the storm.

10:11 PM

before you read this, you should know that i am a reflective person. i like to reflect and unpack things, (and repack them for that matter) until they make sense to me. Today was a day of unpacking.

This summer, my friends, Rachel, Jordyn and I taught sailing at a Christian Camp. I love sailing. nothing satisfies me greater than experiencing the lake so intimately. But a day came when the wind got the best of me.
Here's a quick sailing lesson: you have the tiller that determines what direction you go and you have the jib which allows the wind to catch so you can tack up and down the lake.
On a particularly windy day, my jib got so tangled that it would not allow me to tack. In human terms, I was headed straight into an Island without the ability to turn my sail. As my junior campers started wailing in fear, I tried to think of every possible way that I could save the sailboat and my group of girls from crashing head on. Nothing came to my mind. I held my girls in a large clump while my sailboat love-tapped the land structure, and then we waited patiently to be rescued.

The day after the accident was difficult because I knew that I had to get back on the boat again. Just as I walked onto the sail dock, the winds picked up and the sky began to turn gray. Nothing was more terrifying than expecting the storm and not knowing if I was capable of handling it. Jordyn and Rachel looked at me. They could see the fear in my eyes and knew that I was holding back tears. I looked at my 3 junior campers buckled up in their life jackets, who now realized that their fearless captain wasn't as confident as they expected. I knew that I could take the easy way out and not take the boat out, but an even deeper piece of me knew that I had to go, not just for my campers, but for myself. Something that Jordyn said to me at the moment of my utter fear will always stick with me. She said, "If you go out there and things become out of control, simply turn your sail into the wind and I will come save you". So I went. It was not a fun ride, I found myself in constant fear, praying fervently that I would be able to get my precious children back to land safely. In an attempt to ease my fear, I sang about 20 rounds of Styx's "I'm Sailing Away" (thank the Lord that my campers were easily amused). After about 45 minutes, we made it back to the dock. The moment we reached land I was filled with an extreme sense of accomplishment. And something surprising happened within me, I wanted to go out again. After facing the storm, I received the confidence to take on greater ones.

This is what I know: the storms are coming, some of them are already here. but here is my hope. God's constant message to us was Jordyn's message to me that day. God tells us to go out in the storm, face the trials, despite our setbacks and despite our fears. As a follower of Christ I have to know that there is suffering ahead. I face the storm with faith that when things get completely out of my control that I can turn my sail to the wind because my God is on his way.

I have a huge fear of the unknown, and even greater, not knowing if I am capable of what the unknown will bring. The plans I have for my life are ones that scare me to my very core but I am in a mad pursuit of them because I know that if I play it safe, I will never feel the sense of accomplishment that will come when I finally reach the land.

"I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm, my help is on the way" -Kristian Stanfill

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