We have been dealing with Tropical Storm Fay for the past few days and we have survived. There are several trees down and we lost power for a bit but all is well. We have been at home for three days in a row so I had to get out today and it seems like the whole city was a little stir crazy. The mall parking lot was like it is at Christmas time.
I am one of those people who love a storm so I spent as much time as I could out on the porch swing watching the wind and the rain. It is so amazing to see the power of one storm and the way it affects everything in its path. As I watched the storm go through I was reminded of the storms in my own life that have passed by in moments, but changed my life forever with the damage they left behind.
Some of my favorite songs have to do with storms. "I'll praise you in this storm", "Bring the rain", "It is well with my soul", and so on. These songs remind me that storms will come but I am not alone in the storm and God will work things out for good. That is how I have always thought of storms. Storms are more about the circumstances in my life. The things that are happening to me and around me.
This time was a little different. This time as I sat and watched the rain pouring down and the wind blowing the trees, I pictured the storm that happens not around me, but within me. There have been so many times in my life when the storm was raging in my mind, or heart, or soul. Sometimes the storm is a result of the things happening to me. Sometimes the storms are of my own making. It doesn't matter how it happens. It still shakes me to the core.
Over the past three years, especially, I have felt the storms around me but I have lived the storms within me. I have felt the rains of sorrow and grief and loneliness. I have been shaken by the winds of doubt, despair, guilt, and confusion. These are the storms that truly test you. These are the storms that rip through your life and leave a path of destruction across your very deepest parts.
I have to be honest and admit that I don't always handle these kind of storms in the best way. I have been known to hide away, to retreat within myself and build a wall of protection. I have tried to keep myself busy, to numb myself with food or medication, anything to ignore the storm raging within me.
In the end, I find that there is nothing I can do in my own strength to calm the winds or stop the rain. I have to eventually turn to the only One who has been known to stop a storm in its path. With one single word He can bring order back to my mind. He can comfort my hurting heart. He can bring peace to my soul.
I know this is true but I still try to ride the storm out on my own. I am human and insist on relying on my own strength. I am finding, though, that with each storm I run to Him a little sooner, a little faster. I am tired of dealing with things the way I always have and I want to run into His arms and rest there until the storm passes. I guess I am learning...
one storm at a time.