I’m sitting here, 23 floors above Manhattan in my fiancé’s apartment, watching a huge storm blow in. We just went out on the balcony, and debris was flying everywhere. Our hair was blowing all over the place, the sky was dark dark, rain hurling sideways and we could see the people down below running for cover.
A storm’s a’brewin’!
Steven has one of those beautiful, modern apartments with floor to ceiling windows — quite a departure from my pre-war, downtown, village studio apartment. And being up here so high with windows all around, it feels like we’re really in it. In the storm. In the thick of it.
And watching it whip around out there, it really reminds me of the power of God. His strength. His force in our lives: able to control the winds, and send down the rains on this world.
Back several years ago, when this blog was just a newbie, one of my readers sent me a quote that has stuck with me ever since.
It went like this:
Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.
I’ve been through quite a few storms in my lifetime thus far. And I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have too. No one is immune…no matter how big or how small, we all deal with storms in this life – some greater than others.
But whether it was my anorexia those 15 years ago, the ulcerative colitis flares I dealt with for years before adopting the Specific Carb Diet, or witnessing my mother’s stroke – I could not have survived a single moment of those massive life storms without being anchored in Christ.
And the thing is, for most of those life altering events, I look back and truly do not know how I got through those times, were it not for Jesus carrying me through.
There was something I did when I went to inpatient hospital for my anorexia that is a practice I still do to this day, when I get really scared or overwhelmed, or facing the storm clouds rapidly closing in.
It was always nighttime when the fear would really strike down hard.
And in those moments, I would do a sensory exercise, of sorts, to borrow a term from my Method Acting days….
I would close my eyes and envision the painting of Jesus the Good Shepherd. (And I’ve gotta be honest, in my mind’s eye at the time, Jesus resembled Brad Pitt quite a bit more than the actual image I just found online…)
But all jokes aside, I would close my eyes and put myself in the place of that little lamb. I’d close my eyes and I could feel His strong arms, holding me safe. I could smell His scent of clove and cedar. I could feel His heart beating, calming my racing thoughts. And I could hear His voice, telling me to trust in Him.
Trust in Him.
Though the storm was raging all around me: I was terrified of gaining weight, I was facing supplement increase, and weary from always being scared and alone.
I felt desolate, frightened and despairing.
But only through that thought of being in Jesus’ arms, could I make it through that time.
And sure enough, I did. Day by day, moment by moment, 15 years later and I am still on the “other side” of those storm clouds, having made it through, only by the grace of God.
I’ve been writing this post long enough now that the sky has cleared on the horizon. The rain has stopped, winds calmed, and just like that, we have a sunny day again.
Which also reminds me the other very true fact: no storm lasts forever.
As bad as it was, just 20 minutes ago, the sun can — and will — shine again.
God has proven that over and over again in my life. Sometimes to the point that it’s so bright and sunny I cannot believe it is real life.
My only prayer for those going through a raging season of storm right now, is to cling to Jesus and ride it out with Him. Because He will always see us through — one way or another. And bright skies are on their way.
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13 responses to “Clearing the Storm”
Thanks for sharing. I am going through a storm called unemployment. Just over a month ago, I lost my job due to corporate restructuring. I have to realize it can be so easy to look at our own understanding and the dwindling bank account or winder if God really cares. As a man, it can be very easy to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and nor wait for God to rescue us. This becomes real in a different way, to call out as a child, someone vulnerable. 🙂
A wonderful post of faith, Caralyn! I am right there with you. Steven has a great view, nice!!
Good advice. Thank you. Two weeks ago today my eldest daughter had a stillborn boy, 8 lbs 4 oz. The storms are real. Even horrible at times. Jesus weeps with us.
What a lovely thought to be the arms of Jesus! What better place to be.
Fabulous views from those windows
As the sailor’s hymn says “Will you anchor hold in the storms of life”.
Thank you for these encouraging words. Truly out of the heart of Jesus.
Amen so true. We need to ride it out with Him. He also builds our character through it and with it as well. Nice apartment though! <3 stay blessed guys! <3
I tend to think of a forge instead of a storm when trials come because of the changes that are made in me. But both analogies are good; perhaps for different situations.
Brad Pitt!? As Jesus!!!? 😂 That’s a hard image for me to put together. Especially in view of Isaiah 53:2 “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” That said, when we are lambs in His arms, we will not care what He looks like physically because the beauty and majesty of His glory as The Lamb seated on the Throne will be all we need… as He has been for you.
And though we know the storms will pass, it still is difficult when they seem to last looooong seasons. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning,” (Psalm 30:5) even when the night seems very long.
❤️& 🙏, c.a.
I was inspired by your post. Caralyn, I wanted to share an experience from a few months ago. I had returned home from the hospital after a successful heart valve replacement. One day, I was having a bad day emotionally. I reclined on my bed and prayed a simple prayer, “Father, I just need you to hold me.” I felt His embrace as if lying in His arms. With my eyes closed, I saw an angel at the foot of my bed. When I opened my eyes expecting him, there was nothing. Closing my eyes, he was visible. (Strange, I know.) He had his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to protect me. I had a sense of his thoughts, “I dare anyone to touch him.” Then, I could smell a sweet fragrance. Odd, because I do not have a keen sense of smell. I smelled by pillow and blanket-throw and there was no smell at all. When I returned to my resting position, I could smell it again. I told my wife about my experience. The next morning in her prayer time, she had a revelation about the fragrance. The Bible says the prayers of the people of God are as incense. She said God allowed me to smell the prayers being prayed for me. BTW: I am healed, healthy, and active at 67 years of age. I give God glory!