Finding a way to survive your storm

 In Family, Grief, Grief loss, Inspiration, Loss, Overcoming painful experiences

In recent days I’ve encountered several storms.

Two days ago I delivered a eulogy for my dear cousin Howie who died on Christmas day. While spending time supporting fellow family members grieving this tragic loss another storm is brewing.

Late at night in my hotel room, I receive a group text from one of my closest friends John who asks for immediate sustained prayer. His teenage son who was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago is having an allergic reaction to a blood transfusion and his blood count is extremely low.

While all this is going on my dear mother is at home, dealing with multiple health issues which made it impossible for her to join us in Houston for the funeral. Mom has been in the hospital a few times over the past couple of months. My siblings and I are giving her around the clock care.

In the course of a day, I step into multiple storms as clients disclose heartaches, troubles, betrayals, or tragedies of some sort. They want to survive the storm and are looking for ways to cope.

Here are 5 things you can find to help you survive a storm.

Find courage to face your storm

When storms come people seek shelter. Our survival instinct is to hide and wait until the storm blows over.

Some storms are unavoidable. You have to face them.

Recently, I witnessed my client encounter the storm of ALS. Doug found the courage to face this disease head on. The remainder of his days were lived on his terms.

How did Doug do it? He found all these 5 things you are reading.

In November, I delivered the eulogy at his funeral. It was a highlight of my life.

Find faith in God to stand with you in your storm

I have faced a few major storms in my life. At times, I didn’t know if I would survive.

Without a doubt, finding faith in God gave me the courage not only to face my storm, but to stand strong in it. I am a Christian and find faith in conversational prayer and reading scripture. Journaling is also a way I converse with God.

If you are currently in a storm, I encourage you to explore your faith. You are not alone. God is standing near.

Find people you can lean on for support in your storm

My buddy John did not hesitate to send the text thread out for prayer support for his son. We are his “band of brothers”. He knows he can lean on us for support.

Immediately he had guys responding. We in turn, asked others to pray for his son. One of the guys in our group lost a son to a tragic car accident a few years ago. He leaned on us too during his storm.

See how it works?

All this was going on while my family and relatives were leaning on one another while grieving the loss of my cousin.

I encourage you to find people you can lean on for support in your storm. If they love you, it will not be a “burden” but a “blessing” to stand by your side.

Find others you can support in their storm

My cousin left behind a family, relatives and friends. He also left behind a company he built with his partner that had an international footprint. The outpouring of people at his memorial service was a testimony of his greatness. Howie was an exceptional person and through his generosity supported victims of Hurricane Harvey and the homeless.

After I delivered the eulogy, people stood and gave personal accounts of the impact he had on their life. I witnessed people hugging and comforting one another. There were tears of sadness mixed with laughter and joy. No doubt, healing was taking place among the guests.

Some storms bring people together to support each other. If you are in a storm one of the ways you can get through it is to find someone else you can support who is going through one too.

Find meaning in your storm

My client Doug found meaning in the storm of ALS. Every day was a gift he did not take for granted. He squeezed as much life as he could out of each day. I remember the last day he was at my office. By then he was using a cane to walk. As he was leaving the waiting room another woman was also exiting.

Doug prayed, “God give me the strength to get to the door first so I can open it for the woman.” He told me later that the prayer was answered and after he held the door open he felt like his life meant something that day.

I flew home from Houston on Saturday. I checked on the status of John’s son. His blood count was up and was hoping to come home later that day. Prayers answered…

Reflecting on the events of the storm I was reminded of how fragile life is. We cannot take it for granted. Make each day count. “Carpe diem” I say.

Storms will come. We have to find our way through.

I hope these 5 things help you when your storm comes.

Now it’s your turn

What do you find that helps you survive a storm? Share your comments below.

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