I was four years old and a rowdy Missouri storm was beating down on our roof in the middle of the night. The lightning lit up my room like day and I was a very scared little girl. So I ran to my big sister’s room and woke her up of course. I still remember huddling together in the corner of her bed that was closest to the wall and we wrapped our arms around each other.
(The best big sisters make you feel like you are doing something for them even when it’s really all about you. Memories are funny things.)
I’ve often been told “you can’t” remember that far back. But oh I do! I remember how I was shaking there in my sister’s arms. And then all of the sudden, JESUS, JOSEPH AND MARY! I am not even kidding you.
In one crazy crack of lightning the whole room was flooded with light again and there they were. Right there in the room with us. Huddled together too, Jesus, was a babe being held in the middle of his parent’s embrace.
I know this story sounds pretty crazy, but it was as real as that storm. More real—because I remember that’s when I quit shaking. I became totally calm.
Soon enough, however, “real life” came in my remaining days as a little girl at that house and I had to run down our dark hallway, barely able to reach the light switches. I would panic until I could get the light on. I still remember the breeze I would create running as fast as my shuddering bare-feet body would take me. Hardly the nightmares many children actually live at that age, all my fears lived in my imagination.
Maybe all my fears ever have only lived in my imagination and maybe I’ve been trying to find my way back to that calm in the storm ever since. I want to find my way to the peace of the presence of that holy family. I want to find my way to that embrace revealed, not hidden, by the lightning strikes…
Happy New Year 2016 Friends! This is one of three stories I’m looking back on this week as I am kinda literally laughing my way into 2016. Hang out? It’ll be fun. Subscribe to get my updates directly in your inbox HERE.
Hey there! I’m Raynna. Learn about my new book here.
Elizabeth couldn’t sleep, and found me reading this. So I had her read it to me while I gave her a hand and head rub. Beautiful imagery. Amazing story. Thanks for sharing. Hope the Holy Family shows up here too, calming my kiddos fears and storms, too!
One of the most encouraging things about this for me as a parent is to think about how this intervening happened outside of my parents, not outside of their prayers for me, but not from their direct contact. I now know it’s not uncommon to hear similar stories from places like North Korea where if a parent were to tell their children about their beliefs and found out by school authorities (say by an innocent 2nd grader who doesn’t understand the severity of consequences) their family would be torn apart. So you have these parents there who literally pray their children would encounter God and the child does through dreams/visions but also does not tell parents until a decade+ later. These things encourage me and strengthen that underlying truth: His grace is sufficient and how valuable just turning our hearts toward Him is, what will He do with that?? Maybe we won’t know for decade+ but we can be sure it’s not in vain. Thank you Larissa, it’s vulnerable to share stories close to the heart. As I learn to release, your encouragement means a lot. It makes me happy to think of Elizabeth reading about this gift to my heart. Praying it is gift to hers too.
Exploring His Presence to Live More Present in 2016, Part 2 (OR: Waking up in a different language) | Raynna Myers: Writing & Photography
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Exploring His Presence to Live More Present in 2016, Part 3 (OR: When burning letters set my heart on fire again) | Raynna Myers: Writing & Photography
[…] praying that the stormiest, longest dark hallways of New Year’s will transform into many awe-filled declarations of JESUS, JOSEPH AND […]
You CAN remember that far back. My daughter remembers riding REAR FACING in her car seat (but then again, she remembers everything).
I remember falling out a window head first onto my head. On concrete. At, like 2 years old or something. It explains a lot about me.
Your memory is much cooler, and doesn’t involve a headache!
Amazing and you’re funny. “They” say it has something to do with the emotional impact. I remember my dad getting crushed by a horse too but it would have been shortly after I was born. However, I can tell you who was holding me, where we were and how the laundry was being ironed on the back patio…impossible possibilities. Your daughter must have been happy in her car seat! And I suppose if that head trauma was defining to you then we’re all glad ; ). I remember hearing something about that, but oh man!! Out a window??!