When you're standing, swirling in the middle of a storm it can be hard to see, or really fully grasp, the challenges and blessings that are about to follow. All you can feel in the moment is is the raw emotions - fear, anger, disappointment, a desire to escape. In the eye of a storm you want to do, to react. Contrary to what we want or intend, this generally end badly. Very badly. Words are said that are almost immediately regretted. Relationships are changed, sometime beyond complete repair. Casualties pile up and there is no V-Day in sight.
Then. Once day. The dust clears. Wounds are patched, sometimes poorly or precariously. And further down the road comes the looking back. That's where aftermath is usually revealed. Aftermath sounds like an horrible thing, but sometimes the aftermath reveals those blessings that came over the last few days, weeks, or months. I'm learning, as time goes on, that the looking back is often the greatest gift to come from a storm. It's the moment where revelation and clarity shine through the crud.
This is what this last year held for me. There was a terrible, unexpected storm. Words were spoken. Relationships were damaged. Standing in the middle of this particular storm I felt an unimaginable calm and found that my words were softly spoken and carefully chosen, not flung about like boats on writhing ocean waves. I was hurt, don't get me wrong. But I knew in my heart that this wasn't a fight I was supposed to battle in. I laid down any claim for retaliation and chose peace.
What followed in these last 10 months has been a beautiful aftermath. This storm flung open the door of my spirit and soul. I felt a momentum to look back, dig deep and be set free from all the storms that were lurking just under the surface of my heart and mind. I could never have imagined the freedom that has come. I lost a friend in this storm, but in the aftermath I have found freedom from other past hurts. I have been blessed many new friends, and I have reconnected with an old, dear friend.
It hurts to face the reality of the storms raging around us, but mustering the strength to seek the blessings that can follow is so worth the hard work. In my looking back over this last year I know that there is still more beauty to arise from the ashes of this torrent and I can't wait.
What beauty or blessings have you found in looking back at a storm in your life?