“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NLT)
Have you been wounded, overlooked, rejected or betrayed?
You are not alone. We all experience pain in life –– in one form or another. Pain stems from traumatic experiences, I often call them the storms of life. Storms come in all shapes and sizes and don’t favor one person over another, they hit families, marriages, friendships, and careers. Sometimes we see them coming and can shelter ourselves from their fury –– other times, they show up when we least expect them and we are caught trying to hang on.
Mike and I have been married for over thirty years, and we’ve experienced our fair share of storms. A few years back, we hit a hurricane in our marriage that neither one of us thought we’d get through without it completely tearing our family apart –– and it almost did.
The one thing about storms is, they teach us a lot. We learn where to go for shelter, who to count on in times of trouble, and we often acquire tools, necessary to survive, that aid us in weathering future storms.
One thing Mike and I learned from our hurricane, was that there is one being in control –– and it wasn’t either one of us. I’ve spent most of my life believing I could handle anything –– even control most anything that came my way –– either good or bad. I guess it was time for me to learn just how little control I really do have, and I guess it was time for me to be brought to my knees where I would surrender to the one who truly has control over my life –– God.
“ Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
That’s exactly what happened and on May 29th, 2012, I was brought to my knees, not knowing where else to turn, what else to do or how else to keep our marriage afloat. Still wanting to believe I had some form of control –– yet quickly facing the reality that I didn’t.
Have you been there? Are you there now?
As is said often, we’re either coming out of a storm, right in the heart of it or getting ready to enter another one. So, if you haven’t been there or aren’t there now, this is still a perfect time to equip yourself for the storm looming in your future.
So, how do we equip ourselves for a storm? First, we must be grounded in our relationship with God. Through daily quiet time with our Savior and quality time spent in His Word, we strengthen our courage muscles and build up our defenses against our enemy. By ingesting a daily dose of biblical truth, we are less likely to fall prey to the lies of our enemy when the hurt and pain of our storms threatens to discourage us.
One other important aspect of weathering storms is to avoid isolation at all costs. Storms in life are much more manageable when there are two or more navigating them. God never meant for us to walk through life alone, to face hurt and pain alone, or to struggle all by ourselves to make wise choices when we are reeling from the fury of a storm.
So, join me today in being fully prepared to weather life’s storms by committing to daily quiet time with God and the study of His Word. Write out your commitment, place it where you will see it daily and share it with a friend who will hold you accountable. Then write down the names of at least two safe friends you can turn to when the storms of life hit, nurture those relationships often and never hesitate to ask for help.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)