Storms Ahead

There is a lot of life that we cannot control. 

I’ve never seen such devastation as caused by Hurricane Ian in SW FL. The deadliest hurricane in nearly a century uprooted huge deciduous trees, wrapped metal roof tops around crooked power poles, and hurled debris across its 100 mile span. 

During the storm, my mom sat alone in the dark, braced against the howling wind as the windows rattled and her home shook for 18 hours. When Ian finally FINALLY moved beyond her, there was no water, no power, and no cell service. 2.5 million people’s homes were dark and quiet. 

There is a lot of life that we cannot control. We can’t control who our family is or what choices our kids make or guarantee the security of our job. We can’t control when our car breaks down, or if a hurricane will blow up our lives.


What we can control.

What we can control is how we respond to shifts and challenges. When the rain and wind and water finally yielded to blue skies, people emerged from the rubble and started cleaning up. Neighbors helped neighbors clear the chaos. Those who had charcoal grills cooked the defrosting food. Generators hummed when gasoline could be obtained. If anyone had ice, they shared the rare commodity in red solo cups and toasted being alive.


The way through.

How do you endure a season you never asked for or wanted? One way to reset it to be thankful. 

Everyone in the neighborhood was so grateful to be alive and thankful for any remnant of personal property was spared. Thankful when the lights came on, thankful when the phones started working again. 


On my way down to FL to be with my mom, the highways were clogged with caravans of police cars, fire trucks and first responders. There were more trucks carrying lumber, shingles, tarps, water, and gasoline than I could count. Utility trucks carrying cable, cranes and workers from every state east of the Mississippi poured into the area to restore order.


Within days, churches and the Red Cross and ministries I’ve never heard of rolled through neighborhoods offering water, hot meals and blankets and we were very thankful to be done with peanut butter on crackers and raisins.


Find something to be thankful for. 

Remember, whatever you’re facing could be worse. Be thankful it’s not. Look for the silver lining and watch God turn every wretched thing into something good. (Romans 8:28) Thank God for what he’s going to do and the people he’ll use to do it.

I have never been so happy to live in America. I’m so thankful for all the people who offered assistance and prayer support.


Not my way, Lord.

Friend, I wish there was a magic formula to coax God into doing what I want and giving me what I want, but, there’s not. 

What I’ve discovered these last 3 weeks is God uses inconveniences, calamities and even a hurricane to show me I can lean on him, trust him and flourish in my faith.


And you? 

What have you learned about trusting God in seasons you hated? Leave a comment below with the lesson you learned or the way you survived a cruddy season of life.


Verse for today: I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. -Psalm 86:12 ESV

Prayer: Lord, sometimes this life is so hard, I want to curl up and suck my thumb. God, give me the assurance of your Presence. Work this out for good and help me be thankful that you are with me. In Jesus’ Name amen. 


  1. Britt on October 23, 2022 at 8:49 am

    I want to start this off by saying this is not a judgement on you/your choice to go to Florida, but did you have retreats/conferences/speaking events lined up in these last few weeks that you backed out on so you could go to Florida?

    A very dear friend who moved 6 hrs away had a stroke on Friday. She’s still in the hospital for some inpatient PT/OT, but the thought is she will be able to go home in a few days and continue outpatient therapy.

    I feel like I should go be there to help out in her first few days home. But I do have commitments here that I would be “abandoning” with very short notice, and I don’t like leaving the people who are expecting me to be here in a lurch. This plan has just started to come to fruition in the last 12 hrs, before bed and now it’s morning, so I haven’t talked to any of those people yet. I hope they will understand my desire to go help.

    Did everyone understand your desire to go help? You probably have some sort of cancellation policy written into your contracts, but that doesn’t mean people wouldn’t put up a fuss… Do you have any advice?

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 24, 2022 at 11:28 am

      Hi Britt,

      I did not have to cancel any speaking engagements. I was divinely scheduled to be in FL for the weeks following the hurricane.

      You’ll have to pray about whether you have the liberty to go now or go later or not go at all. Such a tough call. What I would do is contact the people responsible for your most important obligations during the time you’d be absent. Ask yourself if you’re the only person who can help her right now? Is there a better time to go? Is there another way to support her like a meal delivery or a housekeeper?

      There aren’t any easy solutions. I’m praying you get clarity about what to do and when and how to do it without any second guessing.


  2. Cathy McCanless on October 23, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    I learned that in tough, scary storms even when my fears seem to outweigh my faith, God doesn’t go away. He doesn’t leave me to fight myr fears alone. He keeps His promise to never leave or forsake me. I know I can stand on that promise and it gives me a peace that only He can give.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 24, 2022 at 11:27 am

      amen to that!

  3. Rena Kindler on October 24, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Dear Robyn, Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with Squamous cell carcinoma that originated in the endometrial lining of the uterus. It had spread to my uterus, cervix, and left ovary. To make a long story short, I was in the hospital Dec. 19 having a radical bilateral salpingo oopherectomy. Discharged Dec. 23. The next night, December 24, I was in Maximo Zion Church for our regular Christmas Eve service. When people came to me and asked me what I was doing there. My comment was, “Where else would I be but worshipping and praising my Lord and Savior. That is how I handle the storms of life. I don’t. The Triune God and I handle them together with Him carrying the load. I am just the vessel He chose to use.
    Footnote: After six months of chemotherapy and making trips to the doctors (gynecologist, surgeon, family doctor, and chemotherapist) every ten days on a rotating basis for three years, I have been pronounced cancer free. And all I can say is “But God. “

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 24, 2022 at 11:27 am

      Wow, Rena. What a testimony! Thanks for posting and Hallelujah!

  4. Yvonne Ortega on October 25, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Living on the East coast close to the beach, winds, storms, and floods hit my area and surrounding areas. By the grace of God, I still held my live event on Self-Care When There’s No One to Care. All the women showed up. PTL. One woman had a flooded home and lost her car in the previous storm. She and her family moved to another city very close to the live event. Her husband drove his truck and dropped her off at the workshop. We do what we feel led to do by the Spirit. God knows the big picture, and He can use anything we let Him use. Glory to God.

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