A Thankful Heart Amidst the Storm

Originally written Sept. 9, 2017
I have weathered many storms in my life.  Some of them physical, some of them emotional, some of them spiritual.  Some of them have been in my career, some of them have been as a parent, some within my family, and even some within my marriage.  Some of them have been brought about by snow, wind, and rain, and some have even included sand.  Throughout these storms, I have learned that at times it can be difficult to trust God.   There have been times when the panic, pain, anxiety, or fear sets in and it is easy for me to lose focus.  I forget that I am not required to battle the storm out on my own, but I try. Speaking honestly from my heart, I try as I might and I forget that there are others who face the same challenges and the same difficulties.  I forget to stop focusing on the storm and I forget that there is a place I can find refuge and peace when I allow fear, anxiety, pain, or panic to take over.
One of the most unsettling storms in my life came when my youngest son, Travis, was about a year old.  We lived in North Dakota and had encountered a terrible blizzard that snowed us in.  Travis became extremely ill and I treated him at home by following the directions given to me by the pediatrician.  The blizzard went on and Travis began to become lethargic and his temperature was rising.  Snow inhibited us from leaving, but we needed to get him to the ER.  We began to shovel, shovel, shovel, and shovel some more.  As a mom I felt desperate and completely powerless.  I was fearful.  With each shovel full of snow, I prayed. For the next four hours we shoveled a path wide enough for me to get our car out of the driveway.  I got Travis to the ER where the verdict was given, bronchitis.  He was monitored for a couple hours and given excellent care.  We returned home with medication in hand and a few days later our baby boy was healthy and full of energy.
Looking back on that moment, I see how God brought us through.  That while we shoveled snow, He was with us.  While we held our baby boy unsure of what to do, He gave us wisdom to know what actions to take.  
On this earth, we will always face storms.  That’s is because we live in a fallen and imperfect world.  We do have power in these moments though, to call out to our Creator, to aks Him for guidance, to ask Him for wisdom, to ask Him for protection, and to ask Him for peace.
He doesn’t always bring us through the way we think He should, but I can honestly say that looking back on the storms in my life I can see how His hand was on us and how He provided through each one.  
Now as my family faces another storm, Hurricane Irma, I am so thankful for His provisions.  We have shelter from the storm, we have food to eat, blankets to keep us warm, we have friends and family to pray with us and for us, and most of all, we have complete peace.  Peace that can only come from knowing that He is our Father, that He loves us, that He will care for us, and that He always provides.  Tonight my heart is thankful, because I do not know how I could get through the storms of life without Him and He is here carrying us through.
We are praying for all of those who have been affected, are being affected, and will be affected by Hurricane Irma.