Lessons From the Storm

Storms are a part of life, and while they are certainly not comfortable, and at times can be very stressful or even catastrophic, they do also bring with them a set of lessons. Here's a few of the things that I was reminded of through Hurricane Irma. 

1. People are good, no matter what the media may try to tell you. 
The abundant amount of kind acts, good deeds, and people caring for one another in this situation has been so wonderful to witness and experience. Expect the best of others and you will find it. 

2. When you're faced with the possibility of losing everything, you realize what's really important. 
Stuff is stuff and when you're forced to grab only the "most important" items, it is surprising to see what you really need. It's not the "things" that matter in life, but rather people, experiences, and memories. My goal is to invest more in other people, in experiences, and to enjoy the moments that turn into memories. 

3. The power of prayer is real. 
I think I can speak for many when I say that the comfort found in knowing that people are praying on your behalf is incredibly powerful. We need others who will stand in the gap and pray when we're stressed, tired, and awaiting the dangerous or unknown. Prayer changes things--if even simply our attitude toward the circumstance. I'm incredibly grateful for the many friends and family members that were in constant prayer for all of us in the path of the storm. Over the last few days, we watched as storms inexplicably weakened, tracks changed, and people were kept alive and safe, despite being in highly dangerous circumstances. Moral of the story: God answers prayer and will continue to do so. 

4. We need to rely on one another in good times and in tough times. 
Regardless of what political party we align with, sports teams we cheer for, or part of the world in which we live, it's important to come together and support each other. When things are great, let's celebrate together. When things are rough, let's support one another. Life was meant to be done together, in community, and while there are definite differences among us, let's remember that we're all given the gift of living and it's our responsibility to care for each other. You and I need one another. 

5. Even after the darkest of nights, the sun will shine once again.
Things in life can get scary from time to time--really scary--and sometimes the night will grow increasingly dark. At times the winds will howl and swirl and the rains will beat upon the walls, the strongest of trees will snap and things may seem grim, but this moment is not the point at which we should give up or give in. Remember: the darkest of nights always gives way to the gentlest of dawn. This is such a powerful truth for all of life. We'll all go through things that seem like the deepest, darkest point of night, and in that moment, may we all be reminded that there will soon come a time when the clouds will part, the winds will cease, and the sunshine will fill the sky yet again. Hang in there. 

While Irma may have come and gone, she has left a path of destruction behind her. I am grateful to have come through the storm with very minimal damage to the beautiful place I call home, but there were many who are not able to say the same. Please consider volunteering your time, or donating to an organization that will provide support and assistance to those who are in desperate need of our help to recover from this storm. Below is a great list of some organizations that are on the ground providing relief. 

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