Family members of ours were fishing off the coast of Florida in 2012 and captured this photo of an
ominous cloud before a rainstorm. BTW, no family members were harmed during the making of this
photo! Amazing though, isn't it? Downright creepy, if you ask me!
I have been afraid of storms ever since I can remember. Not a good thing in Texas. I have come to deal
with my fear of storms up to the level of tornadoes. I have laid in bed at night reciting the lyrics of the
Casting Crowns song Praise You In This Storm reminding myself that God is who He is, no matter where
I am and is greater than the literal storm that was beating down on our home. I have also been known to
spend time in our front bathtub holding our dog reciting scripture and praying because the threat of a
tornado seemed so imminent...oh, my!
Come to think of it, fear has played a big part in my life. Just like the ominous storm cloud pictured
above, my life has been affected by many fears. I am sure I could bring my childhood experiences into it,
but that seems counter productive at this point in my life. What seems to matter most to me is being able
to release my fears as they arise to the One who made me...fears and all.
One thing I have learned as I attempt to release my fears to God is that He then takes my fear and replaces
it with His peace. This sometimes takes much longer than I would like and with multiple pleas. I never
know specifically when He will appropriate it, BUT He never fails to do so if I persist in my reaching out
to Him at such times.
One example of this (in keeping with Florida and those pesky storms) was when we were ending a
vacation near Daytona in Ormond Beach in 2012 and although hurricane Isaac was no longer a threat to
us in Florida, when it came inland it was stationed right in our path back home to Texas. Not only that, it
was causing flooding and spawning tornadoes...my nemesis when it comes to storms!
The night before we left I was still very anxious about leaving and this is when God stepped in with His
peace that passes understanding, as Philippians 4:6-7 states. I have to be honest and tell you that I still had
a “moment” at one point on our trip back when we were driving in some rain through Mississippi...but in
reality it was not a threatening storm and I had to remind myself that God had given me His peace which
told me He was with us and I knew if He was with us, then He was in control.
I should have known better...it was Labor Day weekend, marking at that time the twenty year anniversary
of when I first realized our marriage was in crisis back in 1992. This year 2022, now marks 30 years.
BUT, back then a storm was on our horizon and my immediate response was fear. To illustrate just how much the God of the universe knows His children, the scripture He placed in my mind and heart over and over from the beginning of that trial was 1 John 4:18 NIV which states: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.“ The one whofears is not made perfect in love.” I interpreted that verse to mean that God was teaching me to love my husband more perfectly (Christlike) and that if that was my desire too, I could not love him and allow fear to rule my behavior toward him.
I could have very easily allowed fear to swallow me up during those months, and at time I wasn't sure if it
wasn't going to. My biggest fear at that time was the fear of abandonment and God knew that. God loved
me enough to allow me to face that fear so that I would know without a shadow of a doubt twenty years
later and counting that I will never ever be abandoned by the One who loves me most.
Another thing happened though, to my surprise quite honestly. The more I focused on my attempt to love
my husband through that time, the less I became focused on the ultimate outcome. The fears would wax
and wane, but as time went on God was finally able to bring me to the place of total release of my
husband to Himself. It was hard, I won't lie. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life
because when I made that decision I truly believed my husband would leave and never return.
That morning, my husband had left early to look for an apartment. As he drove off I went to my sacred
place which at that time was our bathroom (if you have kids I am sure you can relate)! After laying on
that floor and crying my eyes out, I prayed and literally lifted my hands up to the sky and handed him
over to God. I finally said Uncle!
I would love to tell you that I stood up, opened the door of my restroom and was as strong as an oak the
rest of the day. Not happenin'. I was a nervous wreck. I remember getting out and running errands with
our girls that day...they were 17, 15 and 12 at that time. The rest of it is pretty much a blur until my
husband returned that afternoon. When he did return, he had made the decision to move out. It was as if
the several months prior to this day were culminating all at once. The storm cloud was getting ready to
After the initial response of anger and pleading and then prayer, acceptance did finally come. It just so
happened on that same day our youngest daughter, which was 12 at the time had a birthday party to go to.
My husband and I mutually decided it would be best for her if we waited until she was picked up for the
party before he left.
In the meantime, my husband decided to go in and start packing some items. At this point I am still just a
bundle of every emotion you can think of. He left the room and I started pacing, and then it
happened...God answered my prayer from that morning...you know, the one releasing my husband to
Him? This peace washed over me that I could not explain except that it was the peace that passes
understanding. Philippians 4:6-7
My husband got packed and we waited for our youngest daughter to leave and then it came time for my
husband to go. He says I told him I would be waiting for him when he returned...I vaguely remember
telling him that. I remember distinctly though, as soon as the door shut taking our two remaining
daughters over to our sofa and praying with them.
Well, several hours went by. Our youngest daughter was still at her friend's birthday party. It was
December and I had put the movie “White Christmas” on to watch with our two oldest girls hoping to
distract us from the day. I was laying on our sofa and I heard a vehicle outside and it sounded like my
husband's truck...but I WAS NOT about to go to that window! I would not allow myself to think it might
actually be him returning. Well, then I heard the doorknob turn. YES, it was him. HE HAD RETURNED.
He was still filled with uncertainty about our marriage but he was certain he was to come home and that
was enough for me at that point. God had brought him home, not me. Nothing I did or said, it was God in
Him that moved his heart back toward his family.
The rest as they say is history. We remained in counseling for nine months. We compare it to the gestation
period! What was birthed was a new beginning for our family. It may not be pretty, but it's real and it's
ours. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31) In spite of ourselves, and in retrospect the small amount of faith we had at
the time, God's will prevailed in our family...He can do it in yours as well!
Oh, and BTW not only did our two older daughters see their prayers answered that day when their dad
came back home, but our youngest daughter did not return from her friend's birthday party until after my
husband had returned. It was as if he had never left as far as she was concerned. That's grace. That's our
We all have storms that seem to be Goliaths and it is in those most desperate times..when we are most
afraid and most vulnerable that God reveals His truth to us if we choose to listen...the song titled Voice of
Truth by Casting Crowns illustrates this beautifully and it is my song and my prayer for us all!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the
LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
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