I think we can all collectively say that our biggest fear with a hurricane is not having power! And I think we can also agree that last week and the week leading up to the storm was some of the most stressful days we have all had in a long time. Everywhere on social media, there were cones, spaghetti plots, and trackers. Every story on the news was of gas and water shortages, evacuation routes and locations to where you can get your sand bags. I remember walking into WalMart with the girls and the store was in a frenzy. People were grabbing anything and everything. People had 10 cases of water...10! Like, now all of a sudden you are going to drink your needed 8 glasses of water a day?
But in the midst of the storm, in the midst of the craziness, making decisions, prepping the house, packing up the girl's clothes, hiding our most sacred belongings, I learned a lot. I learned about myself, my family and I learned a lot about God. But today I will just share 3 of my biggest lessons I learned through this storm.
So here are my 3 Take Aways From Irma:
1. You Can't Control Anything - I know this sounds cliche and I know you might know this already. But when you walk through a situation, where you watch a storm strengthen and shift and move to come right to you. You realize that you cannot control your future, you cannot control your destiny. But when you can live in this place, it doesn't need to bring fear it can actually build faith. When you can wrap your mind around this truth, it will give you freedom, it will bring you peace, and it will help you release control. Because you suddenly take your eyes off of the circumstance and start focusing on the Savior. You stop magnifying the problem and you begin magnifying the Prince of Peace.
2. Family is Everything - We went to our church during the storm, then we weren't home for half the week because our house had no power. We were a family of gypsies. But I just want to say I am so proud of our 3 little girls. I realized that all of my days at home with them, the little lessons, the hard moments, the tiring mornings...they weren't for not. And I know that because they were ok without their toys, their beds, their home, because they had their Mom, Dad and each other. There was contentment in their hearts throughout the whole process. And watching them sleep in different places and undergo different situations, their normal routine was all thrown off, but they just went with it, because they trusted us. I am creating the family I have always dreamed of because I am leaning on the One who created me.
3. Fear is contagious - Walking through the store with my girls and watching everyone race through aisles, grabbing things they thought were necessary to survive began to make me feel anxious. Suddenly I had a cart full of stuff that I did not have on the list but I saw everyone else grabbing them so maybe...just maybe they knew something I didn't know about hurricanes and who knows, I might need this!! I started to push the cart faster, I began to feel panicked. Their fear was rubbing off on me. And it felt terrible. Their panic, their angst, their tense emotions was coming out in their words, their actions, their facial expressions, and the whole atmosphere of the store changed. I felt like I couldn't breathe. So if fear is contagious then so is faith. Everyday we make choices, fear or faith? Joy or Anxiety? Contentment or discontentment? Just remember that what you choose is contagious to those around you. And you will be known for what you make others feel.
So when the next storm comes, literally or figuratively, let your faith be contagious, focus in on what is most important, and trust in the One who made you and who is changing you and shaping you.