|A short fictional story written by Angeline M. Duran Santiago|
Salem embraced her friend, attempting every possible way to comfort and alleviate her pain with the sincerity of her friendship and prayers. Lexi had shared what seemed one difficulty after another, crashing down upon her once peaceful life. Bulldozer affect in less than one week, pushing and pulling at her from every direction, threatening her security, stability and yes, even her faith.
Knowing of Lexi's visit, Salem had spent time in prayer. "I don't know her needs, Lord, but you do." Over and over she reminded the Lord to give her words filled with wisdom, courage and love.
"These storms that have taken you upward right now won't last forever. God has a purpose for allowing all this and you will see how many testimonies you will have when this all passes. God is with you and yes it feels like there's no way out of this deep darkness, but God will be your light. He is your strength and your hope. Don't let go. He has already given you the victory!"
What Salem didn't imagine was that those very words she had so carefully thought of and chosen for her dear friend, would become the healing balm she would need in the morning. After sharing coffee, Lexi's face was covered with serenity that had not been there when she first arrived. She smiled. The home that had just been filled with weeping, was now filled with laughter.
Encouraged and renewed in her faith, Lexi said good bye and went back out to face the storms that raged against her. She was a little stronger and more confident as God's word had reassured her, "You are not alone. I will fight for you!" Salem thanked the Lord for being present and being faithful. Her heart ached for her friend. She reflected on her most recent battles, and still felt the hurt in her heart. Her mind wandered into a place of being wounded, denied love, rejected and betrayed. Her skin felt the punctures of disappointment and disillusion.
"But, You have always been there for me, Lord. I know You will be there for Lexi and her family." Resting in the peace that her previous storm had passed and it was her turn to be there for her friend, she cleaned up a bit and was soon ready to sleep. She dreamed of running into the night, running into the wind and accepting the challenge to stand strong as the mighty winds blew all around her. Around and around, the whirlwind lifted her and threw her upon the rocks, cutting at her bare feet and knees. As she tried to get up, once more the hurricane pushed her against the mountain edges, hurting her and laughing at her attempts to stand.
Rising up, Salem, bruised and bleeding, commanded her pain stricken body to move against the winds and stand upon the one Rock that was in the middle of the storm. Voices around her cried into the wind and the rain that began to violently fall to walk, and stand upon the Rock.
As morning broke through the storms only vivid in Salem's dreams, she arose to the sound of the alarm clock telling her it was time to get up and get her son ready for school. As she went on with breakfast, one after the other, news began to come in waves, billowing waves rising and crashing upon her way before the aroma of morning coffee filled the kitchen. Messages, phone calls, alerts, and words bombarded her chest, grabbing at her chest and daring her to react.
It was then that scenes of every conversation, every word of encouragement, and every scripture she had shared with Lexi came back to her. Had all the preparation to help her friend through her storm have been to prepare her for this uprising against her mind?
Be still and know that I am God.
The battle is not yours. The battle is the Lord's.
Be strong and courageous for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.
Fear Not. I will not forsake you.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, a sound mind.
Over and over Salem began to remind her heart to be at peace. She ordered her heart to remain still before the Lord and to trust in His provision and guidance. Repeatedly, she instructed everyone in her home that this was a time for prayer, for trusting the Lord and not for being afraid or worried.
Images of a bruised and battered woman, pushing against the whirlwind, the hurricane, the storm, and the rain took over her vision in such a way that she realized she was truly there. Feeling the wetness of the rain, pelting harder and harder upon her face and neck. Then the Voice broke through as if from far away, yet so near...."Walk over there and stand upon the Rock."