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Calm After The Storm

As we drove into Saugatuck, Michigan and parked at a roadside eatery, blankets of rain plummeted down upon us. We quickly ducked inside the dry shelter and ordered food to go. The drive had already been challenging. Dark clouds loomed behind us as we drove on Interstate 290 south through Chicago and then Indiana. Friends texted and asked for prayer as tornado warnings prevailed and folks hovered in basements seeking shelter. I could not shake a migraine headache that started earlier in the day.

After getting our to-go orders and opting to eat in the car, my headache started to dissipate. I am sure the nourishment, water, three ibuprofen and prayer helped as well. My headache disappearing was a relief because now I took my turn at the wheel as a torrential downpour and heavy thunderstorms ramped up around us. The kids worried about the effects of the intense displays of lighting illuminating the sky and I felt concerned about the amount of water on the road and the low visibility due to the deluge of water.

At one point, as we made our way north and west toward the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, we had to turn onto a two-lane county road. The hour was late. We had delayed our trip by half a day in order to incorporate important work meetings for Eric at his company AV3 Productions. Instead of leaving early in the morning, we left in the middle of the afternoon. And now it was nearing bedtime and we were trying to see clearly to finish the last 1 1/2 hours of our journey.

I sat forward in my seat, hunched over the wheel and strained to see the road ahead through the blinding rain. I tried to keep my eyes on the lane lines, but I could only see a couple of feet ahead of me. To add to the misery, headlights from oncoming vehicles bombarded me and I nearly had a panic attack at the wheel. I made the decision that I was not the best person to drive in the inclement weather, so we found a safe spot to change places and Eric took the wheel.

An emergency alert sounded over the radio and a Flash Flood Warning was issued for our area. No surprise! We were driving through it. Or more likely, Eric was driving through it and I was praying us through it. It seemed at times, we would never get there. One obstacle after another presented itself. The challenges loomed large, but we had to persevere. They were holding our hotel room for us and we had already paid for it. There was a no cancellation policy. We had to stay the course and press on!

The season we are living in now is much like our road trip to northern Michigan this week. We started off the year with the pandemic, COVID 19, sheltering in place, remote learning, canceled events and conferences, postponed trips and the list goes on. Just when we thought we were going to send our kids back to school, we received an update two weeks later that our school district was going to switch to remote learning (homeschooling) instead. It seems that the obstacles and the challenges just don’t end!

Well, after nearly 9 hours of driving and a time change (for what should have been a 6 hour road trip), we arrived at our destination very late on Monday night. After a good and very long night sleep, we awoke to beautiful blue skies and sunshine. We made our way into the car and found the Dune Climb not far from our hotel in Empire, Michigan (see photo below). The views of Lake Michigan, Glen Lake and the surrounding forest are so majestic! The water is crystal clear and so inviting. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief!

Just like we had to go through many trials to reach this amazing destination, I believe that we have to go through similar hardships as we adjust and press forward to reach the Promise Land. I know that God has big plans for you, for your family and for us too. We need to keep the faith, keep praying, keep trusting Him and keep pressing forward. Don’t give up! The journey may be difficult, but the destination will be worth it!

Deuteronomy 33:27, 28A The eternal God is your refuge and His everlasting arms are under you; it is He who cries ‘Destroy them (your enemies)!’ So Israel will live in safety.

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