You know what my favorite thing is about leaving a hard day of work? The drive home. I live in Franklin, Tennessee, an adorable little town right outside of Nashville, saturated with history. When I leave work in the fall around 5pm, the sun is in full blown setting mode. The light from its face is a rich, heavy gold that bathes everything in warmth and makes even the suburbs look like they belong in a fairy tale. There are lots of trees for the first few miles of winding road, but every once in a while, there’s a break in the canopy and I can see the sky. The anticipation builds and builds as I drive, the rays dancing in between the leaves stained with autumns colors. I’ll catch glimpses of the bright pink and orange streaking the sky but then the trees move back to stand guard over the beauty. But then, as I come around the last corner of my drive, there it is. A wide open view of the most intense colors, brilliantly painted with an expert hand. This..this is what they mean about when the talk about the heavens. The perfection of the sky never fails to take my breath away. I always hope the stop light at the end of that road is red so I can sit and stare for that much longer. When I’m looking at the sky, I never feel anything but its radiance. My to-do list slips out of the back of my mind, my worries fall away, even fear quiets its incessant whisper in my ear to enjoy the view. When the gold from the sun begins to cover the earth in its farewell, everything in my head just stops and soaks it in. There’s something magical for me in those moments, and even though they’ve happened almost every day in my twenty-four years on this planet, its power over me never loses an ounce of strength. Since I moved to Tennessee a little over two years ago, I’ve begun to hold these moments especially dear. I’ve found since my arrival that being an adult is really hard. There are so many times when I lie down at night and pray, “God, did I miss something? Like a class or a seminar or something that would tell me how to be a grown up? What are You doing? Are you even paying attention to what’s happening down here because, in case You missed it, I’m majorly struggling.”
Even on the days when those thoughts follow me out of bed and stick with me like a shadow throughout the day, like clock work, when that golden light hits me, they’re gone. I close my eyes and let the warmth take my troubles be replaced by dreams. Because when I’m in that light, even the craziest dreams look to be within my reach. These moments of clarity and boldness have given me faith to listen past the to-do lists, the worries, and the fear shouting in my head and hear the still, small voice that never wavers in my heart. The one that says, “You didn’t miss anything, I’m here. I’m watching you and I’m walking with you every step. This struggle is refining you, its making you shine brighter than the light on your face. Stay with me, Beloved, everything is going to be ok.”
Sometimes, the struggle is so real, it’s hard to see anything past the hardship it brings. But it’ll never be too much, it’ll never be beyond the power of the One who set it all into motion. When we’re driving through this life, and the roads are dark and winding, don’t be afraid to peer through the breaks in the canopy and see the design God has painted, just for you. Find a place where the leaves break and let the light shine on your face. Let it soak into your skin and rest in your heart. Remember in that moment there’s nothing that you can’t overcome. Not because you can solve the problems on your own, but because the God who crafted that light is crafting your days, and everything is going to be okay.