I was a little worried as we headed to St. Lucia last Wednesday because the weather report was less than exciting. It was supposed to be cloudy and rainy for the entire 6 days we’d be there. But as me, Kim and Kendal boarded the plane I accepted the fact that I’m not in control of the weather and that we’d have fun no matter what would happen!
We landed on Wednesday afternoon and YEP it was a mix of clouds and very dark skies. Kim had rented a car for us and we set out for the 90 min trip to the hotel in Rodney Bay.
We didn’t immediately have cell service for our GPS so we got lost but still got to the hotel before the 6:30 on sunset. It wasn’t a pretty sunset at all but the clouds and light certainly got my attention. I immediately said a prayer when I got out of our Jeep so grateful that we’d arrived safely. From that moment on I felt God’s presence in a way I hadn’t felt before.
Throughout our entire trip I was focused on family time, the beautiful scenery, the clouds and the incredible glimpses of sun we were given. I had even left my laptop at home (on purpose) for the first time ever! I took more photos of clouds than I ever have. As I walked each morning around sunrise before the kids got up I had some great conversations with God, revealed in the form of a mix of clouds, sun and light – and I likened it to the many faces of God.
We had some amazing adventures, touring a rainforest, horseback riding and enjoying a waterfall and mud bath. We also drove on some of the most treacherous roads we’ve ever been on. We laughed loudly (at times to keep from crying) and honked to alert other drivers when we were coming around a corner! But we faced our fears and kept going (all for the love and pursuit of chocolate!). Through it all I kept watching the clouds and light and sun. Each time I looked up, I saw and felt something different and it was incredible!!
But one of the most amazing moments for me was our trip to an old fort called Pigeon Forest National Landmark. The clouds looked ominous BUT we took rain ponchos and headed to the fort. We got a little more than halfway towards to top of the fort from where you could see almost the entire island when the skies opened up and we got drenched!!!! I can’t remember the last time I was that wet from rain!! YET we laughed and squealed like little kids and huddled together under a tree and then a gazebo while we waited for the rain to end. It was a special moment because I’ve always believed that rain is God’s way of washing away the things we need to get rid of or to let go of. I briefly contemplated how to move forward with getting rid of some of the things weighing me down. .
If you’re lucky, whenever there’s rain around you may even get to see a rainbow! And we saw a couple of gorgeous ones! When I saw this one across the entire resort property, I ran as fast as I could back to our room to get the kids so they could see it too!! Kim was as blown away by it as I was, but Kendal took one photo and jumped back into bed. We stood out on the balcony for what seemed like forever and just reveled in that sight!
This past Sunday, June 20th was The Longest Day, the biggest Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser of the year that occurs on the longest day of the year (12 hours between sunrise and sunset) and I created a LEGO brick Exhibition called Art Against Alz as my theme this year. Even though I was in St. Lucia, I had built and set up the exhibit before my trip but posted the pics of the pieces in the exhibit throughout the day on social media. At the end of the day I stood in the shadows of the sunset because my fundraiser was about finding a cure for the disease and not about me, so I didn’t want to stand in the light.
This was one of the best weeks I’ve had in years where I was able to totally focus on my faith, my family, and fun. It was so cool to simultaneously experience a successful Alz fundraiser, an amazing family vacation and a deeper relationship with God. It doesn’t always have to be sunny for us to see the light!