This purpose of this story came after reading storm stories on Norester’s Storm blog. Be sure to head over there and check out the stories layed out there. They will touch your heart. Today is my day if you will, so here you go.
I’m really not sure where to start this story.
My first thought was to start this out around the time I was a pimple faced kid and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior? Then I thought, no how about during the time in my life when I shoved Him in a corner and kinda forgot about Him for awhile? A long while. But I finally settled upon the last year or so in my life – 2008 – in part since this is not about my life history, rather it is about my storm. Or more specifically, my storm that combined with my dad, my mom, my sisters’ storms – for me it was a storm that sucked me into it quicker than I thought possible, and with basically no warning.
The story I am about to tell you touches multiple facets. It will speak openly about my faith. It will speak openly about my lack of faith. It will speak openly about my pain, and the pain of those around me.
So, lets’ get started. Let’s jump right in.
I saw this picture and thought – this was me – this was my life.
As you read above, my life changed when dad was diagnosed with cancer. The biggest thing I had to deal with obviously was my dad’s health, but I also worried about him… you know – worried like I didn’t know I could. Thoughts ranged from “Is he going to die,” to “what will happen to mom?” to “why now?” “why him” “why…why…why…” I was basically stuck in “why” mode. And, to top it off I was also worried about mom and dad’s financial health, mom’s emotional and physical health, my little sister, my other sister, to x… to y… to z… Then you add in the stress of family life, work life, and spiritual life – well life seemed to stop for a minute for me. You know when you go through something like this, life is spinning around faster and faster until a point where it truly feels like it stops – that point of realization…that point where your emotions slam you. Your emotions crush you. And for a moment, nothing else mattered except the burden you feel. Now take that times a 1000, add some tears and you have life stopping for a moment.As I look back at this now, I realize that I was relying on “me”… leaning on no one… trusting few. Including God.
I started to question – I started to slip – I started to not understand – I started to pretend – I started to pull inside myself. So, as the days turned into weeks that turned into months, I started to question more… things that I never thought of before crept into my daily thoughts… “Where are you God!?!” I demanded… “If you are here, what do I need to do? What should I be doing?” ” How can this be happening? Why is it happening? Why now? Why to dad? Why to mom? Why to us…life has been so hard already… we have lost so many friends and family lately.
We can’t handle another death… I …can’t …handle … another … death!
All these emotions lead to the feeling of the coffee cup – slowly sagging… slowly failing.
Then I finally hit that point. That point when you drop down to your knees and pray. That point when you finally admit that you cannot do it alone. That you admit you need help. That you do need to trust someone. That you need to stop pretending. For me that was right after I lost another friend to cancer – right in the middle of dad’s cancer treatments.
My prayer was simple… I cannot remember the exact words, but I said, “Here you go Lord. You know my problems. You know my pain. You know my needs. I cannot do this alone any more. I am putting 100% of my trust in You. I cannot begin to understand why all of this is happening, but I can put my trust in You. So, Lord, here ya go. Help me. Please…. ”
And I really don’t know how to explain it, but life started to feel different. It was as if I switched cups – and now my cup was a little taller. As I look back God was talking to me all along. He was walking with me all along. He was carrying me most of the time – all of the time – I just choose not to listen or pay attention. As I look back I can see He was part of my bible study group. He was there with my friends when they sat and listened to my struggles. He was there when people showed up in my life who were in need of help and I became that friend who listened. There were times God carried me during the darkest part of my doubts and struggles…through the darkest parts of my storm. He led me, gently, back out of my storm.
I am listening now – and God is everywhere and in everything I do. He speaks to us in so many ways. There are times when He is working harder in my life and those are the times that I can feel his presence more – the “God Moments” if you will.
So with all this said, is my life perfect – no. Is dad’s cancer gone – only time will tell. Is this my final storm – probably not. Do I continue to struggle – absolutely. Do I see differently now – yes. Do I pray more – absolutely. Does God know these things – yes. Is He there – yes.
So with that I end with this – Pray always.
(1 Thes. 5:17) Pray always… such a short verse… but worth repeating – daily, hourly, every minute.
(1 Thes. 5:16 – 18 ) Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
God helped me through this storm. He taught me so much. He used me along the way.
Wow… thank you God.
Your brother in Christ.