Where is the calm in the storm when it cycles over and over?
Is there calm? Is my challenge to conform to the storm? Do I breathe alongside the mighty wind and gust with emotions when appropriate? If I tread with the tide, will it feel natural? Am I strong enough to be the storm?
I looked up and saw life going on around me. Even those closest to you cannot stop to join you in your storm. They may say, ‘I am here for you,’ or ‘We will do this together,’ but the reality is, no one is emerged in the muck with you. You are standing solo. Maybe your spouse is with you, or maybe not. Other family and friends are over there on the sidelines, cheering you on. You are covered in prayer and loved beyond expectations. However, only one remains at your side.
In the center of this downpour of life, is the One. Grateful doesn’t express your feelings in His presence. Without Jesus, I would have been tossed like a tree in a cyclone. Through Christ, we can withstand the storm. The battering of our broken soul, over and over, never wins. For even in the bruises, the blood, and the pain, Jesus is there. He takes every punch with us, even to the point of placing himself over us as an umbrella of protection.
People rarely do that. Once in my life, have I laid my body on another during an assault. I put myself between steel toe boots and the frail frame of someone important in my life. As a young child, around 11 years old, I loved beyond myself. Jumping out in the middle of a beating, tears falling from my eyes, I begged for him to stop.
I love those in my life that stand in agreement and pray over the chaos. When I look up and see them safely on the shore, it is comforting. Their presence in my life is a gift. I realize they can’t do what only Jesus can do. I give myself grace for feeling sad as I watch their lives move on while I fight. I wish I could open up and speak when we talk, but it is refreshing to hear about their regular life. I’m not sure I say more than five words in these conversations, but I listen. Do they know I’m holding back?
Then there are the days I think, “Maybe they don’t want to hear any more of this drawn-out story.” Same topics, different day (or year in my case). Perhaps they fill the space of our time speaking with their life to not have to indulge in mine? I understand their need for distance. This story is depressing.
What many in my circle don’t know right now, is a tiny thread holds me up. My heart is tired, my mind even more so. For a long time, I would swirl between calm and turbulent. I managed my mental health in and out of challenges and held my own. The idea of vanishing intrigues me. To exist outside of this life sounds like a welcomed plan-however unorthodox it is. I know others understand this position and have stood right where I am now.
I am alone on many levels, though I am never alone. My Savior secured a partnership with me the day I chose Him. Some days the fight is to believe He is enough to fill the void inside. When using the term pressing in, this is what that means. Surrendering yourself to something bigger than you, and laying down the best and worst of ourselves to fully follow, trust, and obey God.