Several weeks ago, I was feeling especially stressed. I recognize that is not a shock to anyone living in this current climate, but some regular life stuff has been exacerbated by COVID and I continue to feel like I am on a boat, in the fog, at night, and so seasick I don’t even know which way is up. I have been so scared of falling into the waters or hitting rocks and having a new problem to deal with. I want to shake this off and focus on the horizon, but I struggle to see which way to even turn the wheel.
I reached out to several Godly women to support me in prayer. The next day I had a phone call from a dear friend of my late mother. Suzanne was to the point: “Charlotte. You’ve been on our hearts. Stephen remembered a story of you and your mum…Then we listened to Durwin’s sermon…You need to listen to Hillside’s sermon from today…I love you. Bye-bye.” Hillside Community is the church I grew up in, and where my mother, Dina, was on staff until her death. I pulled up the on-line sermon and began to listen.
Durwin’s message was about how life can be a storm, and we certainly are all living in a stormy time. He continued on with how the fishermen were doubting Jesus while they were struggling on the boat and He was just…sleeping. They assumed He knew nothing about what was happening. They doubted that Jesus would Wake Up and act in time. Relatable…. Durwin then shared a story: “Our dear friend Dina once shared a story with me. She was going through one of the hardest years of her life-a real storm. Her daughter Charlotte was three or four years old, and as they were out along the Fraser River, she announced she had to go pee. ‘Okay, there’s an outhouse over there, let’s go’, Dina said. Now Charlotte, like many of us, had already adopted an aversion to outhouses. She started to cry, protesting against using it. ‘What if I fall in?!’, she said. ‘I won’t let you fall. Do you trust me?’, Dina asked. ‘Yes mummy...But what if I can’t see?!’, Charlotte asked. ‘I can see’, Dina answered, ‘Do you trust me?’ “Yes mummy…But what if mosquitos bite my bum?!’, Charlotte asked. “Then I’ll swat them away Char. Do you trust me?’ ‘Yes, mummy I do…I trust you.’ Dina said that in that moment, she heard God say, ‘Dina! Did you hear yourself? I can see in the dark, Dina. I won’t let you fall, Dina. I will swat away the worries-if you let me.’ "
Hearing this story, which I was familiar with, brought me to my knees in tears. I had never heard it from my mum’s point of view. She herself was once a young mother, caught in her own storm, feeling like she was lost at sea – just as I do now. I was overwhelmed by God taking the time to speak to me so personally. It really shouldn’t be any surprise that He did…our God is known for using creative ways to remind us so boldly how He indeed is not sleeping, not unaware of our storm, and how He is indeed ready to calm our storm…when we allow Him to join us in the boat.
Have the feelings that I’m out at sea without a compass passed? Nope…I am still having to grab hold of the side of the boat-often. But I’m choosing to sing a little louder in the middle of my storm…louder than the unbelief. Like Bethel’s song ‘Raise a Hallelujah’ says, “I’m Gonna Sing, in the Middle of the Storm, Louder and Louder, ‘til you Hear my Praises Roar!” When I choose to raise those hallelujahs, the fog and darkness begin to lift, and heaven comes to fight for me. So sing a Hallelujah!