Monday, January 21, 2013

When Going Means Walking in The Rain

I'd like to introduce you to my friend Tricia. Some of you may know her as FringeGirl. We're both old, blue-haired ladies in this blogging world. I feel like I've "known" her forever. Her heart is fixed on God, she oozes encouragement, and the girl is stinking funny. I read this post covered head to toe in goosebumps and knew all over again that I'm in "this", whatever it is, with her.

She gets it. She gets me, to my core. I'm so honored that she has chosen to share this soul-beauty here with us.

When Going Means Walking in The Rain - by Tricia Gillespie

Noah's Ark - this is what I see every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up.  This amateur painting on an old cabinet door reminds me of times it rained so hard, I never thought it would stop.  I felt like I was drowning, not just me, but my little family too.  Some days it took all we had just to keep our heads above water. I think that's why he painted it for me, to remind me of the rain and the rainbow that follows - the promise of the rainbow.

Sometimes "Going" means walking in the rain and pleading with people to get on the ark.  For the love of God and all things sane, just please get on the ark already.

Bo painted me this ark.  Just two little letters in a name for a man with such a big heart, and an even bigger drug problem.

He was the elusive guy who we constantly worked to track down.  Word in the neighborhood was we needed to talk to him, get him.  He was losing his battle with drugs, not just him, but also his wife.  And you see, they had these two kids.  The kids who had to fend for themselves for days at a time while their father was off on a crack high and their mother locked herself in the bedroom with her pills.  For days.

They were the ones God put on our hearts.  Go to them.  Find them.

When we did find them, our world was turned upside down.

Middle of the night phone calls and piling the babies in the truck, so we can go hunt him down.  "Where are we going?"  My three-old baby girl would ask.

"Going to find Bo."

"He's lost?"  She always wanted to know.

"Yes, in a way, he is lost and he needs some help finding his way back home."

And I would sit in the truck with the phone while my husband pounded down the door of a crack house, only to find he'd moved on already - moved on to the emergency room, our next stop.  Then on to jail.

Over and over again.  Walking in the rain.  Bringing the kids food in the rain.  Talking and talking in endless circles until we felt like we were being pulled into a whirlpool.

And then one day, so many days later, more than forty days and forty nights, something happened.  That larger than life man with the little name and insurmountable problems fell on his face before Jesus and cried out for forgiveness.  First him and then his wife.

The rain didn't stop though.  There is a high price to pay for sin, and we sat as they hauled off his kids.  Maybe it was for the best, we hoped.  We prayed for the best.

And we kept pleading with them to get on the ark, two by two.

I wish this little family had a happy ending, but sometimes the joy is in the little things - the tears, the brokenness, the reminder of a rainbow.  Maybe the going is more for us than them.  Maybe it is to remind us that there's a flood coming and an ark built, and it's our job to shout "Get on the ark!".

My little girl still has the wild stuffed cat Bo gave her.  She still asks about him, wonders if he ever found his way back home.  She reminds us how nice he was, and she walks into my bedroom and looks at the ark.

There's a rainbow waiting, but first we must walk in the rain.

Tricia's blog
Tricia's twitter


  1. My. Goodness.

    This is what God has called us to do.

  2. Love this so much. All of it, but especially: "... There's a flood coming and an arc built, and its our job to shout "Get on the arc!""... A-tothe-MEN.

  3. Such an important message: sometimes there isn't a happy ending...still worth reading.

    1. (And by "reading" I mean doing what Tricia's family did.)

  4. Showing the love of Christ to those babes, to Bo and his wife. Heart wrenching, but oh so worth it.

  5. This really goes straight to my heart.....and convicts me.

  6. beautifully written and so very true.
    thank you for sharing your heart and experiences.

  7. Oh what a sacrifice of love you have made...I know how hard that rain can come and I know how long it can rain sometimes...we just have to keep on keeping on and maybe someday we will be rewarded with those beautiful spirits joining us on that ark. Praying for your family and theirs this evening. Blessings to you

  8. Sounds familiar. Though I'm not ready to write and share my story. God is huge, and has done huge things, and that day will come, and He will be glorified.

  9. Wow! Goosebumps and encouragement to do more.

  10. yeah goosebumps!!!! It's incredible to see Him at work in the hearts of men or women in this case <3 Thank you for sharing!!!!! Great reminder to send out the call - Get on the Ark!!!!!!!

  11. wow.
    Sometimes that the most eloquent I can be.
    I've headed over to follow Tricia.
    If you ever need a ghost write, I think you've found her in that gal.
    ~ Dana

  12. Sometimes it's so hard to hold someone in your heart who seems determined to do everything to be let go.

  13. This is beautiful and hurty and honest, Tricia. Great, great post.

  14. Your voices are like one voice...your hearts connected....thank you so much for sharing. I wonder if you know how much good you are doing among us 'comfortable' believers who are leaning toward becoming 'doers'?

  15. Just want to say a big, giant Than You to Shannan for letting me write on her blog. To say it's an honor to share a piece of my story with you all is a huge understatement.

    If it has stirred anyone's heart, it's because of God and not my simple words or rag-tag story. God does amazing things, miracles, if we let Him. I hope some reading this will let Him and urge another to get on the ark.


  16. So right...sometimes the ending is not "happy", but we still need to walk in the rain!

  17. This piece of writing wrung my heart right out. More for the reminder that sometimes there is no happy ending this side of glory. Thank you for writing this and encouraging us to keep looking for others to scoop up and push up the ark ramp.

  18. Wow, my husband texted me this morning "when it rains it pours" and I answered back, "feels like drowning"...

    Rainbow reminder is just what I needed.

    My kids are safe, we own a house, we have good jobs, mostly, we are all saved by God's grace.

  19. Tricia was my first blogging friend. I love her to pieces and this post is just wonderful.

  20. Tremendous story Tricia!
    Shannan, you have a lovely blog!

  21. POWERFUL!!! And how I can relate- thank you for sharing this with us today!

  22. Beautiful and heart stirring and Grace believing all wrapped up together. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Shannan,
    I found your blog about a week ago or, maybe it was 3 1/2 days ago? Who's counting? Ha-Ha! Either way, let's just say, my housework is all of a sudden less urgent and my son has started giving me weird looks while walking by and seeing me glued to the computer. One of these days, I will write you the REAL Thank You email that I already half composed in my head.
    But, until then...Thank you, you have no idea how much COURAGE, FAITH, and GRACE you have sent this grateful girl, (fellow 1976er) all the way over here in Massachusetts. Forever and Ever ~Pam

  24. Tricia this is absolutely brilliant. I'm truly speechless, and inspired to remind myself of exactly what our job is as Christian women. I wish I could hug you.. bless your beautiful heart, sister


  25. Hi I am FringeMom and I came to visit to read FingeGirl's story. This story reminds me of one of my favorite songs called Healing Rain. Oh how we all need the rain so that we can be brought closer to God.

  26. Wow! This is such a beautiful story. Reading about folks like Bo makes me think...but for the grace of God. You know? So thankful for His never-ending mercy. And rainbows. And you blue-haired ladies. :) Blessings!

  27. You capture so beautifully the grief and expectation and hope and sorrow of Noah's story. Jesus is going to give you an extra big squeeze in heaven for showing His love so strongly to Bo and family.

  28. Love this. Cant wait to go read her blog :-) thanks for sharing (as always) my friend!