by Rhonda Osborne, Chief Executive Officer

Storm rolling in at the beach.I am at the beach.  This is a place of solace for me – one of beautiful views, warm breezes, sun on my face, toes in the sand while listening to the powerful breaking waves.  Today, it is raining, lightning and thundering.  Not much solace…or is there?  This beautiful place works as a metaphor of life.  I have been blessed with a loving family, a career that is not a job, and know that I have eternal life ahead due to one significant decision of asking Christ to be my Savior.  However, even with those wonderful blessings of life there can be, and will be, storms even in a beautiful life.  Divorce, death, loss of relationships because of variety of acts, sickness, hurt and on and on.  But, in the midst of this thunder and lightning, I find peace just sitting on the balcony.  It is the same view of a powerful sea, same sand, same breeze…..just different.  So, I just sit on the balcony with a cup of coffee and a good book.  and I am still….”be still and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10.

I love this verse but being still is a challenge for me.    In high school, I was sent to remedial reading because I had scored poorly in reading comprehension. After some observation and further testing, I was told that I was never still.  I either jiggled my foot, tapped my fingers or whatever the smallest movements were distracted my brain from comprehension.  The way it was explained to me was that when I am moving and reading, my brain has to work in two ways….control that movement and read and comprehend the words.  Therefore, I had to practice and focus on being still.  When I did, my comprehension scores improved.  Even now, when I am still I am not necessarily focused. I may be still but have the TV on or be reading a book or may be scrolling Facebook.

Today, at the beach, I put my book aside, even if for a few minutes, and just listened. Yes, I listened to those crashing waves and the rolls of thunder and the occasional squawk of a seagull but I wanted to hear what God had to say.

I am at the beach because I am in a season of a life storm.  It has been a life-changing two months in my life.  My mother died.  As a hospice professional, I thought I was prepared for her home-going.  In some ways I was.  What I was not prepared for was for my earthly relationship with her to be gone.  I miss her.  There are other family illnesses – not as serious but still stressful.

The beach and the sound of the powerful ocean (or gulf) are tranquil to me.  When I listened to that still small voice, I was reminded that God is with me, still or not still, during times of peace or times of storms.  When I am still, His presence is powerful and peaceful.

I hope to learn to be still and know.