Welcome to July! I can’t believe the year is half done. Good gravy!

I was browsing through my documents this morning, cleaning out some old files. I ran across this blog I had written years ago. Perhaps it grabbed my attention because as I ran across it, the biggest, nastiest storm is over my house right now! I actually love storms when I have no place to be, except all comfy at home with a hot cuppa coffee. Which is exactly my reality right now.

As I read through the blog below, my heart acknowledged once again that God’s truths are time tested. He is the same Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. He is who He is and can’t be anything else. I’m grateful when He gives me these “platinum” moments that allow me to see the relationship He has/wants with me and how it mirrors my relationship with my daughters. I treasure these “ah-ha” moments because they remind me that He is so BIG, yet so incredibly personal with us. All at the same time.

btw, *Note cordless phone reference below. Ha!


The Storm.

We live in Florida. In the summertime, we have tropical afternoon thunderstorms. You can count on them rolling through like you can count on the summer humidity giving you a bad hair day. Equally absolute, these thunderstorms roll through fast, and the skies can go from blue and bright to black and ominous in a matter of minutes.

One Sunday afternoon after church, my husband Pete and our oldest daughter Haley decided to go and get a quick workout at our local YMCA right around the corner from our house. I was home with my youngest, Abbey, who was ten years old at the time. Pete and Haley were due home from the gym any minute. Needing to return a couple of things at the mall and knowing that they closed at six, I decided to leave before Pete and Haley got home. I gave Abbey the cordless phone as she was watching TV, and told her that daddy would be home in a minute.

Fifteen minutes later, I was on I-275 southbound entering a nasty, lightening-throwing, violent storm. This was the kind of storm that makes you want to pull over and wait it out on the side of the road. Unwisely, I slowed down but continued to drive right through the storm. The rain was blowing sideways and blinding me. I drove as slowly as I could, emergency flashers on, my concentration fixed on the white lines that marked the darkened, flooding asphalt. Within five minutes, I began to see beams of sunlight. The rain was starting to subside a bit. Within a couple of minutes, I was back up to interstate speed (or perhaps a little faster!) and saw nothing but blue skies ahead. Of course, I could still see the thunderstorm in my rearview mirror.

As I was pulling into the mall parking lot, my cell rang and it was my youngest on the other end. “Mommy, daddy’s not home yet, and it’s lightening and thundering outside. It’s really dark, mom, and I’m scared. This storm is big!” Naturally my heart broke at the thought of my baby girl being home by herself, scared. I immediately began to reassure her. “Honey, it’s gonna be O.K. I promise!” As I said these next words to her, I immediately heard them in my head, as if God the Father were saying them to me: “Abbey, daddy will be home in a minute. I know it’s scary, but KNOW this… I just went through the storm and I am already on the other side of it. It’s not that big, I promise you! I can see the other side. I’ll stay on the phone with you until it passes.”

After I hung up with Abbey, tears welled up in my eyes, as I realized the picture that God had just painted so clearly for me. Recalling the experience brought several cloudy thoughts into clear view:

• “Daddy will be home in a minute” – God is coming back for us one day. He will be home, in truly what is only, a minute.
• “I just went through the storm, and I am already on the other side of it.” – Jesus did go through the storm…for US! We are on the “already through” side of the cross.
• “I can see the other side.” – In the middle of our storms, God can see the other side, even when we can’t. Trust Him.
• “I’ll stay on the phone with you until it passes.” – The Holy Spirit stays “on the phone” with us, communing with us, until the storm passes. Actually He never hangs up!

To this day, as she and I drive through thunderstorms, we think about the storm from a Kingdom perspective.


Additional thoughts:

As many of you have probably heard this week, a friend of ours, Nathan Johnson, lost his wife Megan shortly after giving birth to their first daughter, Eilee Kate on Tuesday. It was actually a very normal delivery, and mom & baby were doing great. But, a few hours later, Megan started to have some trouble, and went home to be with Jesus. Nathan is the guitarist for our dear friends, Josh Wilson and Francesca Battistelli. Our CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) community is grieving. Our hearts are split in two for this family. And to say that Nate, Meg’s parents, sister, brother, and all those who loved her are in the middle of their darkest storm right now is a gross, gross understatement. Yet as they all have said several times this week, “We don’t know about tomorrow, but we know Who holds it.” To be sure, this isn’t a storm that they’ll pass through, and soon see a ray of sunshine. NOT. AT. ALL. But I feel confident they would tell you, “The ray is there. And his name is Jesus.” Meg was a big believer in organ donation. She was a heart transplant survivor (and her heart was doing great during, and after delivery). She was an organ donor, and to date, 54 people have received gifts from Megan! I pray that I live a life that outlives me. What an example she is. Please pray for this family as they say good-bye to her this weekend.

I don’t know where you are right now. Perhaps you’re just coming out of a storm. Perhaps you’re in a perpetual storm with the lost of a loved one. Maybe your spouse just filed for divorce. Maybe your child isn’t speaking to you. Maybe you see that you’re headed into a storm. Lean into Jesus. Cling to Him. Concentrate on the next five minutes. And then the next 5. And try to grasp a Kingdom perspective. In light of Eternity, we’re only here for a vapor. I love you! But most importantly, God loves you!!

Here are 10 scriptures I pray will offer you encouragement:

  • We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
    {Hebrews 6:19}
  • The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
    {Psalm 34:18}
  • And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
    {1 Thessalonians 4:13}
  • Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
    {Psalm 27:13}
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    {Isaiah 41:10}
  • I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
    {John 16:33}
  • They called out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and and stilled the waves.
    {Psalm 107:28-29}
  • For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
    {Isaiah 43:19}
  • Do not be afraid of discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you or abandon you.
    {Deuteronomy 31:8}
  • The one thing I ask of the Lord- the thing I seek most- is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life….
    {Psalm 27:4}



Okay. Crying – what a beautiful Word picture you just painted Carmen. Love – “it’s not a big storm… I’m already thru it…” 💖 Thank you for sharing. I’m praying for everyone who knew & loved Megan. xoxo


Thank you for sharing the above. I am currently in the Beth Moore Esther Bible study. This is the second time I have done this study and one of the things she said in this weeks’ homework is that God will allow these storms in our life so that what he has done for us in the past does not go to the archives. He wants us to remember what he has done for us. It gives me comfort to know that Jesus is ALWAYS there. I know it gives Megan’s family comfort also. They would be in a lot worse grief if they did not have Jesus to hold on to. I remember one of the studies I did where Beth Moore says if we don’t have the strength to hold onto him, he will hold onto us and not let us go. I listen to The Joy FM at work, at home, and in the car and on trips we search for the station. Thank you for all you do.



Thank you for reposting this. It was timely (as are all things directed by Holy Spirit). Right now the law enforcement community in Marion County/Ocala are in several storms (loss of an officer’s son, officer involved fatal crash, and a deputy who committed suicide). It’s a dark storm but King Jesus is shining through! Blessings!


So, so beautiful Carmen! Thank you for sharing your heart so transparently. I needed the encouragement today. Jesus is everything and is our ROCK in this storm called life. Thank you for shining his light!


Summer! I think about you all the time. Haley & I were just talking about you yesterday. I know it’s not even been a year yet, and the anniversary is coming up next month. You exemplify this truth: “You give & take away, yet still I choose to say ‘Blessed be the Name of the Lord.'” Thank you for your faith & belief as you are walking a parent’s worst nightmare. I know this is NOT a road you would have chosen. Days like today make me hold tightly to the knowledge that we know how the story ends!!! Thank you, Jesus!! We’ll keep holding on white knuckled! Love & prayers to you and your sweet, sweet family.


Wow love this listen to you all the time on the joyfm thanks for your faithfulness and inspirational stories

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