the challenges of each day or I can choose to believe that God is bigger than every inconvenience. I chose joy and began an intentional, deliberate effort to see the joy and beauty in even the most miserable moments.

Playing Pollyanna and searching for the silver lining isn’t easy. In fact, it’s downright hard.  But guess what? Those intentional, deliberate efforts to see the joy and beauty in even the most miserable moments?  Eventually, it worked.

I call it my spiritual discipline, this training of my mind to see the world through the perspective of “all things working together for good” — even the rain. 1 Peter 1:13 became my motto: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  I especially love the word picture that the King James Version provides when it says “gird the loins of your mind” — choose to pick up the hem of your skirt to get ready for running into battle. It’s intention, it’s active, and it’s the first step toward setting your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).

For two years, I took my camera out into rainstorms intentionally, deliberately battling my natural train of thought, my reflex negativity, and I chose to find beauty in the rain.  I spent two years choosing joy in every single raindrop that threatened to ruin my day.

I looked for beauty and found it. Even in the rain. Especially in the rain. God met me in the rain.

God met me in the rain.

And guess what?  One morning, I woke up and looked out the window to find sunshine when I was expecting rain.  My knee-jerk, subconcious reaction?  “Aw, bummer. I was hoping it would rain today!”

Photography: JenniMarie Photography

4 Comments

  1. I love this, Jenni. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    It’s been a week where I’ve been practicing something like this. The AC in my truck went out when Devin and I were three hours from home at a wedding–so we made the trek home the next day with the windows down. Now we’ve discovered the AC unit in the apartment is leaking and creating mold in the apartment. Ah, what a blessing AC is. 😉 We’re getting a crash course in marriage, I’d say. 😀

    1. It’s a constant journey, this attempt to keep a God perspective on our days. [hugs]

  2. Samantha R. says:

    This inspires and encourages me so much! When I was going through a very difficult time in my life several years ago, I did a little photography project called “Ugly Beauty”… it was very therapeutic for me. I did one photo a week and shared with my friends. Then I switched over to another little project called “Simple Little Things”. I had to go out and look for little things that brought me joy in nature or just things that were around me. It helped tremendously! Even though that was the hardest time of my life, I also have fond memories of that time too because of those photo projects. God used it to help heal me. 🙂

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