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Posts Tagged ‘#youarenotalone’

In the Pacific Northwest it is storm season. The torrential rains and the strong winds appear usually from November to December. Some years the impact is barely noticeable, whereas other years they provide enough impact for headlines such as STORM OF THE DECADE (or CENTURY).

While listening to the weather forecast this morning I heard about successive storms expected to hit our coast over the next few days …

and I got so excited!

Just like last evening, while out with a friend for a walk and coffee. When we started walking back to where our cars were parked (three or four blocks away) the heavens opened up and lightening flashed brightly in the distance. We sought temporary refuge under an awning, enjoying the light and sound show until the rains eased.

It was spectacular.

Just like the ones to hit our coast, just like all such storms, it eventually passed.

The next morning I awoke to a bright sunrise … the calm after the storm.

Storms in our lives … the kind that flatten us, leave us with more questions than answers, the kind that can skew our hopes and throw our future plans and dreams up in the air … those storms aren’t as delightful or entertaining as a thunder and lightening night sky performance.

Yet, like thunder and lightening, like wind and rain, these storms of life come and they eventually touch us all.

I don’t have wise and life-changing words for such storms. I cannot say that the loved one will be healed, that the money will be there, that the stress and anxiety of your life will dissipate.

I can tell you, from my faith and experience of the storms of life and of the God of all … you are not alone. Even when it may feel that you are out to sea in a dingy, paddling with all your might (or curled in a ball in fear) … you are not alone. He is with you.

When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, You will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.

Isaiah 43:1-2

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For many it rolls off their tongues as if they have been saying it since they uttered their first words, for others is only spoken in the safe confines of their minds … it’s the still voice … that is not so small.

Above all other words against humanity, I would rate this four-letter F-word the worst of them all … spoken verbally out loud, or (perhaps worst of all) lived, as though it’s four letters are the prison walls that surround the individual.

Fear

Fear is an emotion, caused by a threat … the thing is we can feel fear over what will occur, what may occur or even something that isn’t likely to occur. So, though fear is an emotion that can cause us to avoid danger, it can also cause us to avoid living.

We all have fears. For some it is creepy (or slithery) crawlies. For others it might be speaking in public, enclosed spaces (caves, elevators), needles, boating, flying or broccoli (or maybe that is just a preference … not mentioning any names).

Some of us have fears that are so debilitating that our fears have become phobias, meaning that our fears are so great that anxiety accompanies the fear, preventing us from doing things and going places that we would otherwise love.

Fear

Fear is sneaky too, for it disguises itself in other words … anxiety, uneasy, uncomfortable, overwhelming, weakness … words that send us to our knees.

… can that be so bad?

It is said that there are three hundred and sixty-five times in the Bible when the message,

do not fear

is delivered. I haven’t counted, but I do know that is a common biblical communication to us. It is a message that God has incorporated into his Word, from the Old Testament to the New, from cover to cover.

God knew that fear would come to us when sin entered the world, so he has been whispering, ever since Eden,

… do not fear, for I am with you

What if we acknowledged that whisper when the hairs on the back of our necks start to stand at attention? What if, we reach for a verse in the Bible (see below) and read it, memorize it, read it in the context of the chapter it is written. What if we give out energies over to the opposite of fear … God … instead of giving our full attention to that thing that has our knickers in a knot …

We are not alone in our fears.

May we all be encouraged (as in full of courage) to look for solutions to our fears … there is one and he is always with us, even to the end of the world.

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flood

Sometimes I wonder if I am too real and honest, too often.

I write about when I have had good days, and you certainly know the opposite comes my way. My hope is that, through my vulnerability, you might see that you are not alone. I also hope that, through my ups and downs, sunny and straight or dark and twisty, that you will see that you are not just not alone, because I share but because God is truly accompanying us each and every day … we are never alone.

Such was the case, just the other day …

Hubby had not slept well the night before … I knew that when I awoke, at 3:30am, on his side of the bed (he would say that is not uncommon … but, I digress). I was ready for work early, so I whispered to him that I would take our son to work for 8am. This ‘selfless’ offer also meant that I could stop at the only coffee shop I know to offer steeped tea! (I am SO selfless).

So, I let the younger man know what time we had to leave by, grabbed his lunch for him (I am so thoughtful), and went to wait for him in my vehicle.

The confirmed time came … and went. When younger man arrived, I asked him to close my garage door (which is not working right), by holding the button down until the door was down, and come out the other side … but he didn’t hear what I said about holding the button down. So, it went down, then stopped, then up, then down, then up, then … you get the idea (and I was now 6mins behind schedule).

He then got to experience something that I can only describe as a momma rant … that probably confirmed why he loves having his dad drive him to work.

Then, just as I was settling down (his wise silence put me in my place), and started to take the bend in the road, I was halted, literally, by a line of red brake lights, as long as the eye could see … seriously!?

Not only that, but it seemed that the road report on the radio indicated there were incidents and accidents all around me!

I was able to take a detour, and got him to work on time, but too late for my steeped tea.

For the next number of minutes of driving, I sputtered and spewed in my mind about how things were not going my way, and I wasn’t just thinking about my steeped tea.

As I was mentally taking stock of every unappealing twist in my week, my mind drifted to the words of the song I awoke to that morning:

“Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul”

There is something about the words, “it is well with my soul” that creates an immediate grounding, security and reset in my mind.

Never, in all of my life, no matter the upset, struggle or stress, have I not been able to say, it is well with my soul, for my soul has always been, will always be, in good hands.

And the focus changed.

And the trajectory altered.

With the reminder that it is well, with my soul and when I cannot see what is up ahead.

 

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