Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

I have been a nervous wreck lately.

I know, I know. When you visit the blog I seem so centered, so calm, sort of, Zen with a Jesus twist but if you know me in real life you know my prayer cloth is looking a bit frayed around the edges where I keep worrying God about my world.

This week, God confronted me with the heart of the issue as I slept (I have mentioned in earlier blogs how vital sleep is). I dreamt about a giant oncoming storm cloud and the sudden appearance of several large, dark tornados heading straight for me. In the dream, I ran around like a mad woman trying to rescue several family members who were scattered in different directions and the dream ended with me doing just that.

I shared the nightmare with an older friend who chuckled softly and said “Let me put on my ‘Joseph hat’ for just a moment. I see several tornados and the same number of family members.” (I’ve hidden the number in the blog to protect the innocent.) “It seems to me,” my friend continued, “that you have a great creative storm heading toward you but you’re fretting a lot about these family member’s lives and the unpredictability of when they touch down in yours and the chaos that can ensue.”

Oh yeah, that could be it.

I knew it wasn’t a prophetic weather forecast. Not in Rhode Island.

I do fret.

Embarrassed, I confessed my tendency to run around trying to put everyone’s world aright in order to maintain the calm in mine and then admitted I have a problem. So, I went to God to discuss it.

See, I now have one older teen and one adult child and my parents are getting older (only sixties and seventies, but still, not forties any longer). They all have pretty independent lives and make their own decisions but that’s sort of the problem. As I have less and less control over my children’s worlds, I’m realizing they can make decisions that create problems that hit my world out of the blue! And my parents’ and husband’s health issues can change with a sudden wind, also blasting into my life like Nor’easter s.

What God wanted me to see (with the tornado dream) is how much, when my children were younger, I relied on my own ability to control them and their world in order to stay calm and peaceful of spirit. Much of that was not faith in God but faith in my own ordering of all things mine. Oh, that’s not good.

After the dream and the interpretation, my inclination was still to try to control things – only in that faux spiritual way I have of coping. I know. I thought. I need to pray more. I need to devote more time to praying about everyone’s lives.

And while that’s true, God nudged me to realize that if I look at that urge, it still comes from wanting to control things – just using Him as an avenue for doing that.

What I really need is to go deeper into the heart of God. Deeper than I’ve ever been before. I need to press in to Him, hold His hand and walk through the dark woods of the unpredictable nature of this life to find a place of trust that does not rely on circumstance. I need to know Him better still.

I had that faith growing up. My birth family was fairly chaotic and my relationship with Christ was not focused on circumstance but on Him. Then, somewhere in building my own family, I took on the role of chief arranger of all order and peace. That sort of worked when everyone was young and healthy but now the curtain is rising on my sovereign nature and it’s obvious that I’m just a nervous little woman hiding behind smoke and mirrors shouting into a microphone “Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain. I am the great and wonderful Oz!”

Except that I’m not.

Surrender, Dorothy.

There is only one Great and Wonderful God and He is fully capable of keeping me together through whatever havoc is wrought by the tornados of the lives of those I love and hold dear. I need to go deeper with Him to find that peace that surpasses all understanding. He is the root cellar to which I need to run when the first swirling wind appears on the horizon.

How about you? Do you love a tornado? Do you need a shelter from the storm of your loved ones’ lives? Go deeper with Jesus. He doesn’t HAVE the answers, He IS the answer.

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    The Conversation

  1. Kathy says:

    this is so true of my life right now – so many balls up in the air and people in my life distracting me from my juggling act. Thanks for the reminder that God is the One in control anyway – it has never been me!

  2. I don’t know why I keep wrestling the remote back from Him but it’s really better when I remember He’s the best one to leave in control anyway.

  3. Joe Crowley says:

    I love a good tornado, but we’re not in Kansas anymore! Haiti, maybe!!!

  4. CeCe is definitely a good tornado! Maybe God wants you two to go to Haiti but I want you here! 🙂 OK, I want what God wants, too.

  5. Cheri says:


    You have just described EXACTLY the place I was at in June 2006. And when I laid on my face on my son’s bedroom floor and told God that He would have to do something about the boy’s drug issue, that I’d done everything I knew how to do, He held me close, took over; and had others been able to hear His heart to me, they would have heard Him say, “FINALLY!” (You see, I’d only walked with the Lord for over two decades before this happened!)

    Our son went to drug rehab and our life spun wildly out of control, but I confess I never felt such peace in my life. I was sheltered in God’s love for the next eighteen months (not that I am not now, but there was something special about that particular time). Hubby and I, and even our two girls who were still at home when that all went down, have each said within the past few weeks that we actually miss that time in our lives. What? Yes, we miss it. I want to delve once again into that place of complete surrender and trust regardless of the storm that rages around me. (And I hope I’ve learned enough not to have to have a storm or wait for one to do it, if you know what I mean.)

    I still fret. Three years ago, I had one married son with a pregnant wife. Now I have two married kids, three grandkids, and two single kids in college. Will our son be tempted to use drugs again? Will his girlfriend’s dad ever get over his past and accept him? Will our daughter and son-in-law survive nursing and med school? Will they get pregnant before they finish? What will happen if they do? Will our daughter have to give up her education? On… and on… and on…. Sorry, is my mental merry-go-round making you dizzy too?

    Guess I just want you to know that you are not alone, and we are all learning to surrender daily together!

    God bless you! I love your blog.


  6. You are a constant encouragement, Cheri, and a light in the darkness of the world (and sometimes the modern church). Thank you for your openness. 🙂

  7. Greg says:

    Well-written post, and so dead-on-target. We need to remember that everything in this world is not only temporal, but also out of our hands. I also like things to go the way I want them to, and actually fear the unexpected. It takes a lot of prayer and Bible-reading to get myself to just lean on Jesus.