When I arrived home from the doctor’s visit, I was strangely quiet. Meditating on keeping my mind calm, I walked into my bedroom, closed the door behind me and laid across my bed. There were no words left in me. No more tears. Only the stillness of the clock as it ticked each second away. I was blank, left without energy, understanding or knowledge. I stayed in this position until my husband Jeff came home.
He had so much going on with him. Jeff teaches elementary students ranging from ages 5 to 11 years old. He continuously feeds hungry children with knowledge and helps fill the empty void of fatherhood for so many, that when he does come home, he’s nearly empty himself. Now I needed him. I desired to run into his arms and stay there. Though I knew Jesus was with me I longed for my husband’s arms. Jeff was such a fortress for me, a place of strength and safety. As I began to speak to him about the visit to the doctor’s office, he said to me, “Lynnette, I really do not feel like talking. I need at least twenty minutes to just rest.” I was devastated, instantly withdrew from him and closed my heart. It seemed like the very moment I needed Jeff the most he was unavailable to me. My flesh rose with anger in me. I felt totally alone.
“Fine!” I said to myself. “He will find out about my condition when I die. I will not give Jeff the satisfaction of knowing anything about me,” I pouted.
Realizing Jeff could not be the source of my comfort I searched in despair through my palm pilot to find someone who could relate and understand the pain I was feeling. But there was no one. There I was, the visionary of a women’s organization, who helped hundreds of women find their source of strength in Christ, prayed sometimes through the night for their deliverance, counseled them in every area, interrupted throughout the day to petition the throne of grace for them, but…there was no one there for me. I couldn’t share it if I tried. For some unknown reason, I was not able to download my pain to anyone. It wasn’t pride, nor was it a fear of being judged. There was just no one available who could understand the place I was in.
Strangely, I was the eye of my own storm. As much as I tried to control it, the storm quickly raged out of control. It cycled for days. From praise and worship to the empty void back to the rage of flesh. I didn’t blame anyone for what I was going through, but in order to truly survive this category five hurricane, I had to finally come to a place of rest. This was the hard part. How do you find rest when you are the storm?
The answer to this question came down to trust. Not the superficial head knowledge of trust, but the revealed heart capacity of trust. When God reveals Himself, He illuminates the path to our hearts. This truth went beyond the understanding of being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. This revelation alone did not give me the answer I searched for. It only allowed me to know grace in its simplest form. I was searching for understanding and intimate knowledge of God. Looking back I understood one important fact…if I was going to walk with God in this relationship and He with me, I must make up my mind, heart and spirit to be completely committed and involved with Him.
Part of God’s character is to have complete trust from His children. His relationship with me is not
We must understand that God is not always going to explain His position or give us full understanding of our circumstances.
based on my circumstance or my limited ability to always comprehend the state I am in. However, it is structured for me to come into a growing revelation of His love for me. We must understand that God is not always going to explain His position or give us full understanding of our circumstances. As a child who never really knew the face and heart of a father, I had to let go of the culturally taught ideas of fatherhood and the soap opera mentality of love and truly understand the essence of God. Therefore, my love for Him could not be founded on conditional circumstances, events, or even on feelings and emotions, but must begin to grow in trust.
The Elements of My Storm
In the process of understanding these truths, I came into the awareness that my personal storm needed to be fueled by specific ingredients. Like storms in the natural, the climate must be conducive to create a storm. The wind must be ready to move in the direction of the storm. The pressure must be strong enough to either move the wind up or down and the humidity must have just the right amount of moisture or dryness.
In most natural storms, there is usually some form of turbulence or disturbance going on underneath the surface. For example in a hurricane, there is a group of thunderstorms or disturbances that have come together under the right atmospheric conditions. Once these conditions intensify and have the right amount of wind, they become a tropical storm. During this time, the storm becomes more organized and begins to become a hurricane. Within a hurricane, the pressure continues to drop and the winds speed up. Because of this a pronounced rotation develops around the central core. Under the right conditions, hurricanes can sustain themselves for as long as a couple of weeks.
Let’s look at the tornado. A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel shaped cloud. The word tornado comes from the Spanish verb tornar meaning to turn. When a thunderstorm develops an increase in wind speed and changes in direction, it produces a spinning area of air. The interesting thing about tornados are they are mostly invisible, marked only be swirling debris at the base of the funnel. No tornado or hurricane looks exactly alike. Nor have any two behaved exactly the same. In both deadly storms, one of the key ingredients is the already established thunderstorm.
Before each storm, there are specific signs such as sunny on one side and black clouds on the other. There’s an eerie peace as the animals search to find shelter. Not even a bird is chirping. The sun and the dark clouds divide the horizon. Temperatures collide and perform a tug of war. They drop quickly as the wind begins to blow lightly. Small intervals of raindrops form before they are released in droves.
These were the same conditions and signs of my personal storm. My climate was conducive to create a storm. The wind of my flesh was ready to move in the direction of my emotions. The pressures of my life were strong enough to move the wind of my flesh up or down and the humidity of my inner well had just the right amount of moisture and dryness.
Like the hurricane, I had some disturbances. My personal depression was the organization of many inner storms coming together forming a hidden turbulence. My outer circumstances influenced my thoughts while my thoughts joined forces with my flesh to become the depression in my life. This evolved into my tropical storm. My soul, flesh and circumstances agreed to organize their forces to become a more fierce wind. This intense wind generated my hurricane. The pressures in my life formed the rotation needed to create the eye of my storm. This progression continued unnoticed by the human eye for many years.
Like the tornado, I began to turn from the very truth that could dissolve my turbulence. There was a change in my direction and my purpose. My face was not turned towards God. The wind representing my flesh and soul shifted its speed forcing my emotions to rise to the surface quickly. The only way to identify this personal spiritual tornado was by the debris left at the base of my life.
There were many silent moments in my spiritual walk warning me of the up and coming storm.
The constant war between my spirit, soul and flesh moved as a single unit, developing the different stages of my thunderstorm. Each dimension of my inner self took turns being the most dominant. This war produced my spiritual tornado.
I was not in complete trust of who God was. Closing my mouth, I hindered my own spirit from worship. The storm had not yet consumed me. Yet, I had not learned how to praise and worship continuously and intensely. Because of this, I could no longer change my atmosphere or control the updraft of my emotions.
I ignored the warnings of my spiritual climate. This was when the intensity of my relationship with God became careless. Becoming my own umbrella, I believed I could handle the raindrops. There were things I wouldn’t give God, times I wouldn’t pray and several missed opportunities to give Him glory. There were many silent moments in my spiritual walk warning me of the up and coming storm. Small arguments within my mind consumed me while I looked for perfection in other people. Chronic tiredness wrapped itself around my body as my spirit called out for revival. My natural thirst foreshadowed my spiritual parchedness. I withdrew from people and from God. No, I didn’t back slide I just stopped talking intimately. My conversation with God was casual; on the go sort of speak. The conditions of my life were ripe for my storm. The hole in my spiritual atmosphere gave the enemy easy access to my thoughts.
Trying to walk out each situation in my own strength and knowledge, I relied heavily on my own abilities. I knew I would never go back to where I use to be, but I was stuck where I was. I heard the voice of the Lord calling me to talk with Him, but I was too busy doing the works of kingdom and not seeking the face of the King. This allowed my soul to rule and have authority. My soul, which is the home of my emotions and feelings, controlled the circular dance in the heart of my storm.
My flesh was the east wind, known as the wind of destruction. It raged in my belly causing imbalances in my walk with God. On certain days I believed He was the “I Am” of my life. On other days, I was the “I Can” in my life. These elements contained the confusion, lack of trust and imbalance needed to spin my own self into a world wind.