In parenting we sometimes encounter storms. Some come upon us suddenly without warning. Others give us advance notice. I live in Florida. It’s the middle of summer and we’re getting lots of rain almost every day. There’s nothing I can do to keep it away, or lessen its turbulence. Sometimes it’s a torrential downpour that feels a little like a hurricane. Strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Whew!
It can be rather frightening at times. The sky grows dark and foreboding, palm trees bend under the force of the wind, often leaving behind a lot of debris to pick up later.
Our son has a cute little dog; a Yorkshire Terrier. Pebbles is her name. She’s adorable. There’s just one thing; she’s petrified of storms. She freaks out, runs around panting heavily in a state of panic. Eventually, she finds a throw rug to pee on, then hides in a corner where she feels safe until things calm down again.
Poor thing. I feel so bad for her. She can’t understand the storm will pass and in time everything will be okay. Besides, her loving family is right there with her to keep her safe. Hey, wait a minute. In the storms my child has created in my life, I’ve acted just like Pebbles. Have you?
The storms I went through with my daughter were petrifying: Drug and alcohol addiction, rehabs, relapses, mental illness, self-injury (cutting), hospitalizations, psych wards, suicide attempts and incidences of rape. It was a downpour that felt like a hurricane at times, only we had to guarantee that everything would be okay one day.
Emotionally bent over from the stress and pressure, some days I thought I would break. My fears would take over and I would freak out. I was a nervous wreck pacing the floor, sometimes on the verge of a panic attack. I hid by withdrawing and sleeping. Thank goodness I never lost control of my bladder, but I did lose control of my emotions. I was a mess, just like Pebbles. Poor me!
Since the early years of my struggle I’ve come to understand some things that have helped me weather the storms. Life is full of them, isn’t it? We can’t escape them or make them go away. I suggest we learn how to cope, so we won’t be emotional basket cases.
I went to the Bible, the Word of God, to learn how to cope. I found this verse several years ago when I was in a state of panic. It’s truths soothed and calmed my soul. I turn to it now in every storm I encounter. It is my prayer for you today.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (If we belong to God, He will help us; we will be taken care of.)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; (God will be with us, no matter what kind of storm we may face.)
And when you pass through the rivers (at flood stage; life threatening), they will not sweep over you. (You will not be overcome.)
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (You will survive.)
For I Am the Lord, your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . . (Remember Who is helping you; the God of the universe.)
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you . . . (Since you are deeply loved and highly valued by God, you can rest in His arms.)
Don’t be afraid, for I Am With You.” (There’s no need to fear life’s storms. You are not alone. God Almighty is with you.)
(Isaiah 43:1-5) NIV