We were just cruising along with our Sunday. Had a great church service in the morning.
Spent time making plans for a Women’s event on Friday night. Enjoyed lunch at Panera with my girls.
“We’re ok”, I told my nervous kids as wind and rain beat against our windows. “We are safe in our cozy house. Everything is fine.”
The television screen flashed images of damage and danger throughout the area. Tornadoes were spotted. Trees blew over. Roads were flooded.
Still we were safe. Cozy in our house. Then we heard it…Drip. Drip. Drip.
Safe and cozy had become leaking and vulnerable. The living room ceiling swelled with the burden of water which had entered through tiny cracks in our stucco walls.
Drip. Drip. Splash! The bucket began to fill as we grabbed beach towels and mopped puddles and scooted furniture out of the way. Wood floors squished with water and we no longer felt safe and cozy.
Water seeped under the baseboards. More beach towels. Grabbed the shop-vac from the garage and began the impossible task of sucking water from our hardwood floors and new area rug. The 10 yr old sat on the shop vac to keep it from tipping. The teenager anchored the rug to keep it from moving. And I used all my strength to pull the vac along the rug, sucking up inch after inch of storm water. Family bonding at its best!
We worked and mopped and when worst of it was mopped up, made brownies and watched Cupcake Wars on TV! Snuggled together in my room last night, we hoped and prayed for the storm to pass and the towels to absorb and the ceiling to not come caving in. I felt His peace surround us even as the winds howled outside.
Morning dawned and there were insurance phone calls to make and kids to feed and wet towels to change. For now, the storm had passed. But the damage, and the questions remained. The roaring of giant evaporation fans brought by the contractors seemed to scream along with my heart…why? WHY?? Why did my house flood of all the houses on my street? The only single mama house. The only house without a dad in residence. Don’t know, friends. I just don’t know. I know you are anxiously waiting for a tidy answer but I’ve got nothing. And as you well know, every ‘why?’ unleashes more ‘why’s’ until we are sucked down into a pit of self-pity and despair. And that’s not someplace I want to stay.
I simply have to cling to what I do know: He has promised to somehow work it all together for good. Romans 8:28
All. For. Good.
Here’s is my ’for good’ so far:
- We were safe and sound! So many in our area are dealing with much worse situations.
- Squabbling sisters working in tandem. (Can’t you just hear the angels sing alleluia?)
- Awesome insurance policy in effect – a legacy from my husband’s time in the military.
- Energy to move furniture and shop vac rugs.
- Grocery store had a BOGO on brownie mix…just when we needed chocolate!
- Neighbors to call for help who appeared on our doorstep.
- Friends to laugh @ our Facebook pictures and offer whatever we needed.
- The realization that is truly all just ‘stuff’, and this is not our forever home!
And in the ‘working all things together for good’ I have a feeling that sometimes we go through stuff in order to give God a chance to shine a little brighter. To our neighbors. To our kids. To the insurance adjusters who spent 5 hours at my house today, seeing verses posted on my mirrors and hearing our simple story. Oswald Chambers had this to say in the My Utmost for June 25: (God’s timing cracks me up!) “As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. If you will simply look to Him in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.” Wow. I’m not there yet, but gosh I’d like to try.
There’s a song by Casting Crowns that ran through my mind all last night:
I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
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Whatever the storm you are walking through right now, loneliness, or grief, despair or swirling questions, know that He is with you and somehow, someway, there
will be good.