The Calm Before the Storm

It happened a year ago today. The door bell rang and my life, as I knew it, was never the same. It was the warning of the storm headed straight my way. And, it wasn’t just any storm – it was the perfect storm. I never saw it coming either. I’m thankful someone else did and loved me enough to wake me up, both figuratively and literally, to warn me. I still get anxiety when I hear door bells ring.

Living on the East Coast my whole life, I’ve been through a few hurricanes. There’s always the eery calm before the storm. You’ve been warned. You know it’s coming. You’ve stocked up on water, flash lights, batteries, generators, and bread. Now all you can do is batten down the hatches, wait and worry. You wait and worry about who and what will survive. You pray the storm will pass and everything in your life will be in tact when it’s over – including you.

That’s how that day and the next 47 days felt. Wait, worry, repeat.

As I sat in the eery silence of the calm before the storm, I heard God’s still, small voice whisper:

I’ve got you.

In that moment I knew no matter what devastation the storm caused, I was going to survive. Not without feeling like I was going to die first though…

The perfect storm destroyed everything in its’ path. My dreams. My identity. My self-worth. My relationship with the church I worked at for 12 years and gave 33 years of my life to. Not to mention the people I thought were grace-filled friends and leaders.

But, through that storm and the next two storms, God kept His promise to me. He was with me through them all. Even after the storms passed and I sat in the wreckage of my sin – He never left me.

It’s ironic the day after the hurricane seems like the most beautiful day God’s ever created. The sun is shining brighter than ever and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Interesting. But, yet – there’s devastation all around. It’s a mess – yet it’s beautiful. A beautiful mess. And, only God can take our mess and make it our message, or shall we say, our story. He makes it a beautiful message. A beautiful story of His grace.

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It’s taken almost a year to pick myself up out of the beautiful mess. And, by God’s beautiful grace, I haven’t just survived – I’ve thrived. In fact…

I’m dreaming again.
I’m believing the best is yet to come.
I’m rejecting the lie of being disqualified.
I’m confident and have clarity of my calling now more than ever.
I’m owning my story.
I’m not allowing a couple scenes to define my story.
I’m chasing the lion. (This will make sense in a later blog)

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, never underestimate what God can do in a year. When that door bell rang, I never imagined I’d be thriving and most of all, dreaming again – just 365 days later. I never imagined He could take the wreckage of my sin and make it into something beautiful. If he can do that in 365 days, I can’t imagine what life will be like 365 days from now. Knowing God, it’s gonna be good – no matter what.

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