My insides match the chaos of the gale-force winds and sideways rain. The soggy leaves on the ground accurately depict what my mind feels like internally. At the beginning of the semester, I had ten different ping-pong games going on in my head. Now, one ball rolls off a table and bounces till it loses momentum, and the soft plink, plink ceases to echo off the walls.

I love looking toward Thanksgiving and focusing on what I'm thankful for. I love the warm buzz building in anticipation of Christmas. However, this year the soft buzz is drowned out by screeching winds. The anticipation lies buried under a pile of dead leaves. I'm living in the chaos of fall.

I'm much more attuned this fall to the death of leaves instead of their vibrant orange beauty. The gray skies that normally fill my chest with a cooling calm decided to usher in a heavyweight. I've lost myself in the falling of the leaves, like the falling of shrapnel from a bomb. Gone are the childhood days of jumping in leaf piles, and now are the times of jumping into piles of projects and papers that I do not have the willpower to get done.

A thundering crack across the sky, like a branch snapping off a tree from the wind, and I break. Humans weren't meant to face gale-force winds and freezing rain. We can't weather the storm on our own. In our own power, we get knocked to the ground and cannot rise amidst nature's fury.

The Lord is in the storm with me. I don't have to rise on my own, for he’ll lift me up. He’ll shield me from the rain, and he’ll reverse the death and decay by bringing beauty from ashes. The old must die for new life to bloom. I don't know what will bloom, but I trust that something WILL bloom.

I may not know what's on the other side of the storm, but I know who will bring it to an end. I know the one who calmed the storm in the sea can calm the storm within me. If I keep being blown over by the wind, the Lord will keep picking me up off the ground. I might come out the other side drenched to the bone, but I'll come out more resilient. My faith will be refined.

I will dance through hail and hurricane wind with Christ to help me find my footing. He’ll take my hand and guide me on. I might be in a storm, but I can rejoice in the one in control of the storm. All it takes is for him to speak, “Peace, be still.” As quick as a flash, the wind suspends its tantrum, and the rain halts its barrage.

However, I will still praise him even if he doesn't call the storm to peace. My circumstances do not determine the goodness of my God. Even in the storm, I know he's working. He might walk me through the storm instead of stopping it, but with him by my side, I'll walk on through, trusting the storm is for my good and his glory.