Grab The Life Raft

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When we're taken by surprise by a disruption in our world, it's not unusual for us to grab onto anything that seems stable. Unfortunately, we're not always able to make good choices when the rug is pulled out from under us. We sometimes find it hard to let go of the piece of driftwood we're clinging to so we can climb onto the solid rock or the ship that's come to our rescue.

The thing is, whatever that life raft is, it wasn't meant for long-term living. The lifeboats and life preservers are there to help you manage until you can be rescued.

Even a life raft is only supposed to get you from the sinking ship back to land, you were never intended to live in the life raft, to drift years on end, in sight of land but never close enough. ~Nick Flynn

We can't possibly plan ahead for all possible outcomes, and it's certainly not healthy for us to live in constant fear of potential disaster at every turn. Thankfully, the worst case scenarios are rare, and we don't have to go to our bailout option that often, but when making major decisions that carry some risk, we should have some idea what to do if things don't go well. That's why we have insurance, practically speaking. Auto insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, life insurance . . . It's why we like to have a savings account or a home equity line, and why we're comforted by having retirement savings. 

When my husband's job ended last month, we were stunned. We could not have seen that coming. Obviously, he had to find other employment and we needed to plan and strategize. One life raft that we were so grateful for was the severance package that would continue to provide income for awhile. But that was just a life raft designed to get us to the next shoreline. It lasts only a finite number of weeks. If we'd clung desperately to that temporary income and trusted that to be enough we would have wound up in trouble. 

We also need somewhere to turn for emotional support during times of upheaval. Strong family ties, trusted friends, a supportive community, and a faithful church family form a support system that we should be building at all times. Our family and friends have been praying for us and offering help if we need it. Some have helped with networking and passed along ideas and contacts for possible job leads. Lifelines that are there to help us to our destination. While the support is always there and the relationships are constant, we can't expect to live in that crisis mode indefinitely. As we stabilize, we are available to help others in our circle. When we raft our small resources together as a community, we are much better able to weather storms and make each other stronger.

Above all, turn to God. He is the the solid rock we can count on no matter how crazy things are. Whatever crisis we've faced, we have turned first to God, and have learned to trust him above all to provide for our needs. 

Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
~Psalm 31:2~

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
~Psalm 107:28-31~

Have mercy on me, my God,
have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
~Psalm 57:1~

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
~Psalm 46:1~

For the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge, I've decided to explore the theme of living well and with purpose during times of change. A few years ago, as I neared the end of my years as a homeschool mom, I realized my world would change when my youngest graduated. My roles in the homeschool community and in my social circles were affected. Things changed in the workplace. Things are ever changing at church. And as my children grew up and the nest has begun to empty, family dynamics are changing. To our surprise, my husband's job ended at the very beginning of 2022, and that has brought another round of changes to consider! I know very well that writing about coping with change is not the same as having all the answers. I'll do my best to share what I'm learning and experiencing, and I'd love to hear from others in the comments.

This post is part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. Find all my posts for the 2022 challenge here: 28 Days of Coping With Change

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