When I was younger, I was always afraid of thunderstorms. Whenever I would hear the first rumble of thunder or crack of lightning, I would immediately run downstairs to sit with my mom and often, I wouldn’t leave until the storm died down. As I got older, I wasn’t as afraid of thunderstorms anymore, but I became a lot more afraid of the storms in my own life.
I found that these storms were a lot more scary than the thunderstorms that frightened me as a kid. The same threat was there, but it was a lot more terrifying because these storms threatened to destroy everything that I had built in my life. When I was 15, I experienced one of the biggest storms of my life thus far. I wrestled with the person I was and who I had to become in the aftermath of the storm. It took me two full years to rebuild following that storm. When I was 17, I experienced the worst storm yet-it destroyed everything I had wanted and planned for my life. I was at a complete loss, and it took me the better half of three years to get my boat back to the shore and finally come out on the other side.
After coming out on the other side of these storms, I learned something that I never thought possible. Although the storms were scary, and they threatened to destroy me, they didn’t break me. Despite the numerous amount of times I thought that it was the end, suddenly the thunder rumbled a little quieter around me. One thing that I’ve learned to be true of storms is this: you’re not the same person you were when you entered the storm, and that’s okay.
Maybe the storms that we face are the things that bring about the change we need in our lives. Maybe the fear and the pain show us more about who we are than anything else ever could. And maybe, just maybe, the storms we face are the very things that save our lives. I’m not the same person I was in the summer before my 16th birthday, and I wouldn’t ever want to go back. I’m nowhere near the person I was in the fall before my senior year of high school, and that’s okay.
We need storms in our lives. Even though they’re scary and they’re painful, they shape the people we become, and more importantly, the people we need to be in order to face what’s coming next. I think we spend so much of our lives trying to run from the storms when we need to find the courage to walk through them. I guarantee that we won’t regret it by the time we walk out on the other side.