Have you ever driven in a thunderstorm? The type of storm where there are torrential downpours and you can barely see road in front of you. The kind of storm where your windshield wipers seem to have lost the battle in the fight to keep the windshield even partially visible. Most of us have either driven in this type of storm, been a passenger in a car in this nerve racking event, or have possibly been caught in a storm while doing daily activities. I remember like it was yesterday driving to an event on a sunny, warm, breezy, beautiful day. Out of nowhere the weather shifted within minutes. The sky became dark, gloomy, and I could sense a thunderstorm would soon be arriving. As the wind began to blow fiercely, my car began to suddenly shake, and the torrential rains made it difficult to see the road. I was definitely in the midst of a STORM. As I began to drive slower, silently praying, I considered pulling over just for a moment. There was only one problem. There was nowhere to pull over. I had to courageously go through the storm.
This reminds me so much of our daily lives. I have often heard ministers say either you are in a storm at this very moment, coming out of a storm, or getting ready to enter a storm. Above you read where I was in a terrible thunderstorm. I wanted to pull over yet I was not able to; due to not having anywhere to safely pull over. Sometimes, this is exactly how our life is. You may be in a financial storm, not knowing how you will be able to pay all of your bills. You may be experiencing a health storm either for yourself or a loved one causing you to be affected to the very core of your being. Or it could be a storm in your marriage, relationship with family members, and the list can go on and on. Typically, for many people when you experience a storm you may feel as though you are in the battle by yourself and no one can clearly understand what you are experiencing. You may begin to question what you have done to deserve the STORM you are encountering. Something else I have discovered about STORMS----- when you are going through a storm you do not necessarily know when the storm will pass, and for some you may be at a point where you question if the storm will end at all. Driving in the thunderstorm, all I knew at the time was I had to continue to look ahead of me, slow down my pace of driving, keep the faith that I would make it through the storm, and know the torrential rain had to cease at some point. Notice, what I said about the storm while driving------I had to continue to look ahead of me. I couldn’t look behind me to reach my destination. I had to focus on what was ahead of me to reach my destination. Many times when in a STORM we can become stagnate, not able to move forward, focusing on past problems, and sometimes not even knowing how to move forward. Even if you have to slow your pace, take baby steps, or have assistance to keep moving ---it is necessary to keep moving in a positive direction.
All of us need to have something to serve as an anchor for us during a storm. For me it has been my faith. I by no means am perfect and have had my questions during the storms in my life. Yet, when everything else has failed, it has been my faith that provided the anchor, compass, and gradually (sometimes very slowly) brought me through.
Next in weathering a storm, I truly believe it is extremely important you have those who can pour into your life, encourage, and sometimes guide when/if you temporarily lose your way. A sense of support can come from support groups, mentors, family members, spouse, inner circle of friends, and those special people who have been divinely placed in your life. Be very careful of parasitic relationships. These are relationships that take, take, and take; never pouring into your life positively. A parasitic relationship takes continuously whereas, a relationship that nurtures adds to your life.
The thunderstorm I experienced while driving when I first began the post lasted what seemed like hours yet in reality it was only minutes. With life it is the same as the thunderstorm. When you are going through a STORM, it can be very intense, confusing, frustrating, and can bring a sense of feeling as though you have lost your foundation. Guess what happened when the thunderstorm ended? The sky began to clear, and the sun began to radiate through the clouds. It was just like I had never driven through the worst storm we had in our area in months. Very similar to the thunderstorm, the storms of life, do eventually, prayerfully come to an end or you simply find a way to positively cope. The STORM in your life may end suddenly, or it may be a very slow process. We cannot pinpoint the arrival and departure time of a storm no matter how much we would like to.
Something I do know for sure. We can assist those who are experiencing a storm especially if we are aware. I realize it is impossible to help everyone. What I do know is, if you do your part, no matter how small you are helping. STORMS come to all of us in some form or another. Realize and always know no matter how strong you are there is no harm in leaning on someone else for support while you weather the storm. You may be the person everyone in the family normally looks to as the “strong person”. Even those who have been labeled as the strong one, or the natural leader in the family or organization, need support when weathering a STORM. If you are truly honest with yourself, and truly think about it no matter who you are you need support, guidance, and a helping hand at some point in your life.
Know that if you are in a storm at this very moment, please do not feel as though you are alone. There are others who may be experiencing the very same struggle. Isolation can be detrimental to you at this time. Therefore, positive support can be the best medicine even if you do not necessarily feel it is the prescription that will benefit you. Also know, you may be experiencing a struggle now but we all experience storms at some point in our lives. There are those who want to help, just be open and accepting of one of the best gifts- the gift of service.
WE ARE TO BE HELPERS; ONE TO ANOTHER
You will not be the same after the storms of life; you will be stronger, wiser, more alive than ever before ~~~ Bryant McGill