Periods of time that are emotionally and physically arduous can challenge the very fabric of our inner person. However it is also an opportunity to strengthen our resolve to develop ‘grit’. Being resilient during the trenches is activating a set of thinking skills and actions that strengthen a position and prepare for the journey back into recovery. Although reactive strategies can be enacted while enduring a storm, it is preferable to proactively cultivate a set of thought patterns and applications while there is sunshine. This approach is far more effective as it provides opportunity for the brain to create neural pathways that will encourage healthy thinking that will influence healthy actions.
The company of others during a storm can rally significant support and relief. However a fellow participant, supporter and/or spectator can also reflect toxic behaviours that can break personal boundaries, thus threatening to increase storm damage. Whether it is hail, rain or sunshine, there is always the need for developing, establishing and managing functional boundaries. One cannot predict the effect that pressure can have on others, however one can take responsibility for their own actions. A functional boundary is knowing where one stops and where another starts, and then navigating the depth and width of intimacy exchange within the middle. Navigating a storm requires endurance and focus, therefore one should know who they need in their inner circle and who they need to adhere to a boundary for a season. Know who to lean on when the clouds come.
Most importantly, position your anchor on truth and seek the eye of the storm. No matter what darkness the storm brings, Jesus reveals Himself as the comforter, encourager and protector. He can activate a supernatural peace within any raging storm. A knowing that despite the comings and goings of despair, that eyes can seek Jesus’ face, ears can hear His promises and hearts can be encapsulated by His peace. It is standing in the midst of hopelessness and deliberately anchoring to Jesus’ truth, His peace amongst ‘the crazy’.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
-Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2008). Boundaries. Zondervan.
Zolli, A., & Healy, A. M. (2012). Resilience: Why things bounce back. Simon & Schuster. New York: NY.