When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally,
to my family or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand
and be a strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody else.
- Anne Graham Lotz
Storms. I've been thinking a lot about storms lately. The title of my next book is SCATTERED STORMS: SENSING GOD'S STRENGTH WHEN YOUR OWN IS BLOWN AWAY. I've spent a lot of time analyzing how it feels to be in a storm...what do we do when a storm is coming...how do we act in the midst of it...what do we have when it's over.
Today, I'm having a time of respite. It's my own retreat to have writing time away from other distractions. My hide-away is a B and B on the intracoastal waterway. Just to accommodate my subject matter, two storms came today: a family storm and an actual rain storm. I've taken notes on all of it. Everything is grist for the mill!
The family storm left me angry, fearful, feeling sick, fussing with God..."Where ARE You?" I don't like this! I hurt so badly for the people directly involved. It was so overcoming that I lost my way for awhile. I've had a hard time getting my psychological and spiritual footing back on track. I want to help. I want to DO something...be that shelter that Anne Lotz speaks of. And then came the actual storm, and the similarities were striking.
My room is close to the street that runs between this house and the river which is directly on the other side. I can look out the windows and see all the way across the water to the other shore. Several boats are anchored near the channel and a high bridge spans the waterway. It's a beautiful scene in clear weather. As the rain moved in, the world became increasingly grey until everything outside my windows was hidden. Any thought of leaving this safe space was out of the question. I was locked in by the force of the wind and rain.
And then, the most irritating thing happened. This facility has Direct TV. I'm not used to this system. In the middle of my TV program, we lost the signal. That was the biggest lesson of all. Storms make us lose our signals. All the signals that guide our lives...the lighthouse beams that show us where to walk, what to do, how to handle our feelings - all of those things are blocked out when the first bad news comes. In the aftermath, it's up to us to sort it all out and get back on track. Back on the path to syncing our will with the will of our Creator. It's not always an easy sync and it doesn't happen fast. But if we just stick with it...there is tomorrow. Hopefully, if we stand strong, we can be a shelter for those around us.
I love this picture taken by my friend, Judy Deeson. The sky tells us a storm is brewing. The lone bird is not flapping its wings to try to outrun it. Instead, it stays true to its path, flying toward the gale.
In The Message, the third chapter of Lamentations is translated with these words:
Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.