I would ask for calm in the storm.
One of the worst of nature’s storms I have ever faced, was Hurricane Hugo. I realize that there are those who have had worse. Those living on the coast when and where a storm first strikes, have it much worse. Those who live in areas prone to tornadoes where warning times are much shorter. Flood plain areas where a life’s work can be washed away in moments. Then, there are the things one doesn’t expect, one doesn’t fully prepare for, like Hugo.
Living this far inland, hurricanes shouldn’t reach here, not with that level of devastation. Yet, Hugo not only reached us, it tore through here in a way that has never been forgotten by those who lived through that night and the days that followed.
For some reason, I had been watching the progress of this storm. Something I didn’t usually do at that time. That day when the weather prognosticators told us to prepare for high winds, I began putting anything that would blow away, into the storage building. When my husband found out what I was doing, he teased me about it, but later had to eat that laughter.
When I had worked the night shift I had picked up the habit of playing a radio to cover the outside noises. I still listened to the radio at night. When the radio went silent, it woke me from a deep sleep. It came back on, the almost immediately went silent again. We would have no electricity for five days. I got out of bed and began pacing from the front door to my infant son’s bedroom. All the while listening to the banshee howling of the winds tearing at and around the house. The winds covering the sounds of the trees crashing down around us.
When the night finally ended and morning broke, we were greeted with what the storm had done. Trees were down everywhere, except on my house. For a house that sits mere yards from the woods, that was our miracle. We would do without electricity for five days, my brother for two weeks. Even though he lived only two houses down from us. We had to find ice, which was nearly impossible by the time we were able to cut away the fallen tree and get out of our dirt road. We had to find water as no one had thought it would be necessary. Having wells, but no electricity meant no water. We had to find nonperishable food as without electricity, there was no way to keep anything cold. It was September, but September in the south is still hot.
We discovered that a relative had electricity. We were able to go shower, get and bottles of water from them. We had grills so we could prepare simple meals. We made it through and had a greater appreciation for those who deal with worse. Those who deal with the winds that have not been slowed. Hugo came through this far inland,with ninety plus mile per hour winds, coming straight off the ocean those winds were much worse.
There are many types of storms in our life.
I have battled through domestic abuse.
I am a cancer survivor.
I have dealt with manipulation.
I have faced financial storms.
I have faced the storms brought on by grief.
Those are a few of my personal storms. The storms where the winds of confusion, the torrential rains of depression, the lightening strikes of fear are normal occurrences. When you are left sitting in a dark place, unsure and seemingly alone. It seems, that no one sees you, no one cares. The words you hear from many, nothing but platitudes dropping like heavy raindrops from the leaves. You see only the clouds, there are no rainbows, there is no sunlight or blue skies. Only that storm raging around you without ceasing.
This last year and a half, has been a journey in learning for me. A time of drawing closer and to better, more in-depth relationship with my Lord. When I faced the cancer, I knew I was not alone in that battle. Even though the only time I had anyone by my side was the day of my surgery, I was never alone. The Lord showed me daily, He was with me.
During our financial storms, He provided for us. Every bill was paid, every need was met. So I knew, that He was with us, then and the times that followed.
But grief is a strong storm. The loneliness of loss, a hard battle to fight where one can find themselves sinking beneath the surface. At times, during dark moments, there would be a voice from a friend reminding me, I am not alone. I am never alone. But it took the being physically by myself, to find the quiet times to understand that I am in truth, not alone.
The not having a job, the lock downs, the social distancing, gave me time to step away from the noise of society and actually hear God and feel His presence. It was then, the winds calmed, the clouds broke apart and the Son shone down.
Peace, be still.https://biblehub.com/mark/4-39.htm
As long as we walk this earth, as long as my life as sojourner continues here, there will be storms. They will vary in intensity. They will vary in length and darkness. But there will be storms. I know though, I have found my safe harbor in the storm. I know the One, who controls the winds and calms the seas. I know, He can and does walk with me through what ever and everything I face here. So maybe, knowing that the storms have brought me to this understanding, brought me into this closer relationship and faith, that I should have an appreciation for the storms as well as for the calm.