Note – right now, it looks like the path of Florence may come directly over the Columbia, SC area where we live. I’m not sure how significant the impacts will be, but I appreciate your prayers for those in harm’s way (especially along the coast) and also for our linemen, first responders, meteorologists, and government leaders. I also appreciate your patience if I happen to not have internet access or electricity for a bit.
I’m so thankful for Nina’s willingness to share her story in response to my prayer for those who are facing hurricane Florence and other major storms, earthquakes, and trials this week. :
My husband and I experienced flooding in our home during Harvey last year. The frame of our house is now covered with His Word written by the hands of those who helped us through. I wouldn’t change a thing as we saw God’s providence and provision throughout the whole ordeal. He is a good, good, Father.
It was not the rain that flooded us, but the release of tremendous amounts of water from a nearby lake (the capacity of an Olympic swimming pool per second!!) that flooded us. We only had a moment’s notice to get out.
We had no idea how high the water would get. We were able to take essential paperwork with us (passports, social security cards, etc.) and our dogs, but everything else we put up on counters and just counted all the furniture as lost. We had no time to load up a U-haul!
That night as the waters rose, I lay in bed at our friend’s house remembering all the treasured pictures of my son and family and just prayed that they were up high enough. I knew I there were things I had forgotten to put up high. After the water receded and we went back into our home, I didn’t care about anything in there that was lost, except one thing that had fallen from a table into the water…..a memory book from my son’s high school baseball team his senior year. In it was a beautiful letter he had written to me.
I held that book and looked at all the ruined pages of pictures and priceless words he had written to me and I just wept. But God, in His perfect sweetness, reminded me that those words and pictures were still in my heart and one day, even those treasures were incomparable to the priceless gift He had given me in His Son. Yet, through a series of events, even that book was replaced by a friend (whom I hadn’t even seen or spoken to for about 7 years). She had seen my tearful post about losing it, contacted the photo company that printed it, purchased a new one and mailed it to me! There are so many stories I could share about how God comforted, provided, and blessed us throughout the ordeal. He blew us away over and over. He truly was with us when we passed through the waters!
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Going through Harvey was also especially powerful for my husband. He watched God provide for us from the simplest things like needing a bag of ice (and a golf cart with literally drove up as we were discussing needing ice for our cooler!) to huge things like a restaurant owner (where we eat on Sundays after church) offer us one of his rental houses free for as long as we needed it. God provided for us every single step of the way! There is too much to recount! It was amazing and humbling.
This picture with Psalm 46:10 spoke to me greatly…..in the heap of our big mess, He was letting us know not to worry because He’s got us. :).
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10
And this picture below is super special because the scripture was written by our good friend, Ephesien, who works for some missionaries we visit each year in Haiti. He just happened to be in Texas visiting during the hurricane. My husband still tears up when he thinks about our Haitian brother’s handwriting of God’s Word on our walls.
Our church actually became a shelter and quickly organized teams to help those in need. We had about 40 people from our church to muck out the house as soon as the water receded. It was a beautiful sight to see the body of Christ come together! Many affected people in our community have come to Christ as a result. Praise God!
For those of you facing this hurricane, know that your God is stronger and He will be with you through it, bringing beauty out of havoc it tries to wreak.
God sees you, hears you, and He won’t let you go.
If you have been through a big trial or storm and would like to share how God used it to bless you, we’d love to hear about it! Your story might be exactly what another sister in Christ needs to hear to help encourage them to trust the Lord in their own difficult situation.