As my readers in North America have surely heard, there is a big crazy storm slowly making its way here. My social media feeds are filling up with plans, preparations, and comments of either apprehension or cool disbelief of how bad things could be. Back in 2003 we had a pretty bad storm here that knocked power out to the whole city, and my neighbourhood in particular for over a week. We ate a lot of BBQ'd food and canned food. I was still living at home and had mono, so I got to lay on the couch, sick as a dog, watching my mother turn from BBQ novice to BBQ gourmet.
So here I am, 9 years later, with 4 kids of my own and one on the way, curious as to what the future will bring when this storm finally hits. We've stocked up on non-perishable food. If our BBQ doesn't carry us through, my folks live close by so I can trust that in case of emergency we can head over there to get meals if the roads are clear. I've stocked up on water. Probably more than we'll need. But never too much when you have 4 kids.
I couldn't help but think as I sorted through everything in my house to get ready for the storm that it's actually pretty easy to prepare for the big storms mother nature throws our way. With some certainty, we can have emergency kits ready. Our 24 hour weather channels give us plenty of warning so we can stock up, tie down things outside, and have lots of warm blankets ready to go. In the grander scheme of things, these kinds of storms are so easy to deal with.
All of this preparedness had me reflecting on spiritual storms that come our way. We rarely have any warning when they're coming. Often it's one day to the next. We go from spiritual sunshine to complete spiritual despair because of a sudden event, or a loss of hope, or a betrayal. We have no warning, no chance to quickly stock up on our spiritual goods to carry us through the storm. So how do we prepare for something that we have no warning for? For myself, I always try to do my best to build up the safety of my spirit. I try to build up a life of prayer so that I have a deep relationship with God. I don't necessarily sit and stock up on my Hail Mary's (not that I don't pray the rosary, because for real I love the rosary). I try my best to have God on my heart throughout the day. If I keep a constant dialogue with God, it's easier to remember He's there, so when I come into a time of storm, I already have that relationship with God to turn to. I also try to go to Mass. Obviously on Sunday, but when I can, I take the kids to a weekday Mass. That helps me build up my spiritual stores because physical communion with Christ through the Eucharist gives me strength I never imagined, and a peace that passes all understanding (if only for a moment through the drama of taking 4 kids to Church! haha). I'm also reminded that in any storm, the community of my Church is there for me. Christ will always reach out to me through His body, the Church. I feel so much security in my faith, even in the darkest of storms.
For me, real faith that will hold me up in my despair and struggles is not just the practice of the weekend, it is the daily act of diving deep into the love of God. Just like my kids can depend on my husband and I to take care of them regardless of what storms rage outside our door, I know that I can fall into the arms of my Heavenly Father and find Him always there when a storm is raging in my heart.