In the Middle of a Storm

Lighthouse in the StormLighthouse in the Middle of the Storm

We actually never know what is going to happen next in life. But we usually have a pretty good idea. Right now, I am writing this blog entry from a place of personal destitution. I am in the middle of a storm and I can’t see anything up ahead accept a very bright light from the top of a Lighthouse. God is in control. I have to keep my focus on that light and eventually the storm will clear.

In a matter of just a few hours, everything went from normal to a complete blackout in my life. I am sure you have been here before. I am feeling lost, discouraged, empty, and pretty much worthless.

For anyone who has ever felt this way before, or maybe you feel this way right now, I want you to know something. There is a greater purpose for your life than what is happening at this moment.

The Storm that Almost Swallowed Me Whole

I remember feeling this badly once before in my life. At the age of 18, I decided that I just HAD to be independent because that is the type of person I am. I got a job, moved out on my own and hit the ground running.

What I didn’t know is that life was HARD. I lived in an efficiency apartment that cost me $100/month in rent. I was making about $93 a week in wages.  Finances became an issue when I ended up in the hospital for an appendectomy.  My love life was a mess. And I was not handling the adult-ING thing very well at all.

At some point, that storm became so dark that I figured the world would be a lot better off without me in it. I took every bottle out of the cupboards that I could find, sat down and took them all and just waited.

Only by the grace of God was my life spared that day. My mother called me and as we were talking, she could tell something was very wrong. I kept insisting that I was fine, but she wasn’t buying it. She called my uncle, and he and his wife came to my apartment. All I remember is walking down the street with them at my sides, trying to get me to sober up. They had no idea what was wrong with me.

Then next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU a day or two later. My throat was killing me and I had nasty remnants of black charcoal all over the inside of my mouth.

That day, God chose to spare my life.  It took me several years to realize what he did for me that day. It took me several years to realize who He is; who I am.

Finding the truth about who you are won’t make the world you live in storm-free. But it WILL give you a Lighthouse to follow through EVERY storm that comes along. You just have to look for it and keep your focus on it.

Right Here Right Now

This storm is going to pass for me. And your storm will pass for you. If you can’t see the lighthouse, I encourage you to open your heart.  You DON’T have to clean up your act to find God. You DON’T have to give up whatever vices you may be clinging to, to find God. It is about having a RELATION with Him, not having RELIGION! Right where you are, right now, you can cry out to Him and be completely transparent with Him about how you feel. Tell Him right now, right where you are, that you want to know who He is. Tell Him that you want to have a relationship with Him. You will be amazed at how bright that light will shine.

If you have decided today is the day you will start a relationship with Him, I encourage you to tell someone close to you. You’re never too old, too young, or too lost and it is never too late.




A Wake-up Call

This morning in one of our team meetings, a co-worker shared the importance of reflecting on your day and taking the time to evaluate your experiences. It really got me thinking about how distracted I am by the end of the day and how many times I walk out the door without something I should be remembering to take with me.

As my co-worker was speaking, I started reflecting on the previous day.  He said to think of one thing that made me feel the most like myself. The moment that brought out the best in me and got me excited about my day. This was more profound for me that my co-worker probably realized.

The highlight of the previous day for me happened the first thing in the morning:

A child came into the school looking a little down. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he felt like he was being bullied. When I asked him to elaborate, he said that he had told some of the kids in his class that he was possibly going to be going to a different school. The other kids didn't believe him and started laughing.
I told him that no matter where he went to school, there will be kids that will say hurtful things. He had to focus on who God says he is and not to worry about what the other kids think.
We talked for a few minutes and he seemed to respond well to our conversation. I walked away feeling really good that I work at a private school where I can freely share my faith and not worry about losing my job.

If I had taken the time to reflect on my day and had remembered that moment, my energy would have returned to equip me to face the second half of my day.

It is amazing to me how influential our brains are in our mood and our outlook on life. Knowing this, do we usually choose to focus on the uplifting events of our day, or the other events that drag us down? Human nature causes most of us to focus on the negative and often not even remember the positive.

What if we actually did take the time at the end of our work day to reflect on all of the events of the day and make a conscious choice to focus on those things that made us feel good about ourselves; the things we got right, the people who blessed us in some way, even if it was something small? What difference could that make to our personal lives, our marriages, our relationship with our kids?

I personally plan to put this theory to the test. Will you join me? 😉