When Suddenlies Happen

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Some surprises are welcomed, like when you find out you are pregnant after trying for months or even years! But some surprises knock the wind out of your sails. You find out that your child is getting bullied at school (or your child is the bully!), or you feel that first lump in your chest, or you lost your job. These biggies can cause all sorts of questions to arise, can’t they? How am I going to make ends meet? How am I going to protect my child? What if it’s cancer?

I remember when I felt my first lump in my chest. I was shocked actually. I do self-examinations regularly, and I couldn’t believe what I was feeling! After the doctor confirmed that it was indeed a lump and needed to be checked out I tried to remain calm. But as any mom would struggle, I had the flood of “what if’s” coming at me from every angle. I remember walking home from my doctor’s appointment, putting on some worship music, and saying over and over to myself, “I am not going to overreact and make a big deal about this until I know what it is!” But even as I said it, I could feel fear welling inside of me.

The fear I felt surprised me too! I am a woman of faith, and I know my God can heal. I have experienced a miraculous healing personally, yet there I was, walking and crying and praying and crying some more. The thing that got to me the most was the thoughts of “what if this is cancer and what if I have to leave this earth before I get to see my daughters walk down the aisle, or my son graduate from high school?” I wasn’t scared for myself, I was fearful over what would happen to my children if I were no longer around.

Jesus’ disciples experienced similar fears and struggles.

Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:23-26 NKJV)  

Suddenlies happen to all of us. Life and God never promise us they won’t. Those out-of-our-control storms of life can hit us at any time, just like the disciples. They were not prepared for this storm. They were not expecting this onslaught of turbulence.

Although we may not be able to predict when a storm occurs in our life, are there some ways we can prepare ourselves? I think so.

Here are three ways you can prepare yourself for the unexpected storms of life:

1.     Remember that although you may be surprised by the suddenlies of life, Jesus is not.

He is not intimidated by our storms, in fact I love that in the midst of this storm, you find Jesus totally relaxed and taking a nap! When Jesus starts freaking out, that is your cue to freak out! But IF in the midst of the raging seas He is chilling, snuggle up alongside of Him and find rest in His peace. He’s got this! He’s got you!

2.     Prepare your response now.

There is a popular quote amongst the military that says something like this, “When the battles come, you do not rise to the challenge, you shrink to the level of your training.”

I play little games in my head all of the time. I call them imagination breaks. I play out a crazy scenario in my head and I imagine my response. I do this often enough because if that situation ever takes place, I want my default reaction to be what I have rehearsed over and over in my thought life.

This is faith in its simplest definition. Faith is simply having confidence in a certain divine truth. That word confidence means to be convinced.

In most scenarios (you know, the big and bad ones we don’t want to think about), I always end my imagination break with a praise session to God, remembering that THROUGH it all and IN it all, He is good.

3.     Remind your storm it is subject to the voice of God.

The disciples may have lacked some faith, and quite frankly, so do I at times, but when Jesus spoke to the storm, it had to obey.

It is good for us to remember Jesus is in our boat with us. We are not alone. And whenever He speaks to our storm, it will cease. It is also good to remind ourselves that He is God, and His timing is perfect. It is not my job to tell Jesus to calm my storm, it is my job to run to Him for help, to trust Him and to let Him take care of the rest. He knows what we need and He sees the bigger picture.

When God says it is finished, it is!

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” – Isaiah 41:13


Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!

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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,