A Sudden Stunning Double


” … Even the gloomiest of days can turn. Things can change, even when our faith is small, when hope is nowhere to be found. 

Today was a dreary day.

It was so very dark out when I woke up that I found it hard to drag myself out of bed. By mid-morning, the sky showed little sign of brightening. Grey and rainy was all I could see.

I’m a Vancouver girl through and through, so I’m used to the rain. I actually find it to be kind of peaceful. But today I really understood how so many others feel when they say they long for some sunshine to grace our often soggy coast.

Anyone who lives in this corner of the world knows that the weather can turn in an instant. So when I leave the house, I don’t decide whether or not to bring a raincoat (or sunglasses) based on what I see out my window. Vancouver’s climate has taught me to make like a scout and be prepared.

Today, however, was so particularly gloomy that I couldn’t imagine it changing over the course of the day. I put on my red rain boots, grabbed my trusty umbrella, and headed out into the world. Hours passed and the rain didn’t let up. My windshield wipers (and my naturally curly hair) couldn’t catch a break. I drove through more than a few massive puddles, each one sending out a mini tidal wave into the next lane.

When all of my errands had been run, I started to make my way home. Traffic was thick and in a school zone things ground to a halt. Seconds turned into minutes, and there we sat, a long line of cars waiting in the rain. Suddenly, something caught my attention. There, to my left, the sky was growing brighter. And then I saw it–the sun, burning through the grey.

The clouds opened to reveal a patch of clear, bright blue. Sunlight hit the raindrops as they fell, and it looked as though a zillion tiny diamonds were being showered down from heaven. It was magical. I strained to see behind my car, but my view was marred by massive trees and a fogged-up rear window. I couldn’t get a glimpse of what I knew would be there. The traffic finally started to move, and I felt a growing sense of anticipation for what would be waiting for me when I turned the corner. I rounded the bend and there it was:

A beautiful, glorious rainbow.

It was brighter than most rainbows I’ve seen, almost sparkly. It seemed to be glowing, as if lit from within. The road home was a straight one and the rainbow was smack-dab in front of me. As it curved down from the sky, it looked like an arrow directing my journey, pointing me homeward. Then I noticed that it was a double rainbow. And everyone knows that double rainbows mean good luck!

I felt so moved as I drove towards this colourful beacon of beauty. Partly because it was just downright stunning. And it didn’t hurt that Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69 had come on the radio. (If you haven’t belted out the line “and that’s when I met you, yeah!” lately, give it a go. Very satisfying.)

But I think what moved me most was that both the sunshine and the rainbow came as such a surprise. If I were a betting woman, I would have put money on it that today was going to be an all-day-grey kind of day.

It got me thinking. We know that change is possible. As many have quoted over the years (Wikipedia tells me that Heraclitus was the first), “the only constant is change itself.” But sometimes it feels impossible to believe that things can change, will change. We strive and pray for what we want, but despite our best efforts and intentions, it feels like we’re at a standstill.

– Maybe we feel stuck in a less-than-happy relationship, or worry that we’re never going to find that special someone to share life with.

– Maybe we long for children but it’s just not happening.

– Perhaps our connection with a loved one feels more like a disconnection, and we don’t know if that fence can be mended.

– Maybe we’re such experts at being hard on ourselves that learning to love and celebrate who we are sounds impossible.

– Maybe our lives are touched by addiction, poor health or mental illness.

– Perhaps we’re in debt–financially, emotionally, spiritually–and so used to struggling and suffering that we can’t imagine things getting better.

Many times I’ve doubted that something could change, for me or for the people in my world. But as I drove home towards the rainbow today, I reflected on how often change has surprised me. Things that I never would have bet on, things I prayed for but didn’t dare expect, suddenly (or slowly) happened.

I felt stirred to share the reminder I received today: The clouds might block our view, but even the gloomiest of days can turn. Things can change, even when our faith is small, when hope is nowhere to be found.

It might feel like someone’s pressed the pause button on our lives, but the God who knows our hearts is always at work, and He is capable of blessing us beyond measure.

Who knows, there just might be a stunning double rainbow waiting for us, right around the corner.
Photo credit: pomranka

Stefanie Thomas

Stefanie Thomas

Stefanie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor living in Vancouver, BC. She feels blessed to work in a helping profession and is grateful that her work requires her to show up not in a power suit but with listening ears and a compassionate heart. Stefanie enjoys spending time with family and friends and has never met a kid or baby she doesn’t like. She is a noticer and appreciator of birds (chickadees, herons, eagles) and many a beach rock has come home in her pocket. Stefanie is a lover of music, tv and movies, and she is gifted at absorbing and retaining useless pop culture trivia. She loves walking, fresh air, the smell of dirt, and anything of the salt and vinegar persuasion. She can often be found puttering.
Stefanie Thomas
Stefanie Thomas

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  1. Cynthia Nichols Cavanaugh says:

    Thanks for this perspective Stephanie. Rainbows appear in the midst of a rain storm. I love living in this part of the world because it reminds me that as you said, change can happen swiftly. Here is to being comfortable with those changes and turning to see the rainbow. Thank you!

  2. What’s funny about the rainbow is the angle is everything, right? So a situation can change even if we just keep moving through it, plodding along. Thank you for this lovely reminder 🙂

    • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

      I love your reminder about the importance of the angle and I love the picture you paint of change happening even as we move through a situation. Thank you, Heather!

  3. Lisa Nunes says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words, they are exactly what I need at this very moment. My sister is losing her baby right now…she’s ten weeks and this is her third miscarriage this year and the worst because its the farthest along. My sister is trusting the Father that “this too shall pass” and will not give up hope the He will bless her with another child. But right now it’s so hard to see the rainbow. So again, thank you for your words of hope and promise and please pray for my sister and all women like her who desperately want a child and believing God’s promise that He will give her the desires of her heart. Your words are also for me, as my husband and I are struggling financially and can’t see the forest for the trees…I am desperately clinging to the Father and His promises. I am clinging to the knowledge that He is in control and knows the desires of mine and my sister’s hearts and He will bless and sustain us.

    • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

      Oh, my heart is with you and I am praying for your sister, and for you and your husband Lisa. I have a girlfriend who had at least three miscarriages and it was so beautiful to see her have a beautiful healthy baby afterwards. I pray the same happens for your sister. What you’ve written is a reminder that strengthens me, so thank you for taking the time to share. I am with you on this for several things in my own life – believing that God knows the desires of our hearts and will bless and sustain us!

  4. I enjoyed the article and the message all the way until this sentence: “…but the God who knows our hearts is always at work, and He is capable of blessing us beyond measure.” What if I am an atheist? Am I to despair? Or perhaps I believe in something that cannot be given a gender. He? Are you sure? I felt sad that the universality of your important message was diluted by squaring it with an anthropomorphic deity not everyone identifies with.

    • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

      God, the Universe, Mother Nature, Spirit, Love, It, Me, He, She, We…my sense is that this works best when we fill in the blanks with whatever works best for each of us as individuals. I can only speak for myself but my heart embraces and welcomes all of the above.

  5. Oh, I’m a New Yorker living in West Ireland since August…and boy, does it rain here. I hear you, Stefanie. That said, in the past four months, I can’t tell you how many double rainbows I’ve seen – literal ones. Hoping today that some figurative double rainbows start to peek into my story. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

      Love hearing that you’ve seen many actual double rainbows lately, Sonika. Hope the figurative ones do start to peek in soon – I’m with you on that! P.S. I love New York and I love Ireland so it makes me smile to hear where you’re from and where you’re at : )

  6. Something about the way you prepared for the day that was (rain boots, umbrella, etc.) strikes me as important, something about being rooted in the reality that is makes us better prepared to see and embrace those glimmers of change and hope when they come. I find that things “turn” for me most often when I finally am able to sink into the reality of what is.
    And, yes, oh, yes regarding the salt and vinegar in your bio.:)

    • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Kelly. I appreciate your perspective, that “sinking into what is” is important. It reminds me that when we accept reality, almost surrender to it, sometimes it almost seems to invite change.
      P.S. I’m very glad to hear you are a salt and vinegar sister : )

      • Maybe I’m too much of a dreamer but I have a difficult time accepting when people say “it is what is” and to just accept reality. I cringe surrendering to it. To me it means giving up hope. “The only constant is change itself” -I believe this wholeheartedly. The upside to this is that I don’t have the patience waiting for something better to happen to others. If something needs to get done, I’m in! However I couldn’t have described my downside with any more clarity than what you’ve said, “…maybe we’re such experts at being hard on ourselves that learning to love and celebrate who we are sounds impossible.”This was an eye opener for me. If I could just be kind to myself…what surprises would be waiting for me I wonder.

        • Stefanie Thomas Stefanie says:

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspectives. I love your wondering about what surprises could come from treating yourself with kindness. I think being kinder to ourselves can only be a good thing! I see what you mean about accepting reality, surrendering to it. I read a book called “Loving What Is” that made me appreciate acceptance in a new way. I hope you take on your idea of being kind to yourself…baby steps : )

          • I just finished reading “Loving What Is”. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the “work” I need to do to get to my “voice” back again. But optimistic and motivated knowing that, one day, I’ll be my own rainbow shining always : ) Jane

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