When I graduated from high school, I literally walked out of the ceremony, posed for pictures and walked away from everything and everyone that was related to my two years of high school in San Antonio. I went to college at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon and never looked back. When I left for college I thought I would never step foot in San Antonio again. I had struggled through two very difficult years there and was counting on my parents being transferred overseas before my winter break. That fall, when I got the news that the transfer wasn’t going to happen in time I was devastated.
I didn’t want to go back to a place that was full of difficult memories. I had run away and mentally burned all bridges that led to San Antonio. I remember walking back to my dorm reading the letter from my parents totally crushed. I ran into my friend Van (who was the happiest person on earth) along the way. I told him how desperately I never wanted to return to San Antonio even if it was only for a six week winter break.
I have never forgotten what Van said to cheer me up. It was a typical rainy, dreary, grey Northwest day and Van said, “There is always a patch of blue sky no matter how bad things are.” We scanned the grey skies and I couldn’t find it. He told me, “Wait for it and it will come, even if I don’t see it right now it will appear.” Sure enough as we stood there in the pouring rain a tiny patch of blue sky appeared. It was small in the vastly dark sky, but it was there. He promised me that just like the patch of blue sky appeared so would something good from returning to San Antonio.
I went home that winter break and it turned out that I needed surgery which I never would have been able to have had overseas. I recovered in the safety of my parent’s home and never venture out into my old world. Nothing bad happened and the memories didn’t consume me. I discovered I could face my fears, return to hard times a stronger and new person. Most of all the “blue sky” appeared when my parents were transferred to Germany just before my summer break.
The timing of their transfer was perfect. We lived the entire summer in a hotel in Offenbach, Germany. My mother and I had no jobs, lacked the distraction of moving into our new housing, and our family found ourselves in a country we loved at the exact right moment in our lives.
That summer was one of my favorites because our housing hadn’t opened up yet so we lived like Eloise in a hotel for months. My dad was new at his post, so he wouldn’t let my mom and I get jobs at the only place to work on base (he would have been our boss and he was strictly against nepotism). So we wandered, adventured, and bonded as never before. My parents and I only had each other because we were in a new city. We loved every moment of being strangers there together.
Had things happened according to my timing, my parents would have moved prior to my winter break, but my timing would have been all wrong. Many times in life, I have searched the dark clouds for that promised tiny patch of blue – and always I find it, literally and figuratively. We don’t know what form it will take, but it is there. My friend Van showed it to me and that promise has never failed me yet. God is good all the time, all the time God is good and sometimes that shows up in tiny patches of blue sky that you have to search for.
Search the horizon for your patch of blue sky. Believe in the opportunities for growth that storm clouds bring.
What about you? Tell me your story of finding your personal patch of blue sky.