Facing the Storms
by Steph Beth Nickel
Sitting on the patio at a restaurant in Grand Bend, Ontario, we watched the sky grow dark and the storm roll in. (They moved us inside as they battened down the hatches, so to speak.)
It was fascinating. A sunny day at the beach turned into a thunderstorm with torrential rainfall. Not to mention a power outage that had us wondering if we could slip under the arm across the parking lot. It had stopped halfway down. (We made it with lots of room to spare.)
The drive home was uneventful. The power was out in much of St. Thomas, but hey, no biggie. I couldn’t help but think of my friends and others living in California, dealing with raging fires, and Texas, being bombarded by Hurricane Laura.
You may not be facing thunderstorms, forest fires, or hurricanes, but you are facing storms. We all are, here in the anomaly called 2020.
I can almost guarantee you’ve heard all the suggestions below before, but in case you need a reminder, as I often do …
When you’re facing a storm, consider the following:
- As they say these days, give yourself permission to feel all the feels. Accusing God of wrongdoing is dangerous. Feeling what we’ve labeled “negative feelings” is 100 percent acceptable.
- Give yourself a break. Sometimes we do get overwhelmed. We simply have to acknowledge that there comes a point when this becomes an excuse, rather than a legitimate reason, for not getting busy crossing things off our To Do list.
- Begin a Gratitude Journal. Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts got us thinking about listing 1,000 things we’re thankful for. Whether we do this or not, keeping track each day of something we’re thankful for can go a long way to reassuring us there is beauty even in the midst of the wildest of storms.
- Rest and recharge. Go for a photowalk. Curl up with a good book. Watch a movie. Take a nap. Play a boardgame or put together a puzzle. There are countless ways to refresh.
- Get together with a friend. Proximity or social distancing protocols may make this a challenge, but Zoom and FB Rooms, etc. can be the next best thing to getting together in person.
- Fellowship with other believers. Some congregations have begun to meet in person. Others are live-streaming their services. Attending church (or watching the broadcast) are important, but so is genuine, interactive fellowship, with lots of back and forth. Participating in a Bible study in-person or online can build us up and help us face what comes at us.
- Spend time in God’s Word and prayer. Of course, this is important no matter what “the weather.” However, the temptation is to succumb to the weight of overwhelm and let important disciplines slip away. It may not be the time to sign up for a theology course. (But who knows? It may be.) No matter what, spending time developing our relationship with the Lord is of prime importance.
How about you? How are you facing the storm? What do you do to get you through these difficult days?
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org; join her Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2725853534313738; or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.