Creating Stillness In The Midst Of Life's Storms

I almost didn't write this post. I almost wrote a little thing about needing a break - a paragraph explaining why I couldn't show up for this one.

I'm stressed, and lately it seems like every time I push myself through one crisis, there's another one waiting to be dealt with. Sometimes they're crises that directly impact me - other times, they are crises that hurt the people I care about in some way. Each time, they hurt my heart and lessen my faith in people I once looked up to. Each time, I am left more confused, more discouraged. More disappointed.

People can be so cold. So selfish. And it amazes me to see how little compassion we have for each other, how quick we are to offer judgement instead of support.

So I was thinking about this post, trying to decide what to write about, what would be safe to share, what lesson I could learn, and how it might help someone reading here ... and I came across a quote I thought fit too perfectly to be overlooked. A quote that reminded me to stop, breathe, rest, and let God help me create a moment of stillness in my storm.

Life is full of storms - there's no getting away from the truth in that. But there is hope inherent in the idea that what goes up must come down - because in turn, what falls down must at some point come up again. Storms, regardless of the power they wield and the havoc they wreak, are not forever. They pass. They end. They fade into the background of what is; in time, they become lost in the fog of what was.

But it's in the moment of the storm that we struggle. In the wrenching winds and pouring rains, we fear. Even in the calm of the storm's center, we fear. And as the storm passes and we stand staring at the destruction left behind, we fear. We fear the damage, the change, the process, the cleanup, the impact.

And so, in the chaos of such a storm of crisis and change in life, how does one find stillness in which to rest - particularly if one struggles with fear and anxiety even in the best of times? How can we remind ourselves to hold on - to breathe in each moment and hold out until the storm passes? How do we find rest?

Sometimes, the best stillness is found in acceptance. There is pride and accomplishment in productivity, in staying proactive, in giving your all to the fight of life. But there is rest in accepting the things we have no power over, peace in finding contentment in even the worst of circumstances, and hope in looking toward a better, brighter day.

Many of my personal storms are not ones that I can change or control at the moment - and for those over which I have some control, I have mostly done all that I can do to move forward. I have made plans, I have set those plans in place, and I have taken action toward the things I want to see in my future. I've been working on more positive self-talk, I've been maintaining an effort to visualize a better future, and I've been nurturing a stronger faith, supported not only by my own efforts but by the little quiet ways in which God is showing up in my life.

In many ways, I am taking as many steps as I can, and I am taking many of those steps despite overwhelming fatigue and crippling anxiety - some days I'm taking too many steps at once, other days, I'm so exhausted I can barely move. But in other ways, I am unable to take steps even were I ready to take them ... many of my current storms cannot be mitigated and must only be waited out, with the patience of knowing that time is passing and the hope of knowing that no storm lasts forever.

But despite the rain of my storms and the ever-changing winds whipping at me from all sides, I am excited. I am ready for the storm to pass and the rainbow to show itself. I'm ready to look up into clear skies, take a deep breath, and rebuild.

For now though, I'm just sitting in the storm, sheltered under an admittedly flimsy umbrella, listening to the wind shriek and the thunder rumble. I'm watching the rains wash away the filth of what was before, watching my life drink up the renewal of change.

And in the stillness, fear slips away, leaving me to rest.

If you liked this post, related to it in some way, or know someone who needs to see it, make sure you drop a comment below - I would love your feedback as well as the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you could share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me get my blog out there, and I love that it brings new exposure to the Undaunted Army and what we hope to accomplish! Be sure you check out my quarterly giveaway page, too - there are several free and easy ways to enter - and members of the Undaunted Army are always eligible for extra entries!

And speaking of the Army, I'd like to personally invite you to take your place among the ranks of those who have fought and survived the battles of life. Addiction, abuse, violence, divorce, parenting, illness, and other traumas are real battles too, and those who suit up to fight every day have a right and an obligation to nurture their own health, well-being, and self-empowerment. But there is strength in numbers, as as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the hope of knowing that you will never have to fight your battles alone again. Enlist as an Undaunted Army Private for free, or invest in the growing impact of the Army with an Undaunted Army Officer Commission for as little as $1 a month.

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