The storms of life.
We all experience them. Some are literal storms, some are emotional storms, some are circumstantial storms. We all have events in our life that take us aback, that cause us to pause, that cause us to wonder “how are we ever going to get through this?”
If you have followed our blog the past couple of years, you have probably read between our lines in these posts “how are we going to get through this?” It is so hard to see the end at times. The path seems so muddy, so filled with holes, so filled with mountains that are excruciating to climb. There doesn’t seem to be enough smooth spots in the road.
Then you realize in the end, it was all worth it. The “end” meaning where it becomes bearable. Where some focus, some clarity, some understanding arrives. This offers a time of reflection. A time to ponder “how did we get through this?”
As Christians, it is through God’s grace, love, and power, that we conquer the storms of life. But I believe God also gives us instruments, tools, and helpful hints on how to weather the storms. Dan and I have learned, it is through OTHERS companionship, OTHERS love, and OTHERS care, that we stand firm also.
Since last year and since moving, we are often told “you are just so honest and open!” After being so open about our journey, we have heard from people we had never made face to face contact with. We have received emails from those whom we will never meet this side of heaven. They wonder why would we be so open?
It’s because we didn’t want to walk alone.
Our Dutch culture, though so wonderful, does have it’s downsides too. I think we often think “I can do this alone – I don’t want to burden someone with my problems.” We want to prove we can do it alone. As much as we aren’t trying to be prideful, it almost IS pride, that shames us into being closed up. We think we don’t need anyone else. But the very people God has given us to walk with on this earth, are the very people who are ready and willing to listen.
What are we afraid of? Are we afraid of others knowing our mistakes? Our hurts? Our past? That we aren’t perfect people? Well, I have to say, we ARE ALL FLOATING IN THE SAME BOAT.
Imagine this. Imagine as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all on this LONG journey across the ocean blue. We are all sitting on benches in this rickety old boat, while Christ steers the boat. We all have different experiences, different perspectives and such, yet the boat is silent. Not a word. When instead, it could be filled with life, with tears, with laughter, and really, a party!
This is how the Christian life can be, if we choose it be this way. We can all sit quietly, clammed up, and awkwardly, in life – pretending everything is okay. What if we all started to open up? Started to talk about the hurts, the struggles, the joys? God is always listening, steering the boat. But what if under HIS guidance, we all “walked” TOGETHER? I say under HIS guidance because opening up does offer the human side of us to want to gossip about other’s pasts and experiences. But under His command, we are to keep that to ourselves.
We have not regretted being honest about our past. I am not saying we are perfect in this area either. It is easy to clam up. To pretend everything is okay. It honestly just made the situation more difficult. When we were able to be free, to be open, and to be honest, it then allowed others to pour into us, what we needed.
I encourage you to “spur each other on” to “bear each other’s burdens,” to walk the road of life together with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe it starts with taking someone out for coffee. Maybe it starts with sending them a card. Maybe it starts with a hug. Maybe it just starts with a simple “hi.” Start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to be YOU because it is YOU that God created and wants you to be.
Don’t weather the storms of life alone!