I posted on my Team AJ FB page this week the following: “So we are supposed to leave on our “cancer free celebration” trip this weekend. There is now threat of tropical storms in the Atlantic. Mark bought trip insurance (thank goodness) but obviously we would really love to go. This may be a selfish prayer request but I believe my God can control the wind and rain with but two simple words “Be Calm!” (Matthew 8:26-27). Please join me in praying that this storm stays toward Central America and doesn’t turn North. But to be bold, pray that it completely dissipates!!”
The Scripture I referenced states: “26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!””
(If you are wondering, we are headed to the small islands just under the ‘H’ in Hurricane in the red box in the above picture.)
We have gone back and forth. Do we go? Do we not go? Is it safe? Will the storm turn north or stay west? All questions without any way of getting answers. I even threw myself a pretty big (embarrassingly big) pity party this morning – I mean I was in it – streamers, balloons, and all. Thank goodness I have some friends that could slap me silly and knock some sense in this head of mine.
Because here is the deal – we have weathered the biggest storm (to date) in our lives over the last 8 months. And honestly – here is what I said, “God I tried to give you glory throughout it all, and all I wanted was a little celebration trip. And you give me another storm. A literal one this time. That’s not fair and it hurts my feelings.” Oh my! Yuck! (I seriously want to erase that paragraph, but I’m trying to be real with y’all.)
My sweet friends sympathized with me, but they also said, “Ashley, you can go and still celebrate and enjoy life.” Of course I can. Again, I say, where is that pause button I mentioned in my previous post? When I can hit my head and say, “Duh! Of Course!” Sometimes the enemy manipulates his way into our emotions and steals all the joy from a situation, doesn’t he?
O, Lord! O, Lord! How dare I say, “all I wanted was…”. Don’t I sing “You are more than enough” – I don’t need (I am not in want) of anything. I don’t deserve anything from You. How dare I be so selfish to steal the joy from this amazing gift of time you have given me. Not only more precious days on this earth, but sweet one-on-one time with my husband. Time to reflect. Time with you. Lord, I can’t wait to spend time in your beautiful creation with you, even among the storm clouds. Because you are always among it all. Of course, Lord, even in this you are teaching me. You are still present in the storm and joy can still be found! In what situation do you need to find Him in? He is there! Where do you need to find joy in your life? It is there!
So here is what I decided. I decided I am going to go on my vacation with my man and celebrate life, rain or shine! Abundant life! Eternal life! Both of which God has graciously gifted to me (and to you).
Now you tell me, how completely ironic is it that I quote Matthew 8 in reference to the storm on September 27, the day before it gets named Tropical Storm Matthew (now Hurricane Matthew). And, just to throw some more humble pie to the face, do you know what Matthew means? ‘Gift of God’. I stand surrendered Lord.
…and I may just come home with a T-shirt that says, “I survived Hurricane Matthew!”