Today, in celebration of the release of Jacqueline McDougall’s Fearless in Euroclydon, I’m participating in a blog hop about my own life storms. I hope you’ll be encouraged and share your own life storm stories in the comments, or on your own blogs and social media to encourage others.
I remember it well.
Our theme was Gadget’s Garage. Gadget stood for God’s Always Doing Great, Exciting Things, and it was based on a song they taught the kids that year. I wasn’t able to be as involved as I would have liked that year, because I was working. That night, though, I was off, and my dad thought I should go help.
It was in a season when I was actively avoiding kids’ ministry, so the prospect of spending a night at VBS with a bunch of rowdy kids wasn’t exactly appealing. Then we got there. Almost as soon as the kids arrived and got settled into the lesson, a storm started to build.
A few of us went outside to monitor the situation. The clouds were building and starting to swirl, and before long, the sirens were wailing. We hurried back inside to shuffle the kids to the tornado-safe areas of the building.
“I didn’t even want to come tonight,” I muttered to one of my friends.
Soon, the power went out and we were lighting candles in the kitchen, and trying to keep the kids calm. (Which was hard, you know, since I was freaking out a little bit myself).
My friend Beth suggested singing some of the VBS songs with the kids, and so we did.
“God’s always doing/Great, exciting things/He gives new life/Through what Jesus brings/He gives me joy/My heart shouts and sings/God’s always doing/Great, exciting things.”
Let me tell you, there’s nothing like being scared out of your wits, and singing with other people, everyone at the top of their lungs. It makes the fear go away.
And I guarantee everyone who was there that night remembers – not so much about the storm, but about lighting candles and singing together. I know it’s one of my favorite memories, and I’m glad I went that night.
About two months ago, I was sitting at the doctor’s office for the first time in six years, yet another place I didn’t want to be. (Ironically enough, yet another place my dad insisted I go). I had no idea what was wrong, except that something was wrong, and I was panicked, because I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to ignore it anymore, and I was going to have to deal with it on my own.
A snippet of a song jumped into my head and looped around as I waited for the doctor.
“You walk with me through fire, and heal all my disease” (Kari Jobe, Healer).
I didn’t sing that out loud right then, but it brought me a lot of comfort: God was bringing this into the open to heal it, and He wasn’t going to leave me alone. And even though it’s been a hard season, He’s teaching me to take better care of myself, and He’s brought me not only closer to Himself, but into a community of believers as well.
As I write this, I don’t know what other storms might come, just that they will.
And another song comes to mind – an old song, possibly one that no one reading this blog has even heard of.
“Though the angry surges roll/On my tempest-driven soul/I am peaceful for I know/Wildly though the winds may blow/I’ve an anchor that is sure/That will evermore endure/And it holds/My anchor holds/Blow your wildest then, oh gale/On my bark so small and frail/By His grace I shall prevail/For my anchor holds/My anchor holds” (My Anchor Holds).
So for me, I guess, the best way to be fearless in life’s storms is with music – precious songs that remind me of who He is and what He does.
Congratulations, Jackie, on the release of Fearless in Euroclydon. It’s been such an encouragement in my life, and it’s an honor to join you in bringing it to the world.
In Fearless in Euroclydon, a book on bold Christian living, Jacqueline shares how God has been with her and models how to stand boldly in all circumstances.
The word Euroclydon makes one appearance in the Bible, and speaks of the violent storm Paul faced in Acts 27. Several online dictionaries reference Euroclydon as “a stormy wind from the north or northeast which caused the ship in which Paul was traveling to be wrecked.”
Jacqueline’s personal definition? The worst storm imaginable.
In the last 15 years, she has found herself in the midst of the following:
• Suicide of a close loved one
• Mental Illness
• Struggles with besetting sins
• Children away from the Lord
How does one survive such storms?
Jacqueline shares how she moved from control to surrender, and from anxiety to standing fearless in the storms of life.