A weather alert crossed my phone letting me know South Carolina was in a state of emergency. Welcome to another hurricane season in Charleston.
In the last three years we have had serious threats to our section of the coast. In 2016 we lost 4 trees to Hurricane Matthew. In 2017 we evacuated unnecessarily for Irma, and as we sit today, we are watching the path of Hurricane Florence.
The storms have been as different as the paths they have taken. The constant each time has been the fear that’s been stirred up in my heart.
Coming from the great buckeye state of Ohio and having lived in Kentucky, we had tornados. In Northern Alberta we had forest fires. Here on the coast of South Carolina the threat of hurricanes feels like a whole new level of scary.
Yesterday Keith was mentioning how we needed to prepare just in case. He let me know he was a little concerned and that we needed to keep an eye on it. I responded “this year I’m choosing to be brave”.
Several times throughout the day, he would mention something about preparedness, and I’d respond “This is me being brave!”
Bravery seems like a good topic for today’s blog post. Because no matter where we live, we all weather storms in our lives. Whether it’s with a sickness of a family member, financial struggles, life altering decisions that need to be made, or living with a new reality, life can be scary.
So how do we stand up to the fear and the storms?
I have learned that I can take control of my fear by taking control of my thoughts. I shift my focus from everything that could happen, to what has happened in the past.
For example, rather than dwelling on the “what if’s”, I turn my thoughts to all the ways God has been faithful to deliver me in really tough situations.
All throughout the Bible there are stories of Jesus calming storms when a boat filled with His followers was rocking and rolling and nearly tipping. That being said, He’s familiar with how scary storms in our life can be and as a result our reactions out of fear.
The problem with Christians today (myself included) is that we want to experience a manifestation of the power of Jesus in a tangible way in our lives, but we don’t want to experience the storm that highlights the power.
We want saved from the swelling sea, but we don’t want to actually be in a place where those swells threaten to harm us.
We want to do something great for the Lord, but we aren’t prepared to leave the comfort of our safe zones.
The truth of the matter is this: We won’t ever experience the miraculous if we aren’t in a place where the miraculous is needed.
For those of you who are weathering a storm in your life, I want to challenge you with 3 things that I hope will ease your fear and help you to be brave.
1. God is closer than He feels right now.
Reach out and talk to Him. Don’t take for granted that He already knows why you’re scared and the entirety of the situation. He loves to hear your thoughts and your words.
2. Our imagination doesn’t dictate outcomes.
Oh thank the sweet Lord that this is true. Our imagination is a powerful tool. Imaginations have caused the most thrilling novels to be created, and life altering inventions to be created. But it can also
be a battle ground for your thoughts and a place where fields of fears can be planted.
Rather than worrying about what could happen, let’s remember that God is in control, which leads me to my next point.
3. Prayer really does change things.
Talk to God. Be honest. If you’re worried about how smart you sound, you’re not being authentic and candid with Him about how scary the situation is. Be vulnerable. It’s in those moments when you take your fear to Him that something will shift. Not only will your fears decrease, God’s activity in that situation will increase. Count on it.
So while I wait and watch the direction our storm will take, and the storms that are following close on her heels, I’ll be praying for your storm too. Praying that through the scary places, you’ll learn something new about God, His faithfulness and His tenderness.
As always, if someone pops in your mind that may be encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it with them, or share it on your social media.
I love you so. xoxox