It is a beautiful, cool, autumn day. The sun is shining. The sky is blue, and the breeze is blowing gently.
But I find myself in the midst of a terrible storm.
There is thunder and lightning all around me. The rain is falling in turrents. Ferocious winds have blown through the doors and windows of my house and are now tossing me about. I used to feel so safe here, but now it seems that this is where the storm is strongest. The very foundation of my house is being tested for its strength.
The rain has soaked through my clothes and continues beating hard against my back. I hold my head down because it is too painful for me to look up. The water hurts my eyes and I am unable to see clearly.
The storm has altered everything in my life. Everything that once had a place no longer fits there. Everything that has happened to me before is now insignificant, because this is a new storm and it is stronger than any of the others.
It is totally out of my control. Just when I think the winds are finally subsiding, I get knocked down once again by the fierce crosswinds. I feel so helpless. I silently wonder if I will survive.
There was no warning for this storm. Even if there had been some sort of signal, there would have been no way to prepare for the magnitude of it. There was no emergency newsflash. No one told me I should evacuate. No one can even tell me now what to do in order to survive. And I'm not even sure how long this will last. Will it ever blow over? And if it does, will there be anything left?
The only thing I know for sure is that my life after this storm will never be the same. I will be changed forever, and so will my surroundings.
When I turn on the radio to see how others are dealing with it, I realize that this storm is not affecting their lives. For some reason, this one has only hit my family, my house, and my life.
I have fought to survive for as long as I possibly can. There is no shelter; no safe place for me to go. I am exhausted from the fight. My eyes are weary. I realize that the only thing I can do is to give in to the power of this storm. It is so much stronger than me, and it has lasted so long that I don't think it will ever end.
Just when the storm has reached it's strongest point, I am at my weakest. I have nothing left within me to get through. I can go no further. I am ready to admit defeat.
I gently lay on the foor and drop my head. With what little strength I have left, I faintly mumble these three words.
"Hold me, Jesus."
From deep inside of me, I recall His words. "Never will I leave or forsake you. "
I look up to see his shadow walking towards me. The thunder and lightning are still crashing about us. He kneels beside me and reaches for my hand.
Through my tears, and squinting against the rain, I tell him I don't know what to do.
He answers, "Don't do anything. Let me do it."
He tells me that he had been with me all along, but was waiting for me to admit that I couldn't face it alone.
I tell him how scared I am.
He sighs. "I know. I've been afraid for my life before too."
I had planned on asking him why this was happening to me, but suddenly, it didn't seem to matter anymore. All that was important was that I was no longer alone.
He pulls me closer to him and turns my face toward his. Gazing into my eyes, and waiting for my soul to answer his gaze, he says the two most powerful words I have ever heard.
I lean my head against his shoulder, and let the tears roll down my face. Tears of relief. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of letting go. Tears of fear. Tears of anger. Tears of surrender. And finally, tears of faith. One at a time, I released all of them. I feel a calm inside of me that I had never noticed before.
The winds are still blowing fiercely, and the rain is falling stronger than ever. The walls are beginning to crumble around me. My house is in ruins.
I still don't know what to do, nor when it will end. I still wonder what the future holds.
But I rest, and know that with Jesus holding my hand, we will overcome this storm, and any others that may be waiting for me down the road.
Its true. I will never be the same. Maybe, because of the storm, I will be stronger.
I squeeze his hand tightly. "I love you," I whisper.
"I know," he answers.
"What would I ever do without you?"
By now, his eyes were twinkling. "That is something you will never have to find out."
I smile, take a deep breath, and wait out the rest of the storm.
Janet Morris Grimes, the author The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011. She launched Abbandoned Ministries to lead others to seek God, as Abba, during abandonment. For more information, visit http://janetmorrisgrimes.com or http://abbandondoned.com.