Peace in the Raging Storm - Stephanie Rautio

My childhood was filled with memories of visiting my Grandparents who lived on the Oregon Coast in Winchester Bay. When we would visit we would feed ducks, hunt for agates, simply take walks along the sand, sometimes dip our feet into the ice cold water.


Anyone raised going to the Oregon Coast knows the warning, “don’t turn your back on the ocean”. You see there are sneaker waves that will get you when you least expect it.


When I was about six years old my Mom and I were walking along and missed the signs. The water got us. Because of the time of year, we were in heavy winter coats that got heavier with the weight of the water and we were going under and being pulled out farther in to the ocean. To this day I do not know how she was able to get us both out and safe.


This event from my early childhood gave me nightmares and eventually gave me a fear of water. The fear escalated after I had my sons, because I wasn’t sure how to keep myself and these precious boys safe, anything could happen. It got to the point that I couldn’t go in water and driving on a bridge over water was almost impossible for me. This was a debilitating and very real fear for me.…unfortunately this was only one of the many fears that held me captive.


Ten years ago I made a decision that I did not want to live an anxious and fearful life. It was time to face my fears and give them to God. I was so tired of not living and experiencing the fun and good things in life. So out in the middle of a lake, while terrified I prayed for God to help me find a way to have his peace when facing my fears.


When I got home I asked my Mom for more details. Once I knew the whole story and where the root of the fear came from it made it manageable. Slowly over the last few years I’ve done things that in the past I would have sat on the sidelines and enjoyed watching others do. I started with small things but worked up to where I’ve now been kayaking and rode in a submarine, just to name a couple.


John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is the steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.


This is one moment and fear, but as we are studying the book of John I am reminded that God is with us in the middle of all the raging storms of life. Over the years I’ve learned to take my fears and place them at the feet of our Lord, and through his love and grace he gives me peace, even in the midst of sorrow or uncertainty. He calms the worry and anxiety that take over my thoughts and cause me to doubt. He is the peace and the voice saying, “Quiet, be still” (Mark 4:39) to the fear and storms raging in my mind that make me feel like I am drowning.


I want to encourage you to remember that whatever you are facing God is a prayer away. He wants to be the peace and calm the storm.



Stephanie Rautio 
Office Administrator | Hope City Church