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She flies in like a tornado, unaware of her own strength. The bits and pieces of the day piling on, adding annoyance and disappointment like changing weather systems intensify the wind speed. She’s about to overturn her entire house, like Dorothy endured long ago.

At first it was an unsettling dream. She woke up feeling down. Sadness, like a cloud enveloping. She willed herself out of bed, pushing down tears, trying to hide. She feels so responsible. For things that aren’t hers. For things she has no control over. She is covered with shame that should rightly be on another.

She sits with her coffee, watching the cream circle and blend with the darkness. She feels that darkness but unlike inside her cup, it is not lightening. The darkness persists.

Little by little, the failures pile on. She cannot stop feeling their weight. She tries and tries but things keep not going her way. Kids are loud; the to-do list is unfinished. She cries.

Finally, she gains some strength, willing herself to accomplish. To pull herself out of the hole that she’s been thrown in. It backfires. She claws at the edges of her deep canyon. She falls in again.

She knows what needs to happen. In order to feel, in order to gain some semblance of control, she has to explode. This is the tornado part. Moving quickly, rain pouring from her tear ducts, she demands unreasonably.

“Clean this!”

“Pick up that!”

“Go to your room!”

They are speechless, afraid. There was no warning of this change in weather forecast. They are caught off guard and unprepared.

Then, a calm. For a minute, her worries have been thrown off her and blamed onto someone else. She finds relief in not bearing her own responsibility. Just like has been done to her.

But then, sobriety. The realization that she is in the wrong. The conviction. The actual shame, not what has been placed before. She is feeling her wrong as he should have. She must go and make amends.

First, with God. She opens the book that waits on the counter but rarely gets cracked. It opens to something that pierces her heart. Why must it take a tornado to bring her to this? That part feels frustrating. She cries the tears, that he would love her so much to bring her back.

Then comes the hardest part. Facing those kids. Allowing them to know that their mom really isn’t the best at everything. Letting them see that she really needs Jesus just as they do. That she really doesn’t have it all together all the time. That they really did nothing wrong and it’s her internal turmoil that led to this garbage of an afternoon.

They repair, rebuild, just as after a tornado. There is a new day. She moves on, remembering his goodness.

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