Yesterday, I felt, was the first real day of winter, because it rained all day. It wasn’t pouring down rain, but it wasn’t the Seattle mist either. It was a steady stream of straight down rain.

And I loved it.

I didn’t have much planned for the day and I had woken up not feeling the greatest, so when I got back from coffee with a friend around 11:30, I jumped right back into my sweats, curled up on my couch and read for the next six hours or so. It was magnificent. I hadn’t done that in a long while.

But, one can only take sitting on the couch for so long without going a little stir crazy. So I slipped on some jeans, my rain jacket, my ipod, a hat, and my running shoes and set out for a bit of a walk. Little did I know that I was about to find a little gift from God, and of course, as only He could provide, it was exactly what I needed.

I didn’t have a destination in mind, but when I turned the corner only two blocks from my apartment, I was in front of a little playground. A playground that has been there, tucked away behind a city building, the whole time I have lived in my apartment. A playground that I pass daily in my car, or on my bike. And I never noticed it. Never even turned my head to see that there was a tennis court, and the little playground, even a picnic table or two.

At first I was just going to walk through it but then I saw the swings.  I love the swings.

So there I was, 27 years old, swinging on a swing set, in the rain, watching the cars pass by. Cars filled with people coming home from work. And I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

Because you know what? While I was watching my legs pump the air, and feeling the chains give a little as I reached as high as they could go, and having the rain pelt my face and legs, I felt, more than I have in a long time, that I was in the presence of God. You see, I haven’t been in the best of places lately. Discouraged is probably the best word. With events that happened this summer, job interviews not working out, and generally not being where I thought I’d be by 27 (married, settled, maybe a kid or two), my heart has been a bit heavy.

But here I am, swinging to my heart’s content, listening to Third Day’s “King of Glory” sing in my ear, watching the colorful leaves pass under my feet, and feeling my eyes fill with tears as I, once again, realize that I am a child of the Most High God. A daughter of the Creator.

Sure my butt got a little wet. Sure my stomach was feeling more queasy after I got off the swing than when I got on it. But my heart was lighter.

I felt like I had just been hugged. Not a big bear hug from someone I haven’t seen in a while, but a light, side hug, from Someone who’s reassuring me that He’s there. He’s always there.