Fires and Hurricanes
Disaster or Direction?
Some say it's luck, others say it's karma, but I say it's life. Maybe there is reason, or maybe there is not when disaster strikes. This is easily explainable when one thing happens, but when multiple things happen, one must begin to wonder if there is a bigger message. I am one of those "one's". This is a photo of my room after a surge protector failed and quickly burst into flames and within 15 minutes destroyed a lifetime of memories and possessions this past June 2018. I had been praying for direction in my life to solve an insurmountable problem I was dealing with that I knew that only God could change. And change it did. Suddenly homeless, my family and I tried to navigate the road ahead: Where would we live? What will we do? But mostly we just were in stunned shock. I felt almost euphoric, like I was not even in this world anymore. Neighbors and acquaintances seemed to come out of the woodwork to offer help or suggestions. The Red Cross was called and they showed up with a bag of toiletries for each of us, a credit card that was loaded to get us a hotel for the first few days, and information I was too overwhelmed to read. My neighbor offered to take care of our small dog. Things just fell into place as we were displaced.
We checked into a hotel sometime after midnight and began to de-escalate and try to figure out our next move. Housing was impossible to find near us, as so many unfortunate souls had been displaced by forest fires for the past several years, so we ended up crossing the country to the other ocean and landing in Southport, North Carolina out of luck, and strange circumstances. It took us a month to find housing, but we eventually did. We started settling into our new "home" and were there 2 months to the day, when we received a mandatory evacuation due to a category 4 hurricane headed right for us. This seemed unbelievable. I was resistant to leaving. "We survived a fire, what could a hurricane do?" was my thinking, but my parents and locals thought this hurricane could lay the town flat. With us having a toddler and a newborn, the consensus was "get out for the sake of the children," so we did. My parents did the research of where we should go, while we packed the car and got out as quickly as we could. Alabama was my mom's decision based on weather patterns, storms and more hurricanes behind the first one. So Alabama it was. We stayed there for about a week before a hurricane headed their way and so we were in the car and heading North this time, through the middle of the United States. We stopped to see loved ones in Oklahoma as Tornado warnings began to be announced. We continued North as high winds and storms began hitting there. We headed West. Once we got to Utah we decided we would like to be closer to family, so we headed back to California. Full circle.
I'm sure we looked a site. We were tired, sick, didn't have enough clothes or supplies with us, so we looked stained and haggard. So very haggard. People asked where we were coming from and when we told the short version, they looked shocked, amazed, fearful, compassionate, and usually, at us with disbelief. Some offered us prayers, some told similar war stories, but most said "where you going next? Because I don't want to follow you." Solid advice. I'm still trying to figure out the message I'm supposed to understand due to these circumstances. Good things have come from all this, and some bad. Where we will end up next is a mystery, but I'm looking forward to figuring out the message and getting some good rest with less excitement in the near future. The one thing I am sure of is God is good and He has amazing plans for us if we just keep following Him.
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