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Surviving the Storm Speaker Series by the Refuge Center

It’s been a rainy spring, littered with thunderstorms and the occasional flash flood. Like spring, life has its storms. Sometimes we can predict inclement days and we do our best to prepare, to gather our resources and support systems. And other times, well, we never see it coming and in an instant, our lives are topsy-turvy, overrun with difficulty, and maybe even grief.

Last Friday, Jan Harrison and a panel of guest shared—from their expertise and their lived experiences—how they’ve moved through and at times, been carried through, the storms of their lives.

Here are a few of the takeaways from Jan’s story:

After unexpectedly losing her only son, Jan’s world was turned upside down and her grief was palpable. While she couldn’t have known what would happen when she blessed her son to work overseas, she believes wholeheartedly that there are things we can do now to prepare for storms of any magnitude.

“We make plans, we set goals, we buy insurance, we have saving accounts, we all know there’s a possibility something could happen, in fact, we know something probably will happen. So why in the world would we neglect to prepare for our spiritual life—that part of us that will never die, why would we neglect the warning that in this life we will have tribulation but in Him, we can have peace. Take courage, He has overcome the world. There’s no better time to start to become familiar with your spiritual supplies.”

Here are some of the tools in Jan’s spiritual supply kit:

Water: the Living Water we are offered through faith
Food: The word of God is your soul food. He will show up in his word and feed you in his spirit.
Light: When we don’t know where to go or what to do, Jesus is the light to our feet, showing us step by step.
Emergency Contacts: We were created to be connected, created to be in community. Without community you’re more vulnerable in storms.
Blanket: Wrap yourself in prayer. It’s your covering, your shelter. He can dispatch angels to your help; He is the comforter. Jesus is an advocate. He whispers your name and knows every care and concern. The Advocate prays on your behalf.

In this life, we will have trouble. There’s really no way around it. Trouble can lead to stress, disappointment, even grief but trouble doesn’t have to take us down. As Jan shared,“I want to learn how to live with this; I don’t want to just survive. I want to live with the abundance of life that I know God has for me. I want to let this storm change me—I want to be transformed as a result of the storms.”

We’ll share additional nuggets of wisdom from Surviving the Storm in upcoming posts! Thanks to all who attended and supported our 2018 “Live Intentionally” Speaker Series, especially our sponsors Don and Robbin Flow, Peachtree Planning, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Beacon Capital Management, Full Service Insurance, Grange Insurance, Jason’s Deli and Puckett’s Grocery.

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