Learning to Watch the Storm Instead of Getting Tossed Around In It
We live in a chaotic time. There are scary things happening, we’re stressed, we’re overworked, we’re in debt, we’re sick, we’re over extended. There always seems to be some kind of storm going on in our lives.
All of this causes chaos in our minds to where we can’t hear our hearts. Our brain wants to meditate on our problems, try to figure them out, and think of all the ways things can fall apart. We create a tragic outcome and we panic. The problem is that the more we focus on a problem the bigger it becomes.
I’ve been going through a “Divine Storm” for the last few years. A divine storm is when God is changing you, he’s moving you out of where you are and into the place you’re meant to be. During this time you have choices to make. You can let the storm break you or you can conquer the storm. I suggest you roar like a lion and conquer!
It’s very easy to become complacent and angry. Sometimes we don’t understand why this is happening to us and other times they happen because of the bad choices we made.
Life is a journey, it’s a learning ground. Everything comes to us to teach us, to change us, and to guide us where we need to go. If you fight it, you will stay in a miserable place and the problem will become more forceful in order to push you in the direction you’re supposed to go. I’ve learned that the hard way at times in my life and would like to prevent you from doing the same.
Learn the Lesson!
The biggest challenge is to let go, understand that everything happens for a reason, and let yourself flow with it. Don’t panic and prepare to be patient.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people with cancer say they are so thankful that it happened to them because it changed their lives. It showed them what really matters in life. Or when a disaster strikes a town they talk about how they all came together and helped each other out. They experience people coming together and helping each other…the way it’s supposed to be.
Sometimes disaster reminds us of what’s important in this world. It makes us look at the world differently, love more, and to take the time to enjoy the simple things. We tend to lose track of what’s important when we are focused on our problems and running around busy all the time.
My Tried and True Tips to Staying Calm in the Storm:
Stop. Sit down. Take some deep breaths. Get yourself in a calm state and remind yourself of what’s TRUE. Meaning get out of what your brain is telling you. We can create some pretty ugly outcomes when our brains are in control but the TRUTH is that we don’t know how it will turn out.
My main go to Bible verse for stress is this: “Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 This verse tells us exactly what to do. Don’t be anxious. Being anxious and worried changes NOTHING. It just torments you during the process. We can freak out all we want but we’re just hurting ourselves and not helping a single thing.
The truth is that God is in control and we are not. We do have control as to how we respond to hard things. Most importantly, PRAY. Go to God with a true heart and express all your fears, be vulnerable, and ask him to take over. Ask for strength. Then LET IT GO and TRUST him to do what he says he’ll do which is take care of us. This doesn’t mean our problem will suddenly disappear, it means that we do the best we can in the storm and trust God to do the rest. Give God your burden.
Learning to shift my focus to what I DO have changed my life. We don’t realize how blessed we are because we are so focused on what is not going right. We get what we focus on. So if we focus on the storm…it will get stronger. If we focus on blessings and thankfulness, we will get more blessings in our lives.
Nothing is ever hopeless. Don’t ever give up hope because things can change in an instant. Some storms last for years. When that happens you adjust to your circumstances and you do the best you can do. Look for the good all day long. Write it down each day or keep a joy journal. Be determined to focus on the good things.
The storms will come no doubt, but it’s all about your attitude during the storm. You can let it tear you down and destroy you or you can say “bring it on!” and choose to do your best with what you have and let the rest go.
Think about what could go RIGHT.
What is the first thing we do when a storm hits? We immediately start thinking of all the things that could go wrong! We imagine the worst outcomes and make ourselves a panicked, stressed out mess.
What good does that really do??? That’s fear talking, not faith and hope. We can imagine the worst, we can be miserable during the storm, but it doesn’t change a thing. Storms are a part of life. You can flow through them and just do your best or you can create a miserable life for yourself by worrying and stressing over things you don’t have control over.
So…instead of thinking about what could go wrong, think about all the things that could go RIGHT. Visualize a positive outcome. Follow your gut instinct (your heart), don’t follow your fear.
Each morning start your day ahead of the game and picture a positive outcome. This is called “visualization”. Visualize what you want to happen and how you want yourself to react to hard things…this prepares you for whatever happens.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
I love this verse because it tells us exactly what to focus on. We have to control our minds. We have to focus on the good instead of the bad. And we have to understand that each problem is a lesson and a guidance to where we are supposed to be which is good for us!
Sometimes we can’t see the lesson while we’re in the storm but trust there is one and keep looking! The more you flow with it and try to understand it the quicker the storm will pass.
After every storm you can look back and find the lesson and the growth/change you gained from it if you try.
When you’ve lived in fear and stress most of your life, it will take time to retrain your mind. You will have to practice stopping everything and calming down…then refocusing on these steps above. Try it every time you become overwhelmed or when a new problem arises. Pay attention to how your life starts to shift.
When we see our problems as lessons, they become more of an adventure than an obstacle!
Go out there and watch the storms as opposed to getting caught up and tossed around in them. You will have a much more peaceful, happy life.