Storms in life can hit hard and fast. They can blow out as quick as they blow in, or they can hammer hard like Hurricane Harvey, until you feel giving up is the only option available. However, every storm passes. How you handle them will determine if you come out better or bitter.
So, how do you survive life’s storms? I don’t know the exact answer, but I’ll share how my husband and I have survived multiple life storms this spring and summer, helping me empathize with Job. Health, finances, children, ministry have all struck. The nice thing is after you’ve been through a tornado, you know how to prepare for another one. Same with storms of life. Focus on the eye of the storm. Live in its peace, knowing God is in control.
When our only granddaughter was born at the tail end of January, I knew I’d have two young babies to love and coddle, since her brother was only 14 months older. I knew I had two teenage grandsons to oversee part of the time while their mother went to college. What I didn’t anticipate was how often I would need to babysit the youngest grandson during so many appointments. Nor did I expect to help remind my daughter who was fighting infection after giving birth, of her tasks and appointments.
“Did you fill out your paperwork for your insurance? Did you pay your water bill?”
Well, you get the picture. My time was getting squeezed left and right. Extra appointments with my youngest daughter, medical appointments of my own, followed by my husband…all this for a couple who usually averts doctor visits for years at a time. Extra responsibilities piled in our ministry and church.
Not only was time squeezed, but life itself became more compounded, resulting in adaptations in our daily routines. Change, adjust, change, adjust. During the process, many tears were shed during my prayer time, yet I knew I would make it. I can’t begin to imagine someone with a long-term illness. Their body gets so weak before rebounding. Once well, it takes time to gain those pounds back and resume a normal lifestyle. While my storms don’t even compare, the same can happen. A new normal can also emerge.
During such powerful storms in life, I change my focus and do what I can do.
1. Pray, then pray again when doubt and lies attempt to infiltrate my mind.
2. Focus on positive things. Being intentional is necessary to keep emotions in check. To succeed, though, avoid negative talk and drama as much as possible.
3. Get plenty of rest so the brain isn’t overloaded and stress won’t kidnap and hold you hostage.
4. Dream. Think about desired accomplishments you want to achieve, or belongings to purchase. Set goals while waiting, knowing each storm will pass.
5. Accept you can only do what you can do.
This last one taunted me the most. You see, when time is squeezed and more responsibilities are given with fewer assets, my passion for writing dropped to the bottom of the list. Too much change too fast shorted out my brain. It acted like the internet does during storms. Unreliable.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Still, I did what I could, set my priorities, and now am seeing the last of the storm clouds. The sun isn’t eclipsed, but is shining bright in the distance so a rainbow should also be in sight. I ask you continue to bear with me. In case you didn’t know it, without sight, I’m a little slower than when I could see. But…I do what I can do.
I may only be able to post twice a month until my life develops more routine. Whatever happens, I promise I will continue doing what I can do. God has given me much more to write and I can’t wait to be able to share with you.
Your patience and support means more than a box of chocolates. Please share this if you believe it will help someone.
LET’S TALK. How do you survive when life’s storms hit you? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.