Growing through the Storms of Life
by Tina Solava
Earlier in my life, before I was married and had children, I sat with a blanket over my head, ashamed to look at my dad. I was 18 years old and had done something that would alter the course of my life dramatically.
Growing up, it was never my mother’s corrective spankings that I feared. It was the hurt I’d cause my father, who rarely raised a hand. His gentle approach and his disappointment were far worse than the pain I felt from a spanking.
Even as I sat on my bed that day, cowering under my blanket, my dad didn’t yell at me or tell me how stupid I had been. He didn’t ask me to show my face. Instead, he said that he loved me and that sometimes “rain must fall so that flowers can grow.”
During those years, and to this day, my dad never made me feel ashamed and never brought up my wrong doing, even when I complained about my circumstances. He continued to encourage me, uplift me and tell me that it was a season of showers.
My father is not a believer.
I am now 30 years old, with two young children of my own. When I look back on that “season of showers,” I am amazed at the depth of my father’s love for me. I didn’t know it then, not having children of my own; I didn’t understand the love a parent could have for his or her child.
When I had my first child, my daughter Madison, I brought her home from the hospital feeling guilty because I didn’t have this overwhelming sense of love for her that I thought a mother should. It wasn’t until she was home a few days and I peeked into her crib to watch her sleep that I crumbled to the floor. At that moment, I understood just a fraction of love my Heavenly Father felt for me–truly unconditional love without boundaries. He had created me to love me. He had created Madison to love her–and me.
My father is not a believer. I know I’ve said that, but his example in my life has been bigger and bolder than many of the Christians I have met in my life. My father showed me mercy. My father showed me grace. He showed me the love of my Heavenly Father; and while he may not know it, God used my earthly father to show me that love can be, and is, patient and kind. It holds no record of wrongs.
With my own two children, I strive to live like my Father. I want my love to cover them, protect them while they’re young, protect them forever! But soon, they’ll start making choices, good and bad, that will make them the people they are to become. I think of Timothy, his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice.
2 Timothy 1:5
“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
OH! To see the legacy live on in Timothy that began in his grandmother and his mother!! Paul encourages Timothy, saying he sees Timothy’s “sincere faith,” which first lived in those godly women. My prayer for my own children is that my faith can be seen by them, that they would rise up and call me blessed. That I would be a godly example to them in my speech (yikes), my gentleness (oops), my love for the Lord (can they see that?) and in my unconditional love for them (do I show it enough?).
My dad isn’t perfect (and sorry to my mom for not mentioning her loveliness more in this piece). However, it’s those pivotal moments in my life that I was reminded of God through him. My constant prayer is that God uses me in the life of my children–every single day. AND, that God will use me to impact the life of my father as well. God is faithful, He is good and He thinks I’m a beautiful flower, showering me with love to this day.
Perhaps you’re in a season of showers (or like I felt back at 18 years of age, drowning in flood waters) and like me, struggle to see beyond the clouds. Take refuge in godly counsel, find a friend or seek out a pastor. Flood waters are hard to manage. Ask God to bring you the help you need.