Previously written and submitted by Teri McClanahan, November 11, 2015,  at

A perfect storm is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.

I remember sitting in an interview several months ago listening to a young woman (that could have been my grand-daughter) ask me if I preferred using paper or the computer.  I smiled thinking; that was code for – “Can you even use a computer and how proficient are you?”  I started to say something glib but stopped short and replied – “I don’t do paper!”

But at that moment, more than any time prior I felt my age.  The young woman had very simply hopefully innocently put me in my place – or least her place for me.  I was old; a senior citizen and my computer skills were questionable.  At what point did I become old?  And when did I stop being a productive person with qualifications and experiences that would benefit any organization?

There is so much that has impacted my life over the past three years.  The events are all unrelated and thought rare for anyone person to endure within a specified period.  My health, my career, my finances, my age, my family – have all changed in drastic ways that can only be described as my perfect storm.  The circumstances of my life have changed radically.

Aggravation is not a word that I would use to describe how I feel. Perhaps a better word would be inflamed – a raging ball of bright red fire that consumed me completely.  One day my life was normal, the next day my life, as I had come to know it, was gone and replaced with a life completely alien to me.  Who was this person and what was this life? Where did my life go? Why was I suddenly adrift at sea caught in my perfect storm?

On days of little faith, I vacillate between high anxiety and depression.  Sleep evades me.  I worry about my future. But then I remember that I serve a Sovereign God, I am his child, and my life is in his hands.  His ways are not my ways.  He is infinite, and I am finite. God has a divine purpose for my life that I simply cannot understand. Why else would I still be standing? Is there some unfinished work I am to complete, a new mission, a new purpose?

All of the events that led to this moment in time, this perfect storm, are nothing more than God’s force propelling me in a direction towards a significant change in life. And therein lies the rub – it’s new, it’s different, it’s uncharted, it’s scary.  Either I can drown in the emotions of the storm, or I step out on faith – the truth of God and God’s Word.

I am sure of this, that He that began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

I have never been one to live in prolonged states of fear or loathing.  I believe fear to be healthy and often necessary to our very being – flight or fight.  But as with all emotions, we should experience them for what they represent in the present moment and move on with living the life that God has ordained for us.  It means being vulnerable to the outcome of the circumstances, with the understanding and firm belief that God will bring you through it with all the strength and courage you need.

Trust this I know for sure – It takes divine strength and courage to weather your perfect storm.

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