Fall is by far my favorite season. Temperatures get cooler, leaves become works of art, and seasonal festivities bring feelings of warmth, love, and joy. I love almost everything about fall, even the shortened time of daylight. Despite all the beautiful things about the season, I am not a fan of it being the season of hurricanes, especially living in state that touches the Atlantic. Hurricane Florence hit our coast a month ago, and then we were impacted by Hurricane Michael several weeks ago. Both left their mark on our state.
As Michael was swiftly crossing over our area, my husband and I decided to step outside (our house did not have power at this point) and watch the remainder of the front clouds pass by. The scene was unlike anything I had seen before. The lingering storm clouds painted the sky purple, and the bottom of the clouds were different shades of green. In the distance, we could see the edge of the storm, which came closer to us with every minute that passed. Beyond the storm, off in the distance, a magnificent sunset was on display, and a sliver of the moon was peeking through the thin layer of clouds. But that wasn’t the end. Later that night, with the power still out, we stepped into our front yard, looked up, and millions of stars filled the night sky. It felt like we were looking at every star in our universe—small stars, big stars, dim stars, and bright stars. It was breathtaking. It was beautiful. It was promising and hopeful.
We all have moments in our lives that could metaphorically be storms. They look different for each one of us. Storms may be the loss of loved ones that leave us feeling devastated. Storms may be when things in life aren’t going as expected. These are the “When it rains, it pours” moments. Storms may be changes in life when the outcome or future may be hard to see, and it leaves us feeling left in the dark. Storms come in life. But just as I witnessed with a recent hurricane, hope, beauty, and promise can be discovered in the storm.
The heartbeat of Your Choices Randolph is to speak words of hope, promise, and encouragement to young women and young men who may feel like they are in a storm—a time when they are facing an unexpected change of plans or an uncertain future. We offer a listening ear. We offer research-based education and information. We empower individuals by helping them navigate next steps and by providing helpful resources and referrals.
We believe that no storm has the final say in our future. We believe our lives are great stories that can have even greater endings. We believe in the beauty, the promises, and the hope that follow the storms of life. YCR has been a place of hope and encouragement for many people who have found themselves in storms, and we look forward to many more years of guiding individuals toward the beauty of life.