When Storms Howl...

We had a bad storm blow through last week. Maybe you did too.

I have a thing for weather. I always feel the need to add a disclaimer: I'm not rooting for destruction and injury. But the storms themselves capture me fully. Ask anyone who knows me well.

The clouds appeared in the west sometime around 8:00pm, just before sunset. By the time the sun slipped away and the night rose high, the moon and stars were blotted out by low-hanging black clouds. We sat on the front porch, leaning back onto our palms, and watched a beautiful, terrifying lightning display. Thunder rolled across the landscape, chasing boom after boom. Before the hail started and the winds sent us indoors, the whole neighborhood was outside to see it.

I'm not sure when my fascination with weather began. It wasn't always that way. I grew up in the midwest, and tornados were a threat every year. And they scared me. The first creative writing assignment to garner me attention was my sophomore year of high school when a storm caught my sister and I by surprise, sending us running up our field in sideways rain to the wail of sirens. By the time we made it into the shelter, my freshly dyed hair was bleeding purple down my white t-shirt. It was a glorious recollection of survival (<< exaggeration) and my teacher read it in front of the whole class.

No it wasn't then. That day, I was trembling from head to toe...crying.

It might have been later, in my twenties. Once adult life began and responsibilities loomed. After grief and disappointment and the ups and downs of early marriage. After loss. And in the midst of the joys of young mothering.

When I think on it, my obsession with storms and the ocean and mountains, all the overwhelming features of the natural world, began once my eyes were open to my great need for Refuge.

These things grew, expanding and revealing their matchless size and depth. Their roaring power and towering height. And behind all of it, an omniscient, omnipresent Creator who loved little me dearly.

For many of us, especially those living in the Midwest and the South, this is the season of storms. And while I still tremble at the potential violence of such events, and pray for the protection of all in their path, a part of my craves the chaos, if only to see my Master in the midst of it.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't crave chaos in my life. I don't enjoy pain or suffering or the anxiety of what's pending. But I do have this one comfort (and so do you):

Whatever it is. Whatever suffering or storm. Whatever monstrous mountains stand before us, we are not alone.

Whether we choose to accept it or not, storms can serve a purpose. Just as hurricanes vent off heat, storms in life often reveal our character, and urge us toward stronger faith in our Father.

While I can't speak to every storm, and I'll never speak for God and attempt to voice his thoughts, I can assure you (and myself) with this:

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Much love to you, Mama, if you're pressing through a storm right now. My own winds are battering against the walls of my heart, so I hope you feel understood, at least in some measure.

The writing will come, when it's time. But for now, I pray peace for you.



LAURA FRANCES grew up a shy thing, always daydreaming. She is now the author of the Slave series (a clean dystopian story) and Songs in the Night (a clean fantasy). Residing in midwest America as a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and writer, Frances strives to convince others through the art of storytelling that they can do the things they think they can't.

Facebook: @lfranny

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