It’s not just one storm, though, that helps a tree grow deeper and stronger where it stands. It’s several storms over time, a series of torrents and gusts. All of this rooting and growing in the face of heavy weather protects a tree from simply blowing over. And, it prepares a tree for the storms yet to come.

Just because a tree remains standing, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t damaged. Lightning strikes, for example, almost always leave scars. A tree may be alive and well—a survivor—yet bear marks that never fully fade.

We are a lot like trees. Dark times can damage us so deeply that even though we’re still physically here, we can’t imagine a time when we will feel fully recovered. After the storms of our own life, we may wonder if our bodies, minds or souls will ever be the same again.

Some storms pass quickly; others take years. Waiting for a long storm to pass takes a toll on the spirit, even when you know those skies will eventually clear. Often we aren’t even aware of a storm’s full impact until after the fact, when we have the visibility to sort out all the damages.

Rainbows appear in the sky only after the clouds clear. A rainbow is a symbol of promise, a beautiful reminder of the gifts yet to come.



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