I love the rain.
At the end of November, I had been doing a lot of reevaluating of my life and decisions, as well as straightening out my relationship with God. I'd been feeling as if I had been straying from my path with God, and had lost track of how far I'd gone. I needed renewal, to know that I was forgiven, and that God was willing to continue to be my Father.
On one of these days of contemplation, it was pouring rain outside. I looked out, saw the sheets of rain, and had a sudden urge to jump outdoors and dance. While I restrained my dance moves, I did go outside, and while my hood started up, I eventually just shoved it off and let the rain soak my hair through and through. I was completely and utterly drenched as I walked through the rain, but as I did, all I could do was smile.
Literally, I was beaming.
I felt better than I had in so long. The rain washed every bit of make-up off my face, it took any beauty out of the clothes I was wearing, and made my hair cling to my head, straightening all my curls with the weight of the water. In that moment, I was completely and totally real. I was plain. I was me.
It felt like God washing me of everything that people might perceive me to be on the outside, and leaving only the real me - whether that me was an attractive lady or a drenched rat. Those fifteen minutes walking in the rain were as pure and untainted as I'd ever experienced, and the joy that poured out of my heart after that walk was unquenchable.
Before a flower blooms, it needs both sun and rain. I think that's a good analogy for life. We go through periods of joy and we go through periods of struggle, but both allow us to grow into the people we are today. The periods of joy remind us of the blessings that God's given us, and the relationships we're so fortunate to have in our lives, whilst the periods of suffering allow us to work through difficult situations, improve our character, and face these same situations with confidence if they ever emerge again. We need both to "blossom", so to speak.
Sometimes, the best thing you can be is washed by rain.