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.