And he arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea “Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). Mark 4v39
I don’t know about you, but my life’s crazy. I’m a work-from-home mum of three children; 11, 3 and 1. Let’s just let that sink in for a while. My middle child has multiple severe food allergies, (so we carry an anapen around with us wherever we go, just for a start) my one year-old old thinks sleep is for sissies, and my washing pile could seriously be mistaken for Mount Everest. And two days ago, I woke up with my mind racing; thinking about all the stuff I had to do on top of the usual, day-to day ‘mum’ stuff, reminding myself that I had a book release coming up in a matter of weeks. And, just to make things a little more interesting, my three-year old decided that it would be a good day to act completely out of character, and my son to cling to me koala-style like never before. So…with an overwhelmed schedule and a gigantic ‘to do’ list, after first inhaling my coffee, I did what every calm, clear-thinking person would do…
…I FREAKED OUT, sat on the floor and told God in very clear terms, that I just couldn’t go on like this. I sat there for a good half hour, having my little whinge-fest, allowing the proverbial storm of my life to gain full-force; the wind raging angrily all around me. Then, finally, I heard that still, quiet, gentle yet firm voice as clear as day. It said, simply, “Get up.”
Storms are beautiful, yet dangerous, creatures. They make you feel so alive, while at the same time they have the power wipe you from the face of the earth if you let them. We learn by experience to expect them when we start a new thing, but we always miscalculate their intensity, their longevity or both. And when they come, we brace ourselves, then make our decision; whether to face them or to run screaming in the other direction. But if we run screaming, we will never know what we could have found waiting for us on the other side.
I heard a wise woman once say that too many people give up just before they reach the goal. How true, and how sad. To coin a cliché phrase “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
As a mum, it’s hard to watch when my children become overwhelmed with some of the challenges they face. And when they want to give up I know that they, just like all of us, can get through, and accomplish anything that they put their minds to, but if they need me to lend my strength to help them over the line, then that’s exactly what I’ll do. Sitting on the floor I felt the echo of those moments in my own life… moments where I would have told them it’s ok, get up, you’re ok and you have so totally got this in the bag. So I understood. I got up.
Up. Above the ground. Above the storm. It’s a different view. It’s a different place.
Above the storm is peace, above the storm it’s quiet. Things are clearer, and you can see a lot further. The son is in full view… no, that’s not a typo… and the light is captivating.
So I got up. The question is, now what? For the practically minded, and for what it’s possibly worth, here’s what I needed to start doing, because I’ve seen it work in my life as well as in the lives of others:
1. You hold your position. I was reminded that fear is a liar and a thief by someone I admire a great deal this week. It robs you of your destiny and steals your resolve. Dont let it pull you under.
In fact, let’s all punch fear in the face and move on. I guarantee you’ll feel better. Immediately.
2. You take the first step forward, and keep moving. One step at a time is all that’s required. No more and no less than that, to get to where you’re going. Eventually, it’s going to take you places you never thought possible.
3. You remind yourself of God’s promises, remembering that you don’t have to do it all in your own strength.
And you repeat those steps…ON A DAILY BASIS.
I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, and an encouragement to anyone else who is feeling the pressure. Keep going. You’re almost there.