Calm Amidst Calamity

As hurricane season is upon us, I thought this topic was appropriate. Raised in Florida, I am no stranger to hurricanes. These recent storms got me thinking… Isn’t it interesting how the Eye of the Storm is both the most dangerous but calmest part of the storm? The eye of the storm is the center that meteorologists track and base warnings on. Strong winds whirl from every direction toward the center yet they never reach it. The skies are often clear above the eye but just outside the eye wall is the most treacherous forces. I venture to say that this is a beautiful depiction of how we can remain unwavering in the middle of all life throws our way. Much like weather patterns, stormy seasons of the soul can be anticipated and expected. Our soul survival is readied by how we position and prepare in the off season.

 

Chaos is inevitable. It is a part of every life and is no respecter of persons. At every age, in every stage we experience our own versions of stress and unrest. Whether single or married, a parent or a child, experiencing wealth or misfortune, a student, a stay at home, an entrepreneur or a retiree… adversity is not selective. The cataclysms of life are colorblind and certainly don’t discriminate based on age or location. When we face adversity, our nature is to feel isolated, singled-out and alone. The reality is, we are all in this together. The world is a crazy place to be. There is so much about life outside of our control. Good people die, corrupt people are celebrated, babies get sick, families fall apart, friends become enemies, natural disasters occur and we can’t fathom why. Justice seems like a distant pastime we have drifted long away from. We may never understand all that occurs in the brokenness of this world we live in. But when everything seems to be in a downward spiral, spinning out of control, what we can control is who we are in the midst of it all.

 

LIFE GETS CRAZY. But on the inside, we can be steady.

Fundamentally it comes down to belief. What do we believe at the core of who we are when everything we are is shaken? When the proverbial or literal (Hello, Irma) storms rage, how do we “hunker down” to weather the attack? Will we be riddled with fear, paralyzed in confusion or stabilized by trust?

 

We are anchored by our beliefs and respond according to what is in us. Everyone has some sort of belief system. Some people believe in fate or karma or self-empowerment. I believe that I am loved by a sovereign, all-knowing, never-changing God. I believe that He created, sustains, and stewards the earth and its people with grace and justice. I believe that He is for me, on my side and out for my best interest. And if I believe in His ultimate sovereignty, I can rest easy in trusting that He is outside of time, knows the end of the story and won’t ever change His mind about me. I often comfort myself in times of uncertainty by telling my heart, “He knows.” At any given point, He is not taken by surprise. He knew all along that this would happen and He knows how it will resolve. And although we can’t fast forward to the end of the episode or flip to the last page of the book, we have a sneak peek into knowing it will all be alright.

 

How can we prepare?

Much like a sponge, what you absorb is what will come out of you when you are squeezed! So do the heart work while you have the mental capacity. Build yourself up in courage, positivity and hope. If you are a Bible believer, put scripture in and let it be what rolls out of your mouth in times of trouble. Fill up with life-giving words and thoughts that can replenish you when the times of despair and defeat arrive. Surround yourself with life-giving people who put wind in your sails, will hold you up, bear the weight with you and remind you who you are when you have forgotten.

 

How do I stay calm amidst calamity?

{Here are some of the things I do in the eye of the storm:}

Realign your thoughts. Stop. Pause. Remember who you are & whose you are. Dwell on hopeful truths.

Phone a friend. Reach out. Get a hug.

Play music that is peaceful and life-giving. For me it’s worship music. For a time I played Kari Jobe’s song You are For Me on repeat to rest my mind enough to sleep. More recently my reset jams have been Bethel’s Abba and MSC’s Tremble. Music has a way of changing our emotions and puts out the fires of disparity in our hearts.

Take a nap. Rest your body. Rest your soul.

Try essential oils. No joke, these have been a lifeline to Pedro and I.

Get outside. Nature has a way of rejuvenating us. Vitamin D from the sun and fresh air do the body and mind good. Go to the beach or find a rooftop with a view. Unless it’s a hurricane- then stay indoors with boarded windows.

Get active. Try a little exercise. Yoga. Stretching. Walk. Workout. Breathe & access those endorphins.

Remember you aren’t alone. We all take our turn through the storms but can make it through together.

In it with you. Thanks for accompanying me on this wild ride.

Xo,

Jessie

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Comments

  1. Chelsea
    September 13, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    This was SO good and timely ❤️

    • Andrea
      September 19, 2017 / 10:47 pm

      Jess you’re amazing! Everything I needed to hear was in this blog! I am stressed but not discouraged! I am upset but not sad! I am overjoyed with the fact that God delivered my entire family from possible disaster!

  2. Ramona Banker
    October 8, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    Ypu spoke to every area of fear , pain & desperation I was feeling after health scares & hurricanes.. Standing alone & afraid- i forgot WHOSE I AM. I WAS LOST LIKE A CHILD IN THE DARK. THANKU FOR LISTENING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT- I KNOW YOU DO!
    I hope his helps you understand my crazy emotions! You helped me understand. I love you. Im so PROUD OF YOU & THANKGOD FOR YOU ! Enormous blessing that you are!

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