By Charla Spalluto Misse

After the recent Hurricane Zeta, my family stayed in our home without power for several days.  I was actually very happy to accept this challenge. I felt that God was allowing me the chance to show him the strength of my faith and perseverance.

I didn’t tell my family, but I wasn’t praying for the power to return. I know that God allows us to receive hardship so that we can grow in some way. In my heart, I was so grateful for the opportunity. And, I didn’t want to waste this chance given to me.

Each morning, I awoke with energy to take care of my family and home. I knew that each day was a day we could make special memories together. Being without power and the internet meant we could focus on one another instead!

Despite my hope and enthusiasm, however, I had trouble focusing on prayer, and chores were completed without joy. As each day progressed, my spirit dwindled with the sun. Making things darker, I was cognizant that this day of opportunity had not been used to the fullest.

Just before bedtime each night, though, my family would come together to play board games by flashlight and eat leftover Easter candy in the dark.  (Yes, it was Easter candy from six months prior, so you can imagine what an indulgence that was for us!)  The evening wasn’t too late to love one another and make good memories of the storm.

It was the highlight of my day, and I would tell myself, the next day, I would do better – if only we could have one more day without power.

After the electricity came on again, I realized that, by the grace of God, I had the chance to work and sacrifice to show God my love and appreciation each day, in every moment.

In this Advent season, as we prepare for the coming of Christ, I pray that I remain vigilant to joyously offer him any suffering I can and to bring his light and power to my family every chance I get.

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