A note from Kelly King: Most of my life has been spent living in Oklahoma where storms and tornadoes quickly come without much warning. I’m thankful for trained meteorologists who give warnings and help people prepare for the possibility of life-threatening storms. I’m also thankful for those who respond after the crisis hits. In the same way, I’m thankful that in life’s storms, we can be prepared and know what steps to take when the storms of life occur. In today’s article, Kaye gives you six steps you can take.
My husband is a fisherman. He will fish anywhere, anytime—lakes, creeks, streams, rivers, oceans—wherever there are fish. We used to live in South Florida where he would fish offshore on a weekly basis. He would tell tall tales (because that’s what fisherman do) of being offshore in perfectly lovely weather only for a squall (storm) to appear out of nowhere. On the ocean you can go from calm seas to a life-threatening storm with little to no warning. The same is also true in life. A storm or crisis can seem to come out of nowhere and land you in panic mode. Perhaps that is where you find yourself today or you are standing with someone who is living that reality. In all honesty, this is my reality as I write to you.
Since it is really fresh for me, here are six steps to take when the unexpected storm or crisis hits:
1. Pray. Before you react or respond, pour out your heart to God. Pray for strength, for protection, for wisdom, and process with Him first how you feel! Also, enlist prayer support. Text, email, or call your most trusted friends and ask them for prayer support.
2. Gather information. Whatever the circumstances of your storm may be, you need to get the facts. You cannot make wise decisions when you are uninformed.
3. Seek counsel from several sources. Proverbs 11:14b says, “…victory is won through many advisers” (NIV). Talk to professionals in the field of your concern and talk to others who have walked through a similar storm. Make calls, look at websites, and ask questions.
4. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Multiple times in Scripture we are admonished to “Fear not.” Fear is a liar. Fear has been trying to hijack our story from the Storyteller from the beginning.
5. Write out your plan or best next steps and work it. Once you settle on a plan of action, write it down, pray over it, and work the steps in order. This will keep your mind from distraction and will give you a sense of order, control, and accomplishment—which is helpful in a storm.
6. Take care of yourself! Even as I write this I know I need to make a call to my counselor so I can process my own stuff as I manage our current crisis. I know I need to eat well, rest well, and exercise daily. Additionally, if your area offers Holy Yoga, this is an excellent way to relieve stress. What is Holy Yoga? Yoga that is done to worship music and with thoughts directed in praise and worship of our God.
If you are experiencing a crisis today, I am so sorry. Please know that you are not alone. Your situation may feel extremely isolating, and I’m certain the enemy is inviting you to react with fear and panic. Remember, he is a liar. The One who speaks to storms can speak to yours. The wind and waves still obey Him. Hold on tightly to His Hand; He will not let you drown.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.