Be Salty is our space to season our words with salt. It’s a place to bring flavor, color, and spice to the lives we live. A place to brag a little on the wonderful works of God right here in our plain ‘ole lives. Don’t forget to join our link-up this week to tell your story! Today's guest is Carrie Butler. We are in a super secret special group together, okay fine, we are Jen Hatmaker fans. This precious woman speaks life and encouragement and presses into Jesus. She has encouraged and uplifted me many a time.
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you.”
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
It was a beautiful, Norman Rockwell kind of day in the Berkshires. If you have never been to New England in the fall, the crisp air and the bright popping colors are unparalleled. It was a postcard worthy day, but in my soul a storm was brewing. I was driving away from my dream and the emotions inside of me rivaled a category 5 hurricane.
I grew up attending a Christian summer camp in Monterey, MA. I accepted Christ there, met my husband there, made many memories and friends there. I had always wanted to make camp ministry my life, but the door had never opened. Then, in 2005, my husband and I accepted the job of Program Directors at my home away from home. I was over the moon. I could not believe that God had given me the dream of my heart: not only were we going to be in full time camp ministry, but we would be at the camp I had loved since I was seven years old.
Fast-forward two years and I was in my car driving away from it all. My husband was in another vehicle so there was no one to see my tears or hear me screaming at God. Why did He give me my dream only to tear it away? Why was I leaving full time ministry to go sit at a desk job? Why had this all failed so miserably?
Feeling truly abandoned, I drove towards Connecticut without really paying attention to the scenery around me. I scarcely noticed the dark clouds ahead. Suddenly the skies opened and it rained so hard I could hardly see out the window. I had to pull over and wait for it to pass. Moments later, the sky cleared and in front of me was the most beautiful double rainbow I had ever seen. Just as suddenly, my tears of anger, hurt and frustration turned to tears of joy, hope and love.
In that moment, I felt seen by God. Rainbows are a sign of God’s promise and He sent me not one, but two. He heard me, He knew me and He had a plan even if I could not see it.
The road ahead was not easy. There were many days of wondering if I had gotten it wrong – if God really had forgotten me. Then in 2012, my husband was called to full time ministry in NH. He moved to NH a few months before the kids and I could follow. We came up one weekend to visit our new church, new home, new life. I was excited about this adventure but also struggling with leaving my job, my family and my friends to come to an unknown place and be a stay at home mom. We were headed to the annual church picnic at our new church. It was a hot, humid day and the kids and I were cranky. Again, tears of frustration, anger and hurt ran down my face. I worried we weren’t really hearing God, that this was all a big mistake.
I turned down the road to the picnic and in front of us was a bright brilliant double rainbow. This time I had to pull the car over because I could not see through my tears. God showed up and reassured me that, years later, He had made sense out of my dashed dream.
God promises us that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He doesn’t promise that all the things will be good – just that they will all work together for His purpose. Those years between the death of one dream and the birth of another seemed long, hard and empty at times. Now though, I can see God’s hand preparing and training me for this new dream. God is a God who keeps His promises. He rejoices over us with gladness, he exults over us with song. Most dear to me though are those moments when He quiets the storm inside me with His unfailing love.