In Louisiana, we have five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and hurricane. I’ve lived through many hurricanes, some minor, some catastrophic. One characteristic of hurricanes is the eye. The wind and rain spiral in a counterclockwise direction until ultimately an area of clear weather forms near the center of the circulation. It’s all chaos in the storm, except for that eye, where there are blue skies and calm air.
I recently realized I’m living in the eye of a storm. Recent weeks have brought many worries and family drama. My husband and I have received unfortunate news and have made some crucial decisions. During this time, it seemed that each day brought a new crisis or situation with which to deal. Sometimes there was little time to pray before decisions. We made the best decisions we could. At one point I felt like I would explode if one more situation appeared in my life. How would I deal with all of this stress? When would it all end? How long could I keep dealing with these multiple crises?
As I took all this to prayer, I wondered out loud, How am I able to deal with all this? It was then that I realized that God had placed me in the eye of this life storm. I noticed that, as convoluted as the situations were, I was able to stay relatively calm. I was able to make decisions. I was coping. As I sat in prayer, looking around the eye of my storm, I noticed several things.
- The reason I was in the eye was because of God’s generous presence. God had my back. I was not to go through this alone. God had given me the gifts of prayer, presence, and people. At the height of the storm, I asked God to help me to pray and stay centered on God. I knew from past experience that if I leaned on God and didn’t try to do it all myself, God would be there, right next to me, supporting me. And God, being ever faithful, was indeed again there for me.
- The eye of my storm was made up of many graces. There were graces I had asked for and some I hadn’t, graces like wisdom, patience, compassion, hope, strength, and empathy. All were given to me exactly when I needed them. These graces made the peace and calm of the eye possible.
- The eye of my storm held God’s power and inspiration. Standing in the eye, I felt God as creator, redeemer, and sanctifier. I felt connected to God. I felt understood. I felt inspired by God’s love and care for me.
- The eye of my storm held the truth. In the surrounding storm were doubts, fear, desolation, and temptations that were not of God. Focusing on the things in the storm was leading me down a scary path. The eye held God’s truth and peace, which gave me strength to endure the difficulties I was facing.
At some point in our lives, we all face a storm of some kind. Next time you find yourself in the midst of a life storm, notice where you are standing. Are you caught up in the storm’s swirl of fear and chaos? Or are you watching the storm from the peaceful center of the eye? Remember that God is always there, always inviting us into the eye of the storm.
Photo by PIXNIO.
Thank you for this beautiful reflection. I am experiencing y same thing now. Despite a horrible situation with 2 young gray, I have inner peace and calm. I know God is always there for me. I will share this as well. God bless you. Also, I am a Regional Spiritual Director for the Secular Franciscans and I will certainly share this with them.
Oops, I am a Formation Director, not a Spiritual Director.
Thank you Melinda for this profound thought. Indeed God is busy working all the time. We only need to offer our constructive cooperation.
Thank you Melinda for reminding me about the eye of the storm. I am often caught up in these storms and I then lash out at God. Now I shall remember to look for the eye and savor the calm of the storm.
God’s peace to you Florence!
Melinda, Your metaphor of a hurricane was so apt. Having lived along the Gulf Coast, I’ve been through a few hurricanes myself. Recently I’ve had two “hurricanes” hit just 3 months apart. I lost my sister -suddenly, three months ago and then my brother-again suddenly-last week. Both from unknown causes. God, his Holy Spirit, held me up, helped me find the words of consolation to the young adults and grandchildren left behind. I was consoled and reminded that I was not alone in spite of my grief. The Creator was there with me. Thanks for your reflection, it helped to was way the doubts.
Rob, I’m so sorry for your losses. What a grace to be consoled by God’s reminder that you are not alone. God is bringing you and your family through this. My prayers are with you.
Melinda, your reflection is humbling!! Thanks a lot for sharing.
Thank you Mando.
Thank you for your wisdom. I can relate to your story so much.
Praying for you and your family.
Thank you for your prayers Alice. God’s peace be with you!
A great analogy and visualisation of how we can be at peace when the world around us is going crazy. Thank you Melinda
Thank you Melinda.
“Structure of the Horse’s Eye” by Elizabeth Campbell
Under the sun, the horse’s eye/is a glass dome over a petal, the pupil a raised bud/of pollinated velvet, bisected/the horizon in it. Almost 360 -/a narrow corridor behind/and one spot in front of her nose, are blind.
Thanks for sharing Pam!
“I realized that God had placed me in the eye of this life storm. I noticed that, as convoluted as the situations were, I was able to stay relatively calm. I was able to make decisions. I was coping.”
I have had those precise feelings in the midst of seemingly out of control, multiple, tragedies. God is amazing in being with you when you may not even know it.
God’s peace to you Tim.
This article is so amazing and true! It resonated with me as approachable and identifiable. I’m keeping this for future reference to remind myself and to share with others during their own the of need for peace in the storm. Thank you.
God’s peace to you Tracey!
Thank you so much for this, Melinda. One of my children is currently experiencing many difficulties and I know this reflection will bring comfort to him and his wife. It was very meaningful for me to reflect on as well.
Thanks Connie, I’m praying that your son and his wife will feel God’s comforting presence during their storm.
This is a helpful analogy, Melinda. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you Faye!