Riding the Storm

For the past few weeks I have felt like I have been on board a boat being tossed around the raging waters during a violent torm.  When Steve came home from Afghanistan as thrilled as I was to have him home, there was a period of adjustment for all of us.  We all had our routines and suddenly there was no routine at all. Everything seemed so chaotic and for me that was difficult.  There was also the fact that nothing went as we had planned for it to go in regard to him finding mployment which threw me into a state of panic.
During that time I examined my relationship with the Lord very closely and at one point asked, “God, where are you? why have you abandoned me? I can’t feel you and I can’t see you.”  Yet, everywhere I looked there were constant reminders that He was right there with me, He had a plan and a purpose in everything and He was still very much in control even though things were not going as we had planned and expected.  Every time I would open my Bible, read a devotional or a Bible study His Word was reminding me of His promises to me.  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5  “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Rom 8:32 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19 ”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 and these are just a few! He was trying so hard to get through to me to let me know that He loves me, He is always with me and He has a
plan for me, it is just a plan which differs from the plans I had made.

We can go through situations in life in which it seems like everything in our lives as we
know it is falling apart and we can feel like someone has pulled the rug from underneath our feet.  We can find ourselves in a state of panic and turmoil while trying to find solid ground to stand on and regain some control in an attempt to keep everything from falling
apart and salvage as much as we can of our lives as we know it.  And that is exactly how I have felt over the past few weeks. That is exactly how the devil wants us to feel.  As long as we are in a state of panic and worrying about what may or may not happen, we are distracted and we are not listening to that small voice of the Lord telling us everything will be okay.

One thing I have learned from everything I have been through during the past weeks is that sometimes the Lord shakes us to make us examine our relationship with Him in
order for us to grow in Him. Sometimes our lives as we know it must fall apart
in order for us to realize what truly matters to us and in order for Him to help
us rebuild a life which is more rewarding and fulfilling without all of the
distractions we have accumulated.  The wonderful thing is that if we place our hope and our faith in Him, He is always right there to catch us.

For so many years Steve and I lived above our means in an attempt to provide better for our daughters than what we could afford. Being the child of an abusive alcoholic I always felt beneath the other kids.  I never felt good enough and felt as though they all looked down on me. I always felt like it was a constant struggle to try to fit in and be accepted by the others.  A low self-esteem is something that I still struggle with today.  I never wanted my girls to experience that.  Steve and I got so caught up in trying to maintain a lifestyle that we truly couldn’t afford that we became driven workaholics caught up in a daily struggle trying to keep the balance in maintaining a lifestyle we could not afford.  I reached a point that I could not enjoy the career I truly loved because I had become so driven by a dollar and as much as I hated the fact, I was too absorbed and consumed to walk away from it.  I remember telling Steve a few years ago how I longed for a simple lifestyle, one that could be enjoyed without struggling all the time.

When Steve was in Afghanistan I was so miserable.  I missed him so much and felt so alone. The time always seemed to pass by so slowly when he was away and would
fly by when he was at home on R and R. There were days I felt like I was literally breaking inside from the grief I was experiencing from him being away. There were so many times I
thought, “How wonderful it would be to live a simple life in which my husband can be an active member participating in the day to day functions of my life! How wonderful it would be to be able to enjoy the simple things life has to offer.”

When Steve came home and things didn’t go as we had planned I fell into a state of panic
until Monday morning when I realized there are a couple of things that I have to
let go of in order to live a simpler lifestyle without the struggle.  As soon as I realized that, I felt as though a tremendous weight had been lifted off of me. I woke up yesterday morning feeling very blessed, at peace and happy.  All of our needs are met, I was able to kiss my husband good-bye as he left for work and he was at home waiting for me when I came home from work. This morning I woke up feeling the best I have felt in such a long time.  Life is good!  Sometimes we just have to ride the storm out to reach our destination.
Never lose hope and never lose faith because the Lord is always there steering the ship through the rough waters in the midst of the storm.

About Alecia Roberts

First and foremost, I am a Christian. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I wrote The Pursuit of Purpose: A Journey to Forgiveness and Healing while my husband was working overseas as a civilian contractor. The Pursuit of Purpose: A Journey to Forgiveness and Healing is my testimony of God's amazing love, grace and power in a surrendered life and heart. It was released on May 29, 2012. I lost my middle daughter, Heather who suffered from mental illness and addiction to an overdose in October of 2015. Since then I've dedicated my life to confronting addiction and promoting changes in North Carolina that will hopefully save lives.
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