They told me it would happen. Those wise mentors just a little ahead of me who said “These are the years that bring the perfect storm of aging parents and heavily hormoned teenagers, confronting you with the desperate need for massages and spa days fervent prayer”
They were right.
It’s not to say you don’t want to care for these people. These are the ones you would give your life for if asked. But being sandwiched between health issues and SAT scores, assisted living and incessant prodding, you feel like there is no room for anything else. Not to mention the newly emphasized dysfunctional family-of-origin issues that choose this particular time to rear their unwelcome heads.
Family.
You evolve from one stage of life only to enter another, and you begin to realize the calm between storms is only a placeholder.
Thankfully we have a God who shows up in storms.
I think about the Disciples in the boat panicking and bailing water (see Mark 4) when Jesus is with them. Asleep. There are times I feel God is napping in my storm too. But when He does rise up to calm things down, we discover He uses storms to reveal what is needed in our faith.

–To move from singing about faith on Sundays, to learning to cling to it in order to survive.
–To expose inadequacies in our willingness to sacrifice when it’s an action in front of us rather than an idea.
–To see dysfunction we’ve accommodated (in us and others) because it was easier than trying to make things right

I have no simple answers in this blog. Because I’m in it.
But there are three words I’ve clung to as the blueprint I’ve needed to navigate my way through the storm. They are words we handed out for our church family to post– so they could lead us into this year.

In the worst of family storms. In the best of family times.
In family goods and hards, the same prescription applies:
LOVE EVERYONE ALWAYS
which could mean telling the truth,
facing your fears,
initiating in distance,
or driving lots of miles.

We aren’t responsible for how people respond or how it all ends up. The victory in the storm is staying in the boat.

 

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