Grace Among Us

028 - Navigating Life's Hurricanes: Unearthing Grace Amidst Uncertainty

October 02, 2023 Carri Richard and Ebony C. Gilbert Season 1 Episode 28
Grace Among Us
028 - Navigating Life's Hurricanes: Unearthing Grace Amidst Uncertainty
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like you're weathering the storm all alone? Imagine discovering the beacon of grace amidst all the chaos. Join us, your hosts Carri Richard and Ebony Gilbert, as we embark on an unvarnished conversation on finding grace, even amidst tempestuous life storms (i.e.. when life gets "lifey"). We delve into some personal stories, exploring how we navigate the highs and lows, and the unexpected places where grace shows up. As the hurricane in Florida swirls, we shed light on the idea that unseen, yet powerful forces are constantly at work in our lives.

Navigating life's uncertainties can be daunting. And what if we told you that there's a small, inner voice that can guide you when the "logical compass" goes haywire? In the second half of our candid discussion, we delve into finding faith and resilience during these challenging times. Drawing from our experiences, we share insights on how to remain rooted in the present and seek inner guidance. We all have stuff, difficulties and challenges, and we can tread these uncertain paths together, remembering the comforting reality that God's grace is ever-present, serving as an unwavering companion through our journey. Tune in, prepare to be inspired, and remember: Grace is waiting to be found in every corner of your life.

We'd love to meet you in person! Come Join Us in Heaven's Net. A 3-day retreat March 13 - 15, 2024 - find out more by clicking HERE.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Grace Among Us, the podcast where we unearth the many faces and places of grace and share stories of the power of grace in our human lives. Our desire is that this will inspire you to see grace in your own life and share it with others.

Carri Richard:

Hello, hello, my name is Carri Richard. I'm a mindset coach and I do that by day and also speak with my dear friend Ebony Gilbert on my very favorite topic. And that is Grace. Hello Ebony.

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm Ebony Gilbert, as Carri stated, and I work in the healthcare field, and today I'm here to talk about - today, like a lot of other days I think we have like 24, 25 at this point. We are here to talk about grace and today we don't have a specific topic just yet. Maybe by the time we get to the end of it we will.

Carri Richard:

Yes, (Ebony - so we're going to spitball it, Carri).

Ebony Gilbert:

what's going on in your life? (Carri - oh my goodness).

Carri Richard:

You know, life is. First of all. I'm really thankful to be here, I'm really thankful to have this place and time, and a dear friend to - that is asking me what's going on in my life. A lot is going on in my life, you know, and I get to choose. I could describe to you dramatic things that are happening that I don't care for, which I could do. I could also celebrate a kayak that is coming into my life so I can get out on the water because I'm surrounded by it. And I could actually do a little bit of both. And yeah, so life is full. The summer's ending, so it's a transition. I do have a teenager at home, so this is a transition time. The weather is cooling down. The trees here are actually starting to turn a tiny bit. Some of the trees. Already, yeah. So I don't know if that's the weather or just you know where we are. I don't know, I'm not going to figure it out, but there is a transition coming. So, yeah, that's the beginning. So what's going on for you, Ebony?

Ebony Gilbert:

I've been following this hurricane in the news because I'm from Florida, originally from Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville area. I spent 18 years there and I lived in Tallahassee for eight years. Tallahassee is getting, you know, pounded right now. So I've been following this storm and, being from Florida, I've seen a lot of hurricanes, a lot of hurricanes, a lot of storms. But you talked about the seasons changing. I think it's bigger than just where you are, because the surge they're expecting from this storm is not just because of the storm. It's about the environment changing and the seasons changing. It's bigger than just the storm and I'm going somewhere with this. So there's a supermoon happening this weekend. We've had a couple here lately, but there probably won't be another one for another 10 years, not like this. So this supermoon is falling in the same time span as this storm. So you're going to get a super tide and global warming, climate change whether you agree with it or not, the ocean is significantly warmer than it has ever been in history, recorded history. So these things that are happening to the environment, it literally beyond our world, beyond our planet. The moon is impacting the storm that we're trying to predict, but we can't predict the direct impact of these other things that are bigger than the storm you follow me, (Carri - I know where you're going. I hear (Ebony - where I'm going Carri? Bring me there.

Carri Richard:

Come on. Oh, I love that you said the moon, things outside of our world, and it's a reminder to me that there - t here are so many things that are intertwined that I can't see that when I'm trying to control what's going on. Or I think I know the right answer, or I just wish it was a little bit different, or or or I start asking why, why is it like this? I am - essentially for me, I've got blinders on and I can't see the super moon.

Ebony Gilbert:

Right - You're looking at your storm.

Carri Richard:

Exactly, exactly, and grace is all encompassing.

Ebony Gilbert:

Absolutely. Oh, you went there with me, thank you. So the storm, and you get to categorize it. So here's the thing about the storm. I'm going to keep going. Storm, the storm is categorized based on wind speed. That's what determines if it's a CAT -one, -two, -three, -four. Not the rain, not the rainfall. The rainfall is what causes the surge and does the damage, when obviously is very damaging, but the rain and the flooding is a massive problem and it usually comes after the storm. So, if you don't prepare properly for the storm, during the storm, you get in the eye of the storm and you think, oh, it's better, it's better, that's short term. The other side is coming and then, even after that, when you think it's better and resolved, that's when the levee will break, that's when the dam gives, that's when the waters do crazy things, and it comes in phases. The seasons, within a week's period of time, literally three days, will go from one thing to the next, to the next, to the next to the next. And even with all of that, even with all those things I just said the surge, the eye, the before, the after, the flooding you still have to account for there is a bigger force. There's a moon. There's a global change, and when I think about this for the storms in our lives, we're both going through our own serious storms. If we set the expectation that it'll be over soon, it'll be over soon, it'll be over soon. That's good, that gives us hope, but is it realistic?

Carri Richard:

It's such a great question. When you were talking about the eye of the storm, it's. You know, when I have tough stuff going on, it can be very uncomfortable, absolutely uncomfortable. And when there's any sense of relief, the knee- jerk can be, "it's over - got through that one". And then, like you said, the backside comes through. (Ebony - Oh, it's coming). Yeah, exactly, and you know, when that backside comes through, grace is also coming with it. (Ebony - Absolutely. Sometimes I can get -- so I'm in the eye of the storm. The sky is blue. I've been in a couple of hurricanes, nothing like Florida. But all of a sudden it's like this calm, it's like raging, and then all the sun, the sky opens up and that's like, "oh my gosh, it's over. And then the next, the back end or the bands or the other half of the storm comes through and it's almost like I am standing there putting my fists up to that side of the storm, like wait a second, no more. (Ebony - Enough of this) Exactly, and that's when I have to remember that there's grace in that half too.

Ebony Gilbert:

So grace in the storm. The eye of the storm is never considered to be a good thing, necessarily. It's grace, though, because it gives you a break, it gives you a regroup moment. The other side, the weather after the storm, reminds you of what's happening in the eye. You get that calm, but now you have a clear view of the destruction that's been caused and you take that step back and you go again oh, it's over. Go to bed, you think it's over, and then you wake up and there's water in your living room because the surge happened. So you know, you said it earlier you get a choice right. We can look at the storm, look at the destruction and everything, or you can see the sprinkles of grace throughout it. You know, all the grace in it. That storm today took a turn right before it went straight up for trial trials. They were expected to be a, CAT-4, like there had been so much grace even in the middle of the storm, and it makes me wonder, when we're going through these things, what choice are we making and how we look at it? You know.

Carri Richard:

And to your point of looking at it. So I want to go back to when they categorize storms. They categorize these hurricanes. It's based on the wind speed, right, but then there's this whole other concept of the surge and the water, which is extremely damaging. Wind can be damaging, but there's this whole flooding concept too. That's not being measured. And the question I pose is how are you measuring your storm? How are you measuring it?

Ebony Gilbert:

Because the wind is short term. Once the storm stops, the wind stops, the surge comes afterwards and has the implications for far more lengthy damaging situations. How are you measuring your storm?

Carri Richard:

Exactly and I can say I have had many a storm where I measure its category, its strength by my emotions and my feelings and I forget that these storms, at least in my life, the storms that come, there's also an immense amount of healing on the other side, and I can Absolutely. It's hard to remember that or to categorize it in that way when I'm in the midst of it.

Ebony Gilbert:

The restoration process, the healings, the restructuring. This is far left field Go with you though. Okay, I've never been a waffle house fan. I don't like the waffle house.

Carri Richard:

Sorry, waffle house.

Ebony Gilbert:

I've eaten there many, many, many times. It's not on my favorite place, but it's open all times at night and it's convenient. So when they get ready to remodel a waffle house, they don't, they tear the whole thing down. They literally demolish it to rebuild it and that's their version of remodel. That's something to be said about that. That it has to be torn down completely, yeah, that it's worth more. It's a wiser investment to tear down the broken structure and they usually do it before it starts to break down. It's on a time cycle, it's on a seasonal thing. It's more valuable to destroy it and rebuild it than it is to try to patch up or fix what's broken. That's the storm. It's coming to prepare us for restoration and if we were left to our own devices, we would never choose to demolish. That just intuitively feels like that's a lot more work, right?

Carri Richard:

Exactly. Can we just please just put a coat of paint on this? Come on, (Ebony - get a better grease trap, you know)? Yeah, yeah, are you sidestepping your storm? Or trying to?

Ebony Gilbert:

Right, and the greater healing, the greater restoration, the greater good comes with the destruction. Yeah, it has to be broken, it has to be taken down. So, man, we're saying a lot, a lot of stuff here. There's a lot packed in here, but are you sidestepping your storm? The thing that allowed the opportunity for a total restoration? Yeah, I mean, I just heard myself say that I had to ask myself that on the inside.

Carri Richard:

(Ebony - Are you trying to sidestep your storm?) Me too, and it's an appreciation of its curiosity, of like, wow, what is being healed in this process? Because I'm not liking it. It doesn't. You know, I'd rather be. Sometimes I get in places where it's like I'd rather be somewhere else, something else, having something else, and it's like, well, what is the purpose? Like there is healing. I do know on the backside of every storm, something has been healed. (Ebony - Absolutely).

Ebony Gilbert:

Absolutely, and it doesn't mean you can't board up your windows. It doesn't mean you can't take shelter. It doesn't mean you don't pray. It doesn't mean you don't find comfort in God. It doesn't mean you don't surround yourself with the support of things you need to make it through. You have to weather the storm. You got to make it through.

Carri Richard:

Such such good. There is a ton packed in there too. It's like you can take care of yourself through the storm. (Ebony - You don't sit idle). Be prepared, do not sit idle, and when the direction is to evacuate, you don't have to do it yourself. Right, this isn't you against the entire storm.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's good. So the messaging is not oh, the storm's coming and it's going to keep coming. It's going to be more stormy and more. It's kind of level- setting the expectation, choosing your view and then seeing the grace in it.

Speaker 1:

But don't sit idle.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, Faith without works is dead right, (Carri - absolutely, absolutely). So I have faith and want to get on the other side of this. I have faith that it's going to bring healing. I have faith that there will be restoration. It's going to hurt, there will be damage. I get all that, but I have faith. The works are what I have to do while I'm in it.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely, and for me it's reminding - I'm not alone, that there is something bigger than me at work. There's a moon, grace is present, right there's a super moon. Yes, there's a moon, there's tides, there's work, there's water, there's happening. Yeah, that are out of my control.

Ebony Gilbert:

And unpredictable. Yes, you don't get to be in control.

Carri Richard:

Very little, except my attitude.

Ebony Gilbert:

No one has ever tried to stop a hurricane. You can't do it.

Carri Richard:

We can't build some like supersonic net right?

Ebony Gilbert:

You can't do that.

Carri Richard:

You can't do it. And why would you? I mean, I know the easy answer is, "well, if we did that, then nobody'd get hurt, right? But I have no idea why they come.

Ebony Gilbert:

And why they come only in one season. Yeah, why they only come in one season. It's watching the news, which is a horrible idea.

Carri Richard:

Yes.

Ebony Gilbert:

Bad idea. It's watching the news Not good bedtime viewing. But FEMA was making a statement about - they're running out of money. They literally have $3 million in reserves a day before a hurricane hits. Why? Not because they're irresponsible and unprepared. Well, they didn't expect Hawaii to catch on fire. So they depleted a lot of their funds and they were concerned. I mean, they had a famous like making a statement saying I don't know if this ends up being really bad, I don't know what we're going to do, and I was watching it thinking oh man, so in addition to a storm and a supermoon and all these things are going on, the thing that we rely on to help us afterwards. it's kind of iffy and I was like oh see, this is where you got to have a whole lot of faith. You got to really tap into something deeper. We can't rely on the world to give us the inspiration that it's going to be OK. What happens now? And I don't have an answer, but it definitely begs the question that there's got to be something bigger and deeper when the things you rely on are knowingly not going to be there. What's the thing when you are your worst, when you are feeling like I ain't going to make it through today, what's your go to In the tangible sense in your? I know you pray, but what's your go to?

Carri Richard:

My go to is - I have a couple of different go to's. I have - that's a great question. You know, a long time ago my go to was, " God doesn't give me anything more than I can handle, which I do believe. Another go to is to get off the subject for a minute. Sometimes I can watch myself trying to measure just like when you're talking about FEMA All that's going on in Maui and that the regular standard procedures around a hurricane are not applicable to this hurricane. It's a reminder. I don't know how I'm going to get through the storm and I want to look at a storm that I have going on right now and try to figure out, based on the past, how this is going to go. But that wasn't the question. I kind of went off the reservation. So what are my go?

Ebony Gilbert:

to it's okay, it's your show, oh thanks.

Carri Richard:

One of the things is to do what's in front of me, to be honest. Well, I think we're always honest here, but I could, when I'm in the middle of a storm and things aren't going the way I want them to and I am not feeling at my best, it's to stay in the middle - to just do the next thing. Like (Ebony - you want to hunk er down?) Yeah, it's like I could have called you and said you know what? I can't do this today. And here we are in the very opportunity to actually move through part of it - just by talking about it, just by you know it's a that is my go to is to not isolate.

Ebony Gilbert:

Is that a learnedc behavior or just your natural inclination?

Carri Richard:

No, it's a learned behavior. That's a great question. For me, it's a learned behavior.

Ebony Gilbert:

What was the catalyst to lead you to to learn that? Because, when things are bad, I don't know if it's intuitive for me to. I've gotten better about it, so I ask but it's not intuitive for me to stay. I go out to fight or flight and I like to fly.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, that's a. What was the catalyst? The catalyst is about 16 or 17 years ago, when literally my whole life fell apart because I was trying to do it all myself and I could not keep all the balls up in the air.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, just stand still.

Carri Richard:

And like, not for me, it was not run away or just you know, isolate, yeah. And today I'm surrounded by people who do it too, who stay, who learn how to stay.

Ebony Gilbert:

Staying power.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely. (Ebony - Yeah, that's cool. That's good.) About for you. What prompted you to learn to stay?

Ebony Gilbert:

I didn't have a choice. I felt like I was running away and I was coming back to the same place. It was like running around a labyrinth. It was like this is just taking me deeper and deeper in. I did better off if that stay in the outer band. I'm running away with no direction. My steps aren't guided. Yes, so if I'm going to run away or walk away or escape or find a path of whatever - evacuation, I need signs. If you've been on these roads where you see evacuation route.

Carri Richard:

Yes.

Ebony Gilbert:

I need some guidance. I need some steps to tell me where to go to evacuate.

Carri Richard:

Exactly here, when we had Isabel, which was huge years and years ago, the highways they installed these big gates now. So if we have an evacuation, not only are there signs but they close things down and just allow the highways to go in one direction. That is very different, to your point, running away, or being guided to step back or step away or geographically get out of the way. (Ebony - Correct) right.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, so it was trial and error for me. I can't just run aimlessly into the wind. I don't know if I'm going to higher ground or not. I don't know if what I'm running to is greater than what I'm running from, unless my steps are guided. So after making that mistake too many times and landing in the wrong place, I'm like well, this is quicksand. I was better off in the mud. At least I wasn't sinking. Why is this worse? What? So until I know the path, I might as well stand still.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely. Another comfort or something that helps me to stay in the midst is for me, God is only in the present. My access to or connection to God is only in the present. So if I'm running for the hills trying to get away from this moment, I don't know that Grace is coming with me.

Ebony Gilbert:

It's not ordained. It's not ordained, and I think once I realize that at my best, it's still pretty crappy compared to a guided step. Like my logic and my rationale at my best without the guidance of God sucks. Ok, it is horrible. I'd rather hear a small voice. It could be one step. I have so much more confidence in that one guided step than I do in my 18-page outline of what needs to happen.

Carri Richard:

Your professional project plan.

Ebony Gilbert:

And my professional project plan sucks compared to one guided step, one small voice, one whisper.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely, and for me often it is just one step. When I'm in the midst, it's one step. I do one step, and when I take that step, I get another step.

Ebony Gilbert:

You get another one. Yeah, you get another one. After I made that mistake a few times here, I was like so there's a method to the madness, and I should stop Be still, Ebony Be still. Be still. In my experience, when I'm still, it's not a matter of being idle, it's a matter of surrender. It's saying God, I don't know what I'm doing, even though I think I do. My emotions are tricking me and if they're right, tell me, because I got my plan ready. My project plan is ready to go, but I need you to validate it.

Carri Richard:

Yes, and what does that validation look like for you?

Ebony Gilbert:

It's confirmation. You know I'm full of unrelated related stories, so I'll tell you this I lost a watch. I don't know how long it was missing oh, now I do. But the time I didn't know and I have a lot of watches, I'm kind of watch- junkie. I lost it, and I was looking for it one day to add it to a document or something. No good reason, I wasn't even going to wear, couldn't find it. It became clear to me that it wasn't in the house. I still searched all over the place, got all upset - flustered. It's happened over the course of like a week or two. On Saturday, literally this past Saturday, stood in my kitchen and I said," Lord, forgive me for being so upset about something materialistic. Number one I'm sorry. I think I'm deeper than this. I'm going to let it go If somebody finds it. If I did lose it and I wasn't sure that I lost it, but I knew I didn't know where it was If I did leave it somewhere I lost it, god bless the person who found it. I hope it adds something to their timepiece repertoire. "But, god, if you would allow me to find it, I'll be pretty happy about that, but if not, that's OK. So that was my surrender moment with this watch, and I'm talking about a pretty nice timepiece. Ok, I'm not. This wasn't one of my lower end watches.

Carri Richard:

Wasn't a Casio. (Ebony - It was not a Casio OK).

Ebony Gilbert:

OK, so I let it go, and sometimes I do that and then I really struggle to still let it go, but I really let it go. I ate my breakfast and went about my day. My mom called me a little while later. I didn't answer because I wasn't able to do anything Fast forward to Monday. Monday evening I call my mom and she says "hey, I called you on Saturday. I found your watch, of course she did. You said what she said. Yeah, you must have left it here two times ago that I was home, Not even the last time Two times ago, which lets me know it was missing for a lot longer than I realized. Didn't even miss it.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

But I had my surrender moment. Once I let it go and I surrendered, she literally found it at the same time I was standing in my kitchen cooking my breakfast. Yeah, seemed small. That's how I know that the surrender works. There's always a confirmation moment. The prayer was answered. The confirmation was he heard me immediately and tried to answer immediately. I didn't pick up the phone, I didn't answer, but the confirmation, when I open my eyes to it, I can see it. It's that thing that you've been praying about and somebody comes up to you randomly or you talk to one of somebody you've been talking a long time and they say the thing that you've been praying for, that you weren't quite sure was aligned, and you're like, oh how did they know. That's when I know that the step has aligned with my project plan, but it's usually after I've surrendered the project plan.

Carri Richard:

I'm going to go so far as to say it's only after you've surrendered.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, when you let it go, all right, hands off, I got nothing. Do what you do God.

Carri Richard:

I have a dear friend who says hands off, pays off. And I like that, yeah, I'll tell you there are miracles. That's when the miracles happen. And surrender, it's such a funny thing, because if I'm surrendering with the idea of an outcome, I'm not surrendering, Exactly Just like you said. Hey God, it'd be really great. I'd be very happy if I got this back, and if I don't, it's OK.

Ebony Gilbert:

It's OK.

Carri Richard:

And if that is truly, it's almost like we open the floodgates and God's like "watch what I can do.

Ebony Gilbert:

I like your heart in this. Now you're aligned with where I need you to be and I'm not trying to trivialize problems and storms and the desires of our heart and the things that upset us and get us all flustered. Mine was a watch that particular day. It was a lighthearted example. It could be anything. It could be an ailing love one. "God save my friend, my loved one, but if you don't, I'll still love you and praise you. It could be anything. It's not about a watch. It's not about whatever thing you want to put in that moment. It's about control.

Carri Richard:

It's about the attachment to it. Yes, yeah, it's. I had a friend who says you know wear life like a loose garment and when she first said that I was like, "what are you talking about? It's false, that is exactly, exactly, and and man this is. There is a lot in this one. It's juicy, it is juicy, the, the. Oh, I just forgot it was so juicy. It'll come back.

Ebony Gilbert:

This has been good. Unscripted grace. It has been good. Wrap us up, Carri.

Carri Richard:

OK, all right, you know it, grace is just, it's so vast and it's so amazing and I am just, I'm so glad that we could come here and talk about hurricanes and grace and attachment. And you know, forgiveness is in there, it's in amongst the, it's in amongst the words today, and you know, if you are going through a storm, just know that, you know grace is there for you and my, my hope is that this can touch someone who is out there going through their own storm and just know that. You know, even even the back end, there is healing, t ou just just keep, keep walking through. So how about you, Ebony?

Ebony Gilbert:

It's not just about us. The storm never hits one house.

Carri Richard:

No.

Ebony Gilbert:

Storm never hits one location. It touches down and it keeps going. You may not even get hit by the storm, you might be in outer bands. So just piggybacking off of what you said, you're not by yourself. There's a God will give you an escape route if it's part of your guided steps. They'll tell you when the hunker down and went to evacuate. You'll guide the steps if you let him. So echo everything you said and thank you for your openness to start us off with your vulnerability. I appreciate it. Thank you all for listening. And we love to hear from you.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely All right, until next time. Yes, grace out, grace out.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know. We love to hear from you and share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to grace, a new perspective that will light it up in your own life. Until next time, be well, be bold, be kind to yourself and be on the lookout.

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