Many of our friends chose not to evacuate. They had weathered several hurricanes before and felt as if this one would not be any different. But different it was! Some of the people that we know personally were in fear that they would not survive the storm. The stories are all a little different but basically the same. The morning after the storm, they walked outside and surveyed the damage. It was catastrophic. This is what made it the worst of times. But they had survived, and now it was time to rebuild. This is what made it the best of times. People came together and helped each other. Now the only reminders of Hurricane Ivan are the pictures and the stories.
I am not a member of the "Ivan Club"; however, I am a member of another "Survivors' Club." In the storm that I recently weathered, I felt at times as if I would not survive. The winds blew, and the waters rose. But we made it. Now we are rebuilding. We have made it through the worst of times. We are moving forward and gaining strength every day.
I have three goals set to help with this process.
- Read at least two books a month and start a plan to read through the Bible. I hope to share things that I learn along the way.
- Spend as much time with family and friends as possible. Keeping busy with people whom I love and who love me is a great source of hope and healing.
- Lean on God every day of my life. There are days when I just have to say, "God, I can't do this. You are going to have to hold me."
There is a song by Natalie Grant called "Held." There is one section of the lyrics that I particularly love:
This is what it means to be held.How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
and you survive.
This is what it is to be loved,
and to know that the promise was
when everything fell we’d be held.
Sometimes when what is sacred to you is ripped away from your life, you feel as if things would have been better if you had not survived. I did survive my sacred marriage being torn from my life, and now I have to move forward.
Nowhere in scripture are we promised that life will be easy and we will not have trials. But over and over again, God does promise us that He will be with us, and He will hold us. As we begin the rebuilding process, He will be with us every step of the way. On the days when we are tired and weary, He will hold us and carry us through.
I am about to take my youngest and her friend to shop for a Homecoming dress. It is a rite of passage. Life sure ain't always easy, but with sweet moments like these, it is still good!
You can find the song "Held" on Natalie Grant's "Awaken" cd.