When I was a child, when I got scared, I would run to my mom to rescue me. Often there was never any danger and it was only my imagination that was threatening me, but she would calm me and let me know that everything was ok. Many times I would run to her after I had been churning certain thoughts in my head like what happens when I die, or what is death like? Five-year-olds can shoulder some deep thoughts. I would ponder those things and eventually, the pondering created a weight that I needed help to lift off of my mind. Mom was always there, reassuring me that everything was ok. She was gentle and kind to me. It was her gentleness that allowed my grip to loosen over my fea
As an adult, I realize I still have those same patterns. Once in a while, I allow my mind to start churning on certain thoughts that become fears. I ponder over them and sometimes they grow to the point that my thoughts actually feel like they are crushing down on top of me. While I don’t run off to my mom anymore, I do run off to find comfort and peace.
We all have our place of comfort, our safe haven, or our fortress of solitude. We may not all use it, but we all have it. For me, personally, in moments of extreme stress, I will read from The Book of Psalms. There is something so comforting about reading how others before me brought their fears and distress, and their joys and celebrations to their Creator. For me, I find the Psalms and their messages to be comforting - in the good times and the bad. I have literally had problems I could not solve, and fears I could not shake, and limitations I could not overcome simply melt away after meditated on and marinated in the Psalms. Sometimes it took weeks or months. Sometimes it took a night’s sleep. Regardless of the time it took, I somehow always made it through the trial I was experiencing.
I have always made it through to the other side.
And if you are reading this, you too, have always made it through to the other side.
Sometimes I often forget all the things I’ve escaped from, survived, conquered, and overcome. It’s crazy to think that I have actually forgotten amazing victories and successes in my life. It’s crazy to think that I can allow the thought of the day, the crisis of the week, the theme of the season to erase my memory of everything I have made it through. But I imagine you might do that too. You and I have a track record of success - we are here - that’s the proof. Sure, we may have had some misses, but we are still here. That means we’ve had more victories than losses, which means we have ALWAYS made it through to the other side.
I say all of that to say this: This season we are in, no matter how stressful, no matter how dark it seems, it will pass. All storms pass. And, no matter what your story is in this storm, whether you make it through to the other side, or not, you are never alone.
My five-year-old self had some deep thoughts. “What happens when I die?” I’m not sure I’ve ever fully answered that thought. But I do know now, as a more mature version of my five-year-old self, I can have the deepest version of that thought, the inverse version: “What happens if I live?”
That’s really our question. What happens if we live? If we choose to live, to not be afraid, to go out of our way to make the world brighter? What if we choose to be gentle to ourselves, to be kind to ourselves, and allow ourselves to let go of our fears? What if we allow ourselves to be bold?
I often find inspiration from the most obscure sentences or phrases. There is one sentence in Psalm 18:35 that has always shaken the fear out of me and filled me with hope. It says, “Your gentleness has made me great.”
I know we all have our own stories. I know we all have our own traumas. But I also know we all have our own victories. And in many ways your victory is mine. Your hurt is mine as mine is yours. We are all connected. AND, we are not alone, in any sense, or in any layer, or realm, or whatever.
In this storm, in the Corona Chronicles, I encourage you to seek gentleness. Let it make you great and see if you can imagine for yourself, “What happens if I live?”