January of 1997 in Baltimore, Maryland, my husband, three children and I found ourselves in the middle of a blizzard. We had flown into town for two weeks of cross-cultural training to prepare for a year overseas. Staying at a retreat center outside of town, we were safe. Their staff provided us with shelter, plenty of food, warmth, and generators. Hoorah for those!
To our dismay, due to the snow storm, none of our luggage arrived. Thankfully, our new friends at the conference showed us compassion. When we asked for help they loaned us everything we needed, from underwear and shoes to a hair dryer. Ten days later our luggage finally arrived. Boy, were we happy to finally get our things.
As I type this blog there’s a huge blizzard barreling down on many states – many where you are. Deaths are being reported by the hour. Millions have been affected.
What message could a blizzard have for parents in pain whose children are making dangerous, destructive choices?
Blizzards immobilize. They can bring life as usual to a halt. Stores close. Businesses shut down. Activities are cancelled for safety precautions. These storms are serious, dangerous, and life-threatening due to the cold, wind, ice and sub-freezing temperatures.
Blizzards cause you to become stranded. Isolated. Helpless. Many people die when they’re stranded on a public highway over-night with no one to help them get to safety. How frightening. How tragic.
Blizzards cause destruction to property. Cold temps cause water pipes to burst. Ice encapsulates trees taking down limbs doing damage to homes and power lines. Outages occur. No heat. Not good. Countless auto accidents and pile-ups are the norm. First-Responders can barely keep up with calls for help,
What can you do when you find yourself in a blizzard-like situation with your son or daughter? When you feel immobilized, fearful, helpless, and disconnected from a source of power?
Try these 3 things:
- Take care of yourself. Be informed and prepared for what may come. Be wise to protect your heart from becoming frozen, deadened or apathetic. Admit you have no control, then let go in love. Choose to believe the outcome is in God’s hands.
- Reach out to others for help. Contact a counselor, your doctor – you may need an anti-depressant or sleep aid for a season – your pastor or priest or friends who understand. Find a support group. You need one! It’s okay not to be okay. Be honest and open. Everyone is struggling with something. You really aren’t alone.
- Stay connected to a power source – an eternal one. God. Then you’ll never experience a lack of power. When we connect with Him through reading His Word, the Bible, through prayer and worship, our spirit will stay warm. We’ll have the necessary energy to survive. Our hearts won’t burst. Our faith won’t shatter.
Look over this list. Is there one you want to do, or do more of?
Write it down. Take steps to begin today.
This Bible verse uplifts me. You might want to write it down, too.
“The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped. . .The Lord is the strength of his people . . . be their shepherd and carry them forever” (Psalm 28:7-9).
He will. Through the worst blizzard you could ever experience. I know. I’ve been through one with my daughter. I survived because of these 3 things. My Good Shepherd, Jesus, was my greatest source of strength as I learned to trust in Him.
*photo cred. Associated Press