In the Middle of the Storm

In the Middle of the Storm

The squeak of packing foam, the pull of tape, the Sharpie’s signature screech as it detailed what we’d find inside each meticulously packed box. Sounds we grew accustomed to as our belongings made their way into temporary homes.

Stacks of boxes grew as the hours ticked by, and the coziness of our home was slowly stripped away. As the day drew to a close, we collapsed on the couch. Desperately wanting to call it a day, but not yet able to relax.

With 98% of our belongings packed, there was one critical element of the plan yet to fall into place: the call that indicated our storage pod was on its way.

A call that ultimately never came.

Panic ensued the next day when we were told: “There is nothing we can do. The facility is closed. The POD won’t arrive until Monday.”

Closing was days away, and, suddenly, all of our meticulously laid plans had disintegrated before our very eyes. There was nothing we could do to change the outcome of what had just unfolded.

“When am I going to catch a break?” I had uttered to my counselor just days before.

Life had begun to feel like entirely too much. When was this raging storm going to cease?

Emotions rose as I allowed myself to break.

“I need you to make a way where I do not see one,” offered up to God less like a request and more like a demand—a desperate plea uttered from a place of feeling forgotten. Finally, in full surrender—an exhale of release.

"I need you to make a way where I do not see one." - MaryBeth Eiler

The day carried on. One foot in front of the next. No answers to the questions that lay ahead. The wait would continue through the morning when we uncovered if the pod really would arrive.

As the hours ticked by, a new ending began to unfold—one that left me with nothing else to say but only God.

In parallel to carrying out my plans, God was writing a different story.

An Unexpected Blessing

Early Monday morning the storm eased when a text from our realtor shared that our closing date was postponed ten days. Within the hour, papers were signed, the storage pod was canceled, and a replacement was scheduled.

Ten extra days in our house. An unexpected blessing.

Ten days likely seem insignificant at first glance, but those ten days eased more than one burden. That storm I alluded to earlier? A blip earlier in the month had left us without access to our next place until December 16th. This change meant ten fewer days of a transient life between the homes of family members. Ten additional days to bid farewell to a home we love. Ten fewer days of needing to keep our beloved items in storage (and less expense). Those ten days left us uncovering one unexpected blessing after the next. A story we never could have written.

Only God.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Yet another reminder that I need not be afraid of my weakness—for God can use it for my good and His glory.

If Your Storm Continues to Rage On

The wait for our only God moments is hard…and they don’t always come—at least not in the ways we imagine. Not all stories have tidy endings, and questions often linger longer than we feel we can bear. As we continue to hold onto hope in the middle of the storm, may we acknowledge what a hard space it is. 

May we pause to remember that we are not alone. May we cling to the truth that His ways are higher than ours.

A verse to reflect on in the middle of the storm: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

In our surrender, God makes a way—a way that doesn’t always feel right at the moment, a path we’d likely never write for ourselves, and yet, His ways are best of all.

Let’s pull up a chair at the table for God to encounter His presence, to continue seeking out how He is working all things for good.

May we continue to place our hope in God in the middle of the storm.

Reflect

Is there an only God moment you can recall from your past that may ease the burden in the middle of the storm you currently face?

When have you experienced God write a better ending to a story you had already written?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV

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