Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How To Deal With The Tornadoes in Your Life...

(This is a repost from my church's blog from a little while ago, edited a little bit to make sense.)

You might think that working in a church office is a pretty quiet job.
You’d be wrong.
Sometimes it feels like I work in Tornado Alley. 
One of the shows I got hooked on last year is “Storm Chasers”. There’s something about the way the tornado forms, how these “extreme meteorologists” can predict it and then still end up in its path.  Tornadoes have both tremendous beauty and gut-wrenching destruction.
(from Wikimedia Commons)
There are folks who blow through my office who are like that.
If it’s an anxiety tornado, then it's contagious and the tornadoes multiply as we react instead of responding.
Why are people tornadoes? When losses are felt, change occurs, the anxiety builds into a super-cell and before you know it.... Sometimes it’s a person’s anxiety about non-church stuff, sometimes it’s a person’s brokenness as they seek help, sometimes it comes through extending the gift of hospitality, and sometimes it comes from biting off more than we can chew.
At the time of originally writing this post, in September, the tornado had been me. 
My grandfather died in September and as I’d gone home in August to say goodbye, I couldn’t go back to Australia for the service.  The homesickness was an added whammy. My Number One Support Guy (aka my husband) was overseas in a totally different time zone, so you can add a good dollop of loneliness. 
Some days I was just fine and some days... I stormed through minor setbacks and actually went home early for a few days so my reactiveness and grieving didn’t negatively affect the rest of the office. (Besides, it was good to go home and have a really good cry.) 
The winds have died down now and having been the tornado instead of the tornadoed, I have a bit of new perspective. I still don’t like it when a tornado comes through--they’re pretty awful--but now I have more empathy.
So when the tornadoes whirl, I try not to take cover under my desk and pray that they soon blow over.  Because it’s as little fun to be a tornado as to be hit by one.
How do you deal with the tornadoes in your life? Have you ever been a tornado yourself? How did you get through that?



I am linking this to Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".

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