How to Weather Life’s Storms and Not Drown

In fact, You Can Walk on Water

The life crisis’ can be epic at times and we feel like we’re going to drown in the wake of it all. But you know, we might get drenched but we don’t have to go down. It’s not easy but it’s a simple concept – don’t look at the storm. If you need encouragement to move forward and weather the storm without feeling like you’ll drown, keep reading.

We’re coming up on a year since my Dad had his brain bleed and blood clot. You can read more about that here. I was recently looking at some of the photos I took during this time, and I was overcome with memories and emotions. To say it was a test of my faith is an understatement. But it was in the earliest days of our crisis that God planted a faith picture and phrase in my mind and I have called upon it many times since. “Don’t look at the storm.”

It continues to be my mantra when the weight and fear of life’s circumstances threaten to drown me, or at least wreck a promising night’s sleep. Am I the only one who does that? I doubt I am, which is why I’m compelled to encourage you with this today.

you can weather life's storm without drowning  ||  You can do hard things  ||  spiritual inspiration for women

“Don’t Look at the Storm.”

I love the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water. There is so much to be captured from that little middle of the night miracle. But what stands out to me the most was that it wasn’t just the miracle man Himself who walked above the waves. Peter, too, walked on the stormy, choppy sea until – “he saw the wind…” (Matthew 14:30) It wasn’t until he allowed what he saw to distract his focus away from Jesus that he became afraid and started to sink.

Find Your Focal Point

If any of you birthed children in the ’80s, in your Lamaze classes, you were instructed to have a focal point. The focal point could be an object or person your eyes honed in on when the labor pains became so intense you wanted to give up and get the drugs. Okay, I still wanted the drugs! 😉
The sorrows of life can be even more intense, but instead of focusing on a bunny figurine, we are fixing our eyes on Jesus. I’m not telling you to do something I haven’t done, and it’s not easy. You will have days when doubt will steal your focus but don’t give in.

My Life Storms

My Dad was in the Neurotrauma ICU (NICU), an acute care hospital, and finally a rehab facility for just over 100 days total. The first couple of days and weeks in the NICU seem like a terrible nightmare now. Dad also started having continual brain seizures following his first craniotomy. He was then sedated and intubated to relieve his brain from having to work to do anything at all.

When the seizures were finally stopped, the breathing tube could be removed, but because of the heavy sedation, Dad couldn’t manage his own secretions and had to have a tracheostomy and feeding tube. He was mostly unresponsive, and we didn’t know what kind of brain damage he might have. This is how he remained for the next 6-8 weeks and until he was at the rehab hospital!

weathering life's storms without drowning  ||  spiritual encouragement for when life gets hard
Dad’s first day back to church

One of us was there with Dad day and night and was privy, for good or bad, to each and every rise in heart rate or blood pressure, brain pressure, trach suction, and code brown. We watched his head roll like a dead man’s when they rolled him over to clean him. And we looked on in fear when he did begin to come around and saw the blank stare of unknown brain damage.
My brother would often say, “You think every day will get easier, and every day it doesn’t.” But let me tell you something friends, every single day I heard God’s reminder, “Don’t look at the storm.”

And the Storm Raged On

And then, just as Dad was getting to a good place, Mom started getting sick. It was only after weeks of appointments and tests we learned my mom’s breast cancer is back and has metastasized on her adrenal gland, small bowel, in her abdomen, and is in some areas of her bones. We know more about cancer than we ever wanted to.

You can face hard things and not be overcome  ||  victorious living
My Mom and one of my sisters and I – You can find joy even in the midst of hard things!

Could the Storm Get Any Worse?

Oh, and do you remember way back to last fall when my husband lost his job? Well, praise the Lord, he found another job, but we didn’t have health insurance for the better part of this year, and we’re too old not to have insurance. He is now employed in a company with great benefits and good pay, but we are still making less than half of what we made when bought and remodeled our dream home.

You might also be interested in Shake Off the Spirit of Heaviness

Get Tunnel Vision

I’m not telling you this for pity or even to complain. But, I want you to understand how big my “waves” have been and that no storm is too big for God!

Whether the stuff we’re going through is big or small or somewhere in between, the concept is the same. While our eyes might light upon the unrelenting waves, they must not linger there.

I was and am tempted to succumb to fear when I start to look at the problems. But, as I would say to my mom – This is just another opportunity to see what God can do.

Apply It to Real Life

How Did You Not See the Crisis Paula?

Look, when we decide to “not look at the wind and waves,” our troubles don’t magically disappear. Unfortunately, life’s not a movie. But what we can choose to do is look for the ways God might be using our crisis for His good.

When Dad was in each hospital, we wore our faith without apology. My brother continually reminded us to pray that we wouldn’t be so overwhelmed in worry that we missed what God was doing in each of us through this crisis.

Our daily goals were also focused on providing Dad with the most dignity and love we could offer with our care. We talked to him, prayed over him, rubbed his feet, sang songs to him and simply sat there hour after hour.

See the Good and the God Things

Instead of putting our focus on the many minute-by-minute struggles – sometimes day-by-day is way too broad – we looked ahead at each setback as an opportunity to see how God would choose to “show up.” And believe me, you take the good with the bad sometimes, like when Dad was put in the acute care facility.

It was an understaffed, nasty place (like moldy bathroom kind of dirty) with what we called “Pretend Doctors” that had sold itself (even on their website) as an ICU hospital. But what they lacked in almost everything else they made up for in getting Dad off the ventilator.

In the end, our faith was built through our perseverance, trusting that God was guiding us but we had to continue to do the hard things every single day. And the faith of those around us was built-up by seeing the strength, love, and hope of our family.

How to weather life's storms without drowning || Spiritual encouragement || #howtoweathelifesstormswithoutdrowning #spiritualencouragement ||

Focus the Eyes of Our Hearts to Weather the Storm

So, when the doctors say CANCERLook at Jesus! He’s the one who will sit with you through every treatment and knows the exact number of hairs on your head, before and after chemo. 😉

If your spouse cheats on you – Don’t look at the waves but cozy up to the one who loves you unconditionally.

When the doctors give you no hope – Keep your focus on God and say my hope is not of this world.

If you lose someone close to you – Don’t drown in a sea of despair. Instead, look at the Prince of Peace, who offers the peace that surpasses all understanding.

When you’ve lost your job – Don’t focus on your bank account, but trust that God will provide in the interim and is moving you to a better place.

As unforeseen circumstances have you in super freak-out mode – Keep looking for answers from the one who already knows what tomorrow will bring.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Splash Zone

Life is uncertain and scary, but like Peter, YOU can walk above the waves if you never take your eyes off God. Make no mistake, if you’re in a storm, you’re in a splash zone and you’re going to get wet.

However, to see what God can do, we can’t take our eyes off of Him. Develop tunnel vision! And when we’re focused and in the zone, we can walk right through the waves into the arms of the one who will say to the wind, “Peace. Be still.”

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psalm 46: 1-3



Find more encouragement in Find Your Purpose In Poopy Situations

Spiritual inspiration for women  ||  Faith to walk on water  ||  Keep your eyes on God to weather life's storms without drowning

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  1. Gina D from Texas

    Beautifully written. There is nothing I could add to make it any better. Thank you for opening up and sharing your heart and allowing God to use it to talk to all of us. May God help us to keep our eyes on Him. 🙏🏻❤️

  2. Malisa Thacker

    Thanks for sharing! 😍🙏

    • Paula

      Thanks for coming by Melissa!

  3. J'Laine Bradley

    What a beautiful reminder of God’s love. A reminder that I really needed to hear as I am facing the first of 2 knee replacements tomorrow and caring for a mom with Alzheimer’s. “I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging for bread.”

    • Paula

      J’Laine, your plate is full of hard things. I’m praying that each day you’ll be reminded numerous times to take your eyes off the waves and look to Jesus. Eyes up and keep heading toward the boat!


  4. Susan

    I peticularly needed your blog today.thx for opening up for us. My prayers are w/you n your family.

    • Paula

      I’m so glad it spoke to you Susan. I didn’t cover it in this post and I should have, but everyone is doing really well. We have been blessed by God.


  5. Drema

    Thank you for sharing. ❤️

  6. Cindy Hale

    Thank you so much for your post! It can be tough looking through the storm sometimes, but if you do, our God is faithful and will meet you there.

    When our grand daughter was 3 she was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. It was a miracle alone that it was found, but God met the entire family in this storm. She had to have a bone marrow transplant … another miracle both of her sisters were 99% matches! The oldest was the donor because, well, she was oldest 😉 She was suppose to stay in the hospital for 3 months then move to Ronald McDonald house for another 3. But God ~~ instead she went HOME 6 weeks post transplant!!

    “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light!” V. Raymond Edman

    Have a blessed day ♥

  7. Donna

    Thank you for this very timely post, Paula. God speaks to us through his angels on earth, and I feel that you are one of them today, for me. There have been many challenges for me to face lately and your message of not focusing on those challenges themselves will help me today. I am blessed and loved, and I need to remind myself of that! Together, God and I will weather these storms and come out stronger after they pass.
    Blessings to you and your family, Paula!


  8. Kay

    Love this ! Hugs !

  9. Rollins Jackie

    This is so good and just what I needed today after a tumultuous weekend – that reminder to keep my eyes and focus on HIM!

  10. Debbie

    This post could not have come at a better time for me. Thank you for sharing your story! I’ve recently had my second job elimination in less than 2 years so it’s been difficult to say the least. However, I have looked back on all the other crisis’ I’ve been through and God has taken care of each and every one of them. Why would that change for me now? It won’t. I loved you saying ‘don’t look at the storm’. So helpful to me today. Blessings to you!

  11. Heide V

    So beautifully put!! Will be keeping you all in my prayers as you guys deal with life and it’s grittiness 💜

  12. Nicky

    Thank you so much for this amazing post 😃 I have taken much comfort from being reminded of God’s wonderful love. There are several people I can think immediately of that will be encouraged by your words, it’s a post that keeps on giving 😃😃😃

  13. Jane

    AMEN! I love this today…….Do Not Look at the Storm. Set your sights on Jesus!! God Bless you today and everyday!

  14. You have written this very well. My husband passed away 6 months ago and I am trying every day to not look at the storm that has overtaken my life. I try every day to make a conscious decision to thank God for all of my blessings and to know He does have a good plan for my life.

    • Paula

      Oh Victoria, my deepest condolences. 💙
      Your are for sure in the deep waters but they cannot consume you if God is your lifeline. 😇
      I was also thinking about another truth represented in the passage about walking on the water. Peter DID look at the storm and he was sinking, but his loving Savior would not let him drown. Reach for Gods hand precious friend and be pulled to safety as often as you need it. It might be everyday or in some instances every hour. But cling to it! May God use a friend, a song or a passage of scripture to hug you today.


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