December 23, 2014
It quickly became apparent, that nonstop rainy December day, who had the right gear and who did not.
The trackers and dog handlers (for the most part) wore waterproof boots and rain pants, topped off with effective rain parkas (the operative word being “effective”).
Then there were those of us nonprofessionals: a few had good gear, but most (like myself) wore “this-is-only-for-running-from-one-indoor-location-to-another” rain resistant (but far from waterproof) gear. I’ve never felt like such a City Girl!
When we started out that morning–climbing out of the vans, wrestling with packs, hats, & ponchos to layer over all of it–I remember feeling irritated. We had hoped that at least the weather would cooperate.
We weren’t hiking for long before the water soaked through my pants, “longies”, and boots and started sloshing around in my socks. It was definitely a bit uncomfortable… Fortunately, it wasn’t cold because we kept moving and the thick forest provided a sort of protective cloak around us.
After about half an hour into the search, I noticed a shift: instead of a grumbling resistance to my soggy state, a certain degree of acceptance kicked in. “It’s just going to be a wet day…”
Don’t get me wrong. We all enjoyed hanging our dripping coats above the wood stove at the end of the day and propping boots around to begin the slow process of drying out for the next day. (The most seasoned among us brought two pair!)
So even though I was far from prepared for the shocking, surreal experiences of these last four months, I am hoping that–just as I eventually adapted to the endless rain that long day–a similar shift will take place in my heart and soul. I’m praying that through these hardships a certain degree of acceptance, strength and resilience will develop. Toughness (the good kind).
I have a hunch that God is using all of this rain to soften the clay of my heart and spirit so they can be reshaped into a form better suited to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
So let it rain…