God willing and the creek don't rise!........
Never before have I understood this phrase to the depth that I have this past week and a half.
We live in South Carolina, inland from Myrtle Beach. 11 days ago, we made the decision to evacuate with seven of our children to the mountains of NC to escape the possible devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
We had to make the call - that it wasn't worth the risk. I learned many years ago while living in WNY to detach myself from stuff when I had the hard lesson of losing a bunch of my most important stuff to a flooded basement. "stuff is stuff" was God's lesson to me during that time, and I have clung to that over the years as I became less and less attached to things of this world.
But our children - God's most precious gifts to my husband and me - were not to be risked. We took down precious pictures from the walls and packed them away just in case... The stray cats who have adopted us were provided with many feeding stations outside, and the mama and her kittens were left plenty of provisions inside. The dogs and the tortoise came with us, and we left. Not knowing what would be there to greet us upon our return a week later.
The next few days were full of anxious moments as we checked in as much as we could via the spotty internet connections available to us up in the mountains. We worried about our oldest daughter who chose to stay behind in North Myrtle Beach. As reports came in we were quite concerned at one point that there may not be much left of our home when we got back. I remember on Saturday night as I lay there awake in the middle of the night and the storm was raging back in SC, begging God to take my home and spare my daughter.
Then there was a period of peace.. Yes the storm had ravaged our area. Yes, there would be lots of destruction. Yes, there will be flooding. But our kids would be ok, and that was enough.
As it turned out, our house was indeed spared. Many around us were not. Trees were down everywhere, power lines down, telephone poles down, roads washed away, or closed because they had been turned into lakes. Our power had been off long enough to render everything in our fridge and freezer spoiled, but hey, I wanted to clean our the fridge anyway, (boy was it pretty nasty) and I am so thankful we can afford to restock our groceries.
A week later there are still people without power, still people who lost everything, still trees down being cleaned up - and yes - the creeks are still rising!!! Just this morning it took my college age kids an hour and a half to make their usual 25 minute trip to school due to the flooded roads and detours. More areas are still being evacuated due to rising flood waters.
Thank you, God, for the reminder that we need to depend on You. That You will provide for our needs. That You will keep us safe, and comfort us in our hour of need. You calmed this mother's heart a hundred times that night, and I am again reminded how much You love Your sons and daughters.
Our area will recover, flood waters will receed (eventually), and life will get back to "normal". Retreats will be rescheduled, speaking engagements will be rescheduled. But for now, we will navigate this new terrain one day at a time. I pray that you are all safe and sound, and I will ask that you pray for those who are still suffering so greatly from this storm.
I hope to see you soon! God willing and the creek don't rise!