We can all relate to stories, because our lives are made of them. Our chapters may look different in the details, but we all share in love, laughter, pain, and death. My purpose and prayer for this blog is to inspire strength and encourage faith.
Theme: Finding Peace & Comfort in Crisis
2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
“Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
The New International Version
We all can relate to what it feels like when life delivers unwelcome difficulties to our door step. I believe the Lord placed a sense of responsibility on my heart to share how He comforted my family and I through a traumatic situation in order to encourage and remind others that He wants to be our strength in times of hardship.
- a particularly violent storm arising from a rare combination of adverse meteorological factors.
- a particularly bad or critical state of affairs, arising from a number of negative and unpredictable factors.
According to Merriam-Webster the definition is a critical or disastrous situation created by a powerful concurrence of factors
I live in a place where thunderstorms roll in and out faster than the time it takes to watch your favorite sitcom. In spring time and summer, heavy winds and tornadoes are commonplace. Every year there are homes and towns that lose life and incur devastation, caused by colliding winds clashing together with a force so powerful it only leaves destruction in its wake. Some people live in climates that would chill the rest of us to the bone, while others choose coastal living and face the dangers of hurricanes and flooding. Regardless of which climate we choose, nature has a way of combining elements that come together at just the right time to form forces that can leave immeasurable damage.
Equally as devastating are the tidal waves and dark clouds of difficulties that often blow in and catch us by surprise. Life sometimes has a way of dealing us a bad hand when we are already down, or striking us at a time when we are already drowning. All at once, life can issue a series of problems that come together at the same time………..as if we are in the perfect storm.
My family was caught in a force just like this……..
In February 2014, our two year old daughter, Adalee, suffered an ischemic stroke on the left side of her brain while we were on a family ski trip in Park City, Utah. Out of the blue, with no pre-existing conditions, we found ourselves a thousand miles away from home in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with our baby girl. Adalee lost her ability to use the entire right side of her little body. Adalee’s face was paralyzed on one side, and she lost her ability to speak, walk, and move her right arm, hand, and fingers. For three days the team of pediatric doctors performed a series of tests to find out why Adalee had suffered a stroke. After reviewing her veins, blood, and heart the doctors could not find the reason of her “acute situation”, but ruled that her stroke was caused by “The Perfect Storm”. In order for this to occur there were a handful of factors that had to come together in just the right way, and at just the right time, to result in this life threatening situation. We were told that not finding the origin is good, and so much better than having a disease or problem with a major organ. We learned to take this as good news, yet Adalee’s little body was still left debilitated. The wake of destruction had left its damage.
The first few hours in the emergency room of the children’s hospital were a whirlwind. As the team of nurses and doctors whisked my child away, I stood facing a dark, empty corridor. My heart felt like a heavy bowling ball pressing down on my chest, and my stomach was a ball of knots being pulled in different directions. For the first time in hours, I was able to stop and think about what was taking place.
In a raging instant our family had been turned upside down. All we knew was that our daughter’s life, our lives, might never be the same. Her abilities, her personality, and her words were deteriorating before our eyes. The rug of normalcy had been pulled out from under us, and life as we knew it was now completely different. As I closed my eyes to take a breath, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me. The voice was not audible, but I heard it just the same.
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
“I am here, I am God, and I. AM. CONSTANT”.
Time stood still, and I will forever remember what I felt sweep over me. I felt God’s peace fall on my head and shoulders like a soft blanket. It was as if He draped a cloak over my shoulders and I could feel the peace adorn my neck. The overwhelming sense of peace rested upon the anxiety in my stomach, and it calmed me. It did not make the ache in my stomach go away, but it did compose my emotions. In that instant, as the Lord spoke, He assured me that He was there.
Even though it was just a second, I felt like time froze. The Lord breathed through me several lessons with great depth and meaning that I would not only use to deal with this crisis, but that I would carry with me forever.
In one moment, God gave me peace, eternal perspective, and strength.
God made it clear He was with us, and that regardless of what happens to our life on earth He always stays the same. God’s sovereignty overpowers any circumstance, and I saw through a new lens how this life on earth is so very short. It was then the Lord gave me an eternal perspective. My heart began to rest on the hope that one day if Adalee did not fully recover physically, she would be whole again in eternity. Our material possessions and physical abilities here on earth cannot be measured against an eternity with God. I found peace in that moment. Peace that would get me through this perfect storm. Peace that would help me accept whatever her life would be from that moment on.
God was revealing Himself to me, because He loves me. He loves my daughter, and He wanted me to experience the comfort He alone can give in times of pain and crisis. I was blessed to recognize His presence, and I was simply reminded that He wants us all to experience Him. God wants to comfort us as our Father, just like my husband, Mark, and I wanted nothing more than to comfort our daughter.
God wants to comfort you…..regardless of your situation.
I began to get the sense God was holding me up. Through the promise of His word He gave me strength. As the days progressed, this strength helped me to be able to handle the situation, process the loads of information we sifted through each time we spoke with the doctors, keep a clear mind in order to make the best decisions for Adalee, and to be emotionally strong for her. I felt a resolve that I would be able to do whatever it took to help Adalee move forward. If that meant taking care of her for the rest of my life, then I would do everything in my power to fulfill that purpose.
God’s strength gave me focus. Focus gave me perspective. Perspective gave me peace.
God’s word never says we will not endure hardship, or that we will never experience tragedy or loss. In life we can count on bad things happening, but we can also rest assured that when we experience pain and difficulties He will always be there to give us strength.
If you are wading through your own perfect storm, the Lord wants to bring you peace and be your sense of calm. The scriptures of Matthew 8: 24-26 and Luke 8: 24-27 both tell of the story of how Jesus calms a real storm while on a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee.
Matthew 8:24-25 “Without warning a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!'”
Luke 8:24-25 ” …..He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ He asked his disciples.”
Jesus asked His disciples to believe in Him. He wanted them to know He is more powerful than any storm. Jesus wants us to do the same. His power can help us deal with any problem, and rescue us from drowning in the waves of our trials.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” NIV
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…”. NIV
If the wake of destruction has already left immeasurable damage in your life, take heart. God’s word promises He has peace to give you, and will bear your burdens.
God desires to give us comfort, and to hold us up, and to open our eyes to how our physical existence impacts our spiritual journey into eternity.
We can all know that when the perfect storm seems to swallow us there is peace and hope. I am simply….sharing and pray you will ask the Lord to be your Peace in The Perfect Storm.