And right in the midst of it all (I didn't even have my make up on...where's that waterproof mascara?), a taxi drove up with my friend L in it. I had asked her if she would come sometime before for "last minute touches." I envisioned us sipping coffee, moving a jar of flowers or two, and watching a sermon together waiting for the church-goers to arrive. But what she found was all my junk crammed on the porch, me in a bathrobe with tears streaming down my face, and a downpour that wouldn't stop.
She smiled and said, "We got this!" And then she told me all she needed was a cup of coffee, but everything was going to be ok. I ran in to start a pot, and she pulled and hung and re-did and suggested. And before we knew it, everything that couldn't get wet was in a covered place. Everything that could get wet was outside. We were drying chairs and tables as we were able. The party had been transformed to a hybrid plan that would work.
And I kept thinking how God puts people in our lives when we are at a point where we just can't move forward. I could not move or even think at that point, but she could. I'll never forget her help that day.
By the time my family arrived home, it looked beautiful.
We began setting the table with the food. This was one of my hilarious contributions. Firstborn saw it the day before. She giggled and said, "Where's my hair?" So, I peeled a banana and gave the graduate hair.
I hired some fun cookies to be made.
And as my friends arrived, they brought all kinds of food to add to mine. The food just kept pouring in.
It was a beautiful mix of good ol' American picnic and all our favorite Turkish foods like sarma and kisir.
As I reflected on the day later, it struck me that the storm was promised. I knew it was coming. It was set for 1PM, right about the time of the party starting. I thought it would be minimal, but it was fierce. God didn't take away the storm. But He did move it. He moved it to early morning. By the time the guests came, it was fully an outdoor party. We are promised storms, but we are also given the tools to weather those storms. And sometimes, God moves them ahead, and lets them pass sooner and easier than we expected. Just for us.