"Storms make oaks take deeper roots," said Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest George Herbert. He likely knew whereof he spoke, too, since he suffered from poor health for most of his short life. He died of consumption at the age of 39.
His point is well-taken, however. I don't know about you, but it has been the painful and difficult experiences in my life that have deepened the roots of my faith, strengthened my voice and my resolve to do more about the injustices I see, and kept me grounded. I have grown and transformed far more through life's storms than through the good times. Those times have fueled my compassion, too.
All of us would no doubt rather have more sunshine, rainbows, joy and beauty in our lives—and give a pass to the storms. We don't get to check boxes for such preferences, however. Storms will come. And the good news is that we will survive them—especially with help. This is where your faith comes in and where your connections to others play a huge role.
If you're in the midst of life storms right now, take heart. Reach down deeply into your soul, reach up to whatever you name your higher power, and reach out to those people with whom you share your journey. Watch those roots deepen. Watch your wisdom and strength grow. Know you can survive this.