Green: Rolling blackouts and the true Power Source

Renae Green column

If 2020 was hell, 2021 is the year hell froze over. Last week we all got our John Waynes on and learned just how rugged we could be. At my house, that meant hauling wood in subzero temperatures and huddling around the fireplace to stay warm. It meant wearing four layers of clothes and making toast in the fireplace using BBQ tongs. And it meant being grateful for rolling blackouts. 

I’d heard of rolling blackouts before, but old as I am, I’d never experienced one. Half hour with power, half hour without. On and off, on and off, all day and night for days until I forgot what day it was. I forgot what time it was. The first time it happened, I knew this was the end. I knew I’d die a slow, torturous death, buried in snow, empty coffee mug clenched in my cold, brittle fingers. 

But soon I learned to trust the system. Although I couldn’t feel the power for short spurts, the power company was there, working behind the scenes, making sure the grid didn’t overload and black out for good. Those short-term blackouts were miserable. They were stressful. And I’m so thankful for them. They meant that even though my house was colder than normal, it stayed considerably warmer than the outdoors. They meant microwaved macaroni and charged telephones. They meant I didn’t miss a single day of steaming coffee, even if I had to wait a little longer for it.  

Bad as this past week was, I’ve survived worse. I’ve lived through my own personal blackouts... times I thought I’d surely perish from the burden. I’ve made it through loved one’s cancer. I’ve made it through a divorce. I’ve made it through financial strain, when I didn’t know how I’d pay my bills or feed my family. When each crisis appeared, I thought it was the end. I thought surely this would be my doom, that I wouldn’t survive, that I’d be buried beneath the weight.  

But over time, I’ve learned to trust my Power Source. He will never let me to go through more than I can handle. And though those blackouts seem like punishments, they’re often the opposite. They’re a means to an end, designed to make me stronger, more resilient. With each new crisis, I become beautifully rugged, with a determination, strength of character, and confidence that will carry me through whatever may come.  

Those blackouts may be miserable, but they are also temporary. When I stay near my Power Source, when I remain plugged in to His Word, when I bring Him into my thoughts, my routines, my daily conversations... He carries me through. Through every blizzard, every hurricane, every storm.  

On Sunday of last week, just days after the last rolling blackout at my house, I sat on my front porch in a sleeveless shirt, soaking in some Vitamin D. The sun filled every part of me with a warmth I had nearly forgotten. The snow has melted into the earth, leaving it healthy and oxidized for a beautiful spring garden. And I know, whatever the future brings, I’ll be OK.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved,” Psalm 55:22. 

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com