In the 21st century, some meteorologists are so accurate that can predict not only the storm but tell you the time it will begin to rain and when it will finish. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a personal meteorologist to predict the storms of our lives?
“At such and such a time, you will lose your job. But no worries! In just two weeks, you’ll get another one making even more money!”
Or even for your romantic life: “It’s been a virtual desert in the romance department for the last 14 months, but your soul mate will be showing up today!”
How much easier would it be to endure life’s storms if we knew when they were coming and how long they’d last? Life has a way of throwing a curve just when you think you’ve finally hit your groove. You have the job you want, living the life you hoped for with a great partner. Then, BAM! A marriage breaks up, there’s an accident, or a loved one dies.
Our life is thrown into chaos. Along with wondering what to do, we’re faced with juggling our current responsibilities. We may feel a myriad of emotions. Quite often, being blindsided by the storms life brings feels overwhelming.
Where’s our positive attitude when these events strike?
The first few days of job loss can be devastating, especially if it occurred suddenly and without warning. Once the initial shock wears off, it’s helpful to think that better opportunities await. Talking with positive people can help pull you out the fearfulness you may feel about job searching.
One woman I know found a job shortly after her husband lost his job of 15 years. After a series of layoffs at her company, they let her go. That same day, a Friday, she informed her circle of friends (on Facebook, of all places!) that she needed a new job. Within two days, she’d landed an interview. A week later, she started a new job where she worked for several years.
Maintaining a positive attitude doesn’t mean not allowing yourself to feel your true emotions. If you lose a loved one, no one expects you to slap on a cheery face and pretend nothing happened. Additionally, doing that would be unhealthy. While it is necessary to grieve a loss, it’s a stepping stone on the path of life. No one can tell you how long to linger there, but it’s not a healthy place to set up home.
A man I know lost his mother several years ago to breast cancer. Because she was a nurse and avid jogger, the family started Love a Nurse RuN. They take pledges and donations in memory of Alice Flaherty. With the money they receive, they give scholarships to young ladies in nursing school who qualify. A positive spin on a serious loss.
When I think about the losses and trials I’ve endured, there was a point at which I felt helpless, and then I was no longer alone carrying the burden alone. We endure trials for a reason. It isn’t wasted energy. The people most likely to emerge at our points of crises have been right where we find ourselves. They understand what it felt like when it happened to them and they offer their help.
Think about the people who show up to assist when you’re at a low point. A relative, a friend, an acquaintance. During the storms of life, I reflect on the many ways that God brought me through each one. Stronger than before. Wiser than yesterday. Through some of my hardest trials, I’ve met my truest friends. Friends I still have to this day.
What about you? What are you like in the middle of a storm? Are you ready to give up? Does a trial cloud your judgment and make you think hopeless thoughts? Or, do you let people in who can help you get through it? Are you able to remember when God (or your Higher Power) carried you through it? Are you able to be encouraged that, even if you’re in the middle of rough circumstances, you know a better job, happier relationship, more smiles and better days lie ahead?
Tough times don’t last forever. Even the worst storms we’ve endured in this country, the floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, the sun always shines again. But if you’re going through one right now, reach out to someone. You don’t have to go through it alone. Know that it’s perfectly normal to go through a grief process for whatever loss you’re experiencing.
What are some storms that you have endured that at the time seemed impossible? Have you been able to help someone through a similar situation? Are you in a storm right now? Please share in the comments below.