Have you been riding the Game of Thrones train? No spoilers ahead in case you haven’t; I was recently introduced to the collection and can’t believe it took me this long. (hand on face emoji) I have actually been attempting to read the series and watch it simultaneously…definitely not as easy as I had previously envisioned, but oh so worth it. One of my favorite and main characters is Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name…continued with a list of about 8 or more other titles. Her “middle” name of sorts, Stormborn, immediately captured my attention.
She received the moniker after successfully entering the world on a catastrophic, stormy night of epic proportions. Born into a dynasty rife with calamity, her first breath signals her entrance into a seemingly unceasing fight for her identity, legacy, and throne. The assaults and attempts on her life grow in intensity; each time it seems as if things are finally beginning to turn in her favor, more bad news and struggle awaits her. Although, you may not be playing the elaborate and dangerous game of thrones, you are in the fight of your life.
Inhale. Exhale. You just accepted the gift and challenge to make your existence count for something greater than yourself. Dream, believe, and then succeed right? Not exactly.
What do you do when you can’t quite catch your breath? When the storm clouds seem to have literally camped over your head without signs of stopping the torrential downpour of bad news and unwanted life interruptions? How do you remain resilient when you just can’t?
That’s the headspace I’ve been in since my last post. I couldn’t catch a break. It seemed as if the more I fought back, the more entangled and overtaken I became. I questioned my faith, lamented my shortcomings, and despised my weakness. Time and again, I took a few decisive steps forward, only to be violently thrust backwards by life faster than I could blink. Situations out of my control threatened my peace and sanity.
What gives? Doesn’t God want me to win? Am I not praying enough?
Can you relate? Have you ever found yourself in a space of inexplicable torment and no answers?
Below are 4 lessons I’ve learned, as I found myself yet again, in an unexpected storm fresh off the heels of the last one:
- You are stronger than you think. You were truly born for this. If you’re reading this, you’re still in the game. You may have taken a break (like I did), but you never truly quit. Your dreams can still come true. You haven’t missed “it.” Don’t count yourself out-it can’t stay like this forever.
- Pay attention to new talents and gifts uncovered through the torment. Creativity is often bred in impossible circumstances. When your hands are tied and you simply can’t envision a way out, you discover potential and uses for concepts and items you never thought of before. Keep a record of your new inventions and ideas; this storm, though unwanted and unfair, was the catalyst for something incredible. Use it.
- Storms shake everything up; what isn’t firmly rooted is removed. Who and what do you really need? Reevaluate what you thought was necessary and become a minimalist as you let go of what previously defined you.
- You’re not being punished, so stop punishing yourself. Give yourself credit. Make room for grace. Stop comparing your pre-storm way of life to the current wreckage you find yourself surveying-that’s just not fair. Take a break. Put the phone on “Do Not Disturb.” Write. Watch a movie. Play with your kids. Storms tend to trigger the “work and fix” instincts within us, but they’re so much bigger than that. Life changed, so did you. Take time to pray, listen, and ask questions before jumping right back into the mess. Although it happened overnight, it won’t disappear as quickly, so ride it out by fixing your gaze on the only One who can make the storm halt.
- Stick to the plan. Despite the unanticipated events, God has not changed His mind or intentions for you. Don’t doubt the promises you were given because your surroundings look different.
If you remember nothing else, remain convinced that you’re obviously doing something right. The very fact that you’ve faced storm after storm is indication that there is something in you that terrifies hell.
Keep fighting. There’s no victory without a battle.
In this together,