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Don't Be Afraid of the Storm

Don't Be Afraid of the Storm by Lynn Jeffcott
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Don't Be Afraid of the Storm is a collection of true stories about miracles and divine intervention. It is a book of comfort and hope in our troubled times, an affirmation that we are never alone, even in our darkest moments.
SynergEbooks; November 2001
124 pages; ISBN 9780744302073
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Title: Don't Be Afraid of the Storm
Author: Lynn Jeffcott

Angels, ghosts, and other strange and wonderful ethereal beings have flown in and out of my life and floated through my family’s history. But there were no bursts of thunder or pyrotechnics. Hardly. They entered my experience as old, dear friends might come through the front door—without knocking and without fanfare. Many times I didn’t know they were there until long after they were gone.

My easygoing acceptance of life’s mysteries came from my upbringing. I lived in the city but spent many Sundays of my childhood at my grandparents’ three-room house in rural Wisconsin. It was there that I met the Unknown.

I remember aunts, uncles, and cousins gathering at my grandparents’ house for lunch, sitting around the old-fashioned table, elbow to elbow. When we finished dishes, we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in comfortable fellowship with those who knew us best—our family. Often we children rushed off to play hide and seek between the rows of corn or scampered to my uncle’s barn on the adjoining property to build forts in the bales of hay. Or we entered the world of adult conversation, sitting on the floor in the tiny living room wherever we could find space between furniture and feet. Here, our little ears were privy to the open chatter of the adults.

Our elders discussed what was current in their lives, but the discourse inevitably led to tales of their childhood. Since we had heard them many times, the stories of yesteryear became classics. The tales conjured colorful images from the turn of the century when the children wore high top shoes, Grandma Jessie washed clothes on a washboard and Grandpa August plowed the fields with giant, gentle horses.

But our glimpses of the past also reflected life in real terms, where joys were never far from tragedies. While we learned our grandparents looked at the world with a sense of humor, we also realized they had faced disease, poverty and the Depression with a sense of actuality only those who experience true adversity can possess.

The stories confirmed that our grandparents were hardy souls. Remarkably these same people, so firmly rooted in reality, introduced us to miracles, angels, and ghosts before the subjects were ever in vogue or discussed widely in books. In short, our grandparents’ encounters taught us life and nature often defy explanation.

As an adult, I shared my inexplicable and mystifying family stories only with friends who were open to the possibility that Heaven is all around us. On a rare occasion, when professionally acceptable, I used the anecdotes in my work as a college advisor, helping at-risk kids and dislocated workers, many of whom had lost faith in themselves and the future. I found that my miracle stories provided a proof of sorts that the divine is truly at work in our lives.

Friends and acquaintances asked me to repeat my stories so often that I began to write them down whenever I had time. One day as I looked at the growing stack of papers, I realized my unusual collection might give others something to believe in when gray skies cast shadows on hopes.

The true accounts of family and close friends* on the pages of my book unveil some of the mysteries and miracles that God tucks into the folds of day-to-day life, blending them with the ordinary. The late Pearl Bailey said it best: “People see God every day; they just don’t recognize Him.”

*The title of each of the stories in the book notes the first name of the family member or friend who has allowed me to share his or her encounter. In some cases, the title also explains my relationship to the storyteller.

While my comments before and after each anecdote explain who the storyteller is and how I see the divine revealed in his or her story, my relationship to the person is unimportant. What is significant is that I can say with conviction that each storyteller is a reliable, ordinary person who has chosen to share a rare and intimate experience to help someone else walk through life’s storms unafraid.