A calm after the storm


The storm came without much warning. Gale force winds and high seas rocked the tiny, solitary boat on the open sea.

The pilot called for help.  Although many were available to console and guide, this craft was primarily sailed solo.  The pilot had to face many of the waves alone morning and night.

The path was uncharted.  Intuition and survival instincts were all he had to go by.  The storm raged a long time.

He did what he could to bail out the overflowing bilges, to keep the sails trimmed, avoid being washed overboard, and sustain at least some heading as the ship tossed and turned through pelting rain, howling wind, and darkness.

For a long, long time it seemed the storm would never subside.  The pilot held on.  He knew deep down inside that the storm would eventually end and he would make it through.

He held on to hope and focused on the present, keeping the ship afloat and relatively safe.

In time, the torrent died, the wind subsided, and the waves calmed.  The sun rose in a clear eastern sky. The boat crossed into a calm ocean; a gentle wind blew.

The pilot breathed deeply.  He assessed the damage and began repairs.  With a navigational position check, he set a course for better waters and trimmed the sails to accept the gentle breeze that now propelled his tiny boat.

The above allegory represents my life over the past two years.

The storm came one cold, snowy morning (literally): fierce and unexpected.  I was in shock and had no idea how to steer the ship that was my life.

Don’t get me wrong.  I had many people who reached out and walked beside me.  However, the dark nights and mental turmoil I had to face alone.  It was a difficult, tumultuous and painful time in my life, the worst I had ever experienced.

There were many ways that I could have responded, to numb the pain.  The easy solutions may have been appealing, but they would only comfort for a short time.

On those long, dark, sleepless nights I turned to God’s Word.  I looked for comfort and guidance from the Creator, Savior, and Shepherd.  I knew the words of truth would bring light to my trials.  Here lay the sailing directions I needed to steer this ship through the dark stormy season that my life had entered.

Now over a year and a half later, the storms have subsided, and I sail on relatively calm water.

It is time to breathe deeply.  It is time to be watchful.  It is time to assess the damage, make repairs, recover, and learn from what transpired.  It is time to learn new skills and affirm that which I already knew.

It is also time to chart out new courses and new adventures.

Where will I go? What lies over the horizon? Who will I be when I get there?

One thing is sure.  I do not intend to tie up alongside a pier and wait out life in safety.

I have grown and learned through this experience.  I am stronger.  I am capable.  I am discovering what is true and aligning my personal life based on that truth.

So what words of wisdom or insight can I leave with my readers?  Here are just a few of the most salient:

No matter what terrible thing happens, call upon your friends  in the moment of crisis. There is no storm that can be handled entirely alone. You need others to share your burdens and walk beside you through the valley

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.   Ecclesiastes 4:12

Do what is right, even though every ounce of your being says otherwise. Revenge is ugly and never achieves the desired end state. Never, ever, ever.

He keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change his mind;

He lends money to the poor without interest;
    and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.  

Whoever does these things will never be shaken.   Psalm 15:4-5

Don’t give up. Keep the faith. God is faithful.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.   II Timothy 4:7

Thank you walking alongside and being part of this new path that I have taken.


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About John Forrest