Storms are an inevitable part of the human experience. At some point, we all have to suffer our portion of grief, loss, tragedy and darkness. These sustained moments of strife often cause us to face impossible choices. You may wail until your throat is sore, tears may fall until your eyes sting, and your mind may be filled with questions starting with “why”. You learn quickly that storms by nature are unfair. No one can escape them, most cannot predict them, but we all have to weather them.
The question is – how are you weathering your storm?
There are two definitions of “weather” that are worth noting. One definition means, “to disintegrate”, “to crumble”, “to be worn away or altered”. The other definition means, “to withstand”, “to bear up against” or “to come safely through”. In both definitions, the act of weathering is a result of adverse conditions. However interestingly, the same storm can cause two different types of weather.
No matter how difficult, how impossible, or how painful the storm is, you have two choices on how you can weather your storm.
You can either crumble or you can be resilient.
Crumbling is admittedly the easy option. You allow your storm to have its way with you. You let go and succumb to the forces of the situation. It’s a very tempting route requiring very little effort. There is no fight and there is no resistance. You just let the storm overtake you and win.
If you choose this option, it is likely that you have tried to pull through a storm before. Maybe you’re tired from the last fight and it feels pointless to continue. Maybe you cannot see a way out, because the storm is clouding your sight. But before you choose to weather this way, take a moment to think outside of your immediate reality. What happens when you give up? What happens when you let go? If you crumble, what else falls?
The other type of weather requires relying on your foundation. It proves the strength of what you claim to stand on and puts that to the test. For me, my foundation has rested in my Christianity. Each storm I’ve faced has caused me to go back and address what I believe. The truth is, you have no idea how strong you are until you are tested, and until everything you stand on has been rocked. The chances are you’ve been more equipped for your storm than you realize. Past victories, past mistakes and past lessons inform how you proceed during this time.
Storms give you an opportunity to address your purpose and priorities. As the rain hits, the impurities swiftly rise to the surface. Unnecessary people, habits and activities become more and more apparent. During these moments, you have to be intentional as to who you keep in your circle and who you leave out. You have to protect yourself from collective panic, worry, or doubt. Surround yourself with those who encourage and build you up. Choosing whom you weather your storm with is not personal; it’s a matter of survival.
You’ve got to do whatever it takes to survive.
We’re aware that storms:
- Disturbs the status quo
- Requires energy and often leaves you needing recovery
- May cause irreparable damage
However storms also:
- Allow you to be more compassionate towards others (since many people suffer storms in private)
- Create “me too” moments and authentic testimonies
- Shape you into who you’re meant to be
- Make you more resilient
After a storm has passed, you always have the opportunity to start again, to be again, to do again.
In your stormy experiences, how are you weathering? This new series is going to explore the different aspects of storms, and the ways in which you can survive it.
I am encouraged that if you are living and breathing, if you have survived a storm thus far, there is still hope. There is still something that you are on this planet for, and there is still something mighty for you to achieve.