My White Tornado


I was probably in my late twenties when it happened.

Chaos is word that could describe my family life through my teen years. It was during my teen years when all my major distractions from following Christ took place. I was really good at blaming everyone else for the mess I was in and took pride in making my parents' lives miserable following their divorce. I call it my white tornado. I was angry, disappointed and hurt. I took most of my emotional frustrations out on my family. I didn't realize until I was about 28 the toll it was taking on my own life.

My dad was an easy target. I blamed him for all my poorly made decisions. I was convinced I learned from the 'best.' So, the credit card debt that I ran up in college was his fault. I was good at pinning my irritability and moodiness on my mother. My mom has struggled with MS since my brother was a baby. So, I could blame her for not being there when I needed guidance and I could convince others I was doing the best I could do with the hand I was dealt.

Then, God got hold of me. There is no other authority that has his kind of impact. His action was swift and perfect through Sister Mary Margaret my tournament golf partner. We were a popular duo back in those days. We were nicknamed "The God Squad." She noticed how I beat myself up after every errant shot and how my emotions effected my play. God worked through her gentle coaching to show me how my anger was working against me. Sister Mary Margaret knew my family history. I told her of my white tornado. She asked me a question I will never forget. "Are you the cause of the white tornado or does the white tornado come to you?" 

I was leveled. My heart was broken. I was the white tornado and my debris was scattered everywhere. 

I would like to say that I immediately changed my ways, reconciled with my family and that life is now a bed of roses. It's been two decades of hard work since Sister Mary Margaret asked me that question. I continue to choose the calming solution side of redemption instead of kicking up the wind speed of the turmoil. I feel God is working in me to reach my family. It's daily hard work. But, if God can calm the storm in me, imagine what he can do with you. I keep praying. God's not finished with me yet.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1