Recently I’ve been going through quite a storm. I thought that I had experienced some tough times in my life, but nothing compares to the grief I am experiencing now. I lost both of my beautiful sisters Cynthia and Wanda in the last five months. It’s hard to put into words how much this loss has impacted me. The sorrow comes in waves; I never know when it will hit me.
I know that I’m not alone. We all experience storms in our lives both personally and professionally. We’re faced with loss, challenges and tough times. We experience grief, adversity, setbacks and misfortune in our lives. These storms are unavoidable, and part of life. Sometimes these storms come at us unexpectedly, and catch us by surprise. And even when we know they’re coming it doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes we may have done something that caused the storm, and other times we’ve just been a victim. And the storms bring waves of emotions: tears, sadness, worry, fear, anxiety, sleepless nights, depression and more.
Unfortunately, there’s no going around the storm, we just have to get through it without it taking us out. And while it may feel like it will last forever, all storms run their course and do eventually come to an end. But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when we’re in them! The good news is that we don’t have to go through our storms alone. Just as a lighthouse provided guidance and safe passage to sailors as beacons of light to protect their lives, we too need lighthouses in our lives to give us hope that we will survive the storm. When we feel lost at sea and thrown around by the waves, who is it that provides the care and support we need to survive the storm and see the sun again? Who is your lighthouse in the storms of life?
Here are some lighthouses that are helping me survive my storm, and they can also help you.
- Faith – God is my lighthouse. He reminds me that I’m not alone, He will never leave me, and that the storm won’t last forever. I have confidence and trust that He will get me through this.
- Family – I’m blessed to have a husband who has experienced loss and can comfort me and hold me and comfort me when I feel like I’m drowning. And it’s been wonderful to be able to talk with my brother and other family about what I’ve been feeling.
- Friends – I can’t image going through this without the encouraging texts, calls and prayers of my dearest friends.
- Counselors – I needed a little extra help to deal with all of the emotions and pain I was experiencing. A pastor or counselor provides another lighthouse and a safe space to process your grief.
I don’t believe that surviving the storm is the end of the story for us. I believe that we are meant to use what we go through to help others. Just like our friends and families help us through the challenges we face, we can be there for others. As a leader, how are we a lighthouse to others through their storms?
- We shine – We let our light shine brightly to guide others through the storm and give them strength.
- We offer hope – We offer hope to others as we share our experiences and remind them they will survive and the storm will end.
- We are dependable – We are dependable, stable, calm and there for them, reminding them they are not alone. We are that tower they can lean on.
So, while we’re looking for lighthouses to help us through the storms of life, let’s remember that someone needs us to be their lighthouse!
Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. Anne Lamott