It is September 2017.
Hurricane Harvey fills our news.
I'm a Texas girl. I was born in Beaumont, Texas, bundled into a pink blanket and taken a few miles up the road to Silsbee, Texas. I grew, slept, ran, and played breathing in the humid air of the East Texas Coast.
My first remembrance of hurricanes was Carla. I was a very small child. Lights went out, water beat our roof, and winds threatened our trees. It was a time punctuated by the birth of a litter of pups. I am pretty sure the dog's name was Sandy. I could call my mom and ask, but she's in the midst of the present Harvey clean up and at 89 years old, I'm pretty sure I don't need to remind her of other natural disasters in her life. She is in the Houston area as are most of my family.
I've survived several others. There was the one that hit Connecticut when we lived there in the early eighties. That one my own children lived through. The winds so wild they picked up trees, pushed them over like matchsticks onto cars and homes.
We sought escape too late and found ourselves driving through streets with trees falling down around us. After watching a van picked up and turned sideways on a bridge near Bridgeport, I thought better of traveling farther and returned to our home just a few hundred feet from the coast.
Upon arriving back home, I sat my three-year-old down on the driveway beside me while I grabbed at our cocker spaniel cowering between the seats of the van. As I turned to grasp my young son's hand the wind picked him up and sent him several feet flying into the garage doors of our neighbor's garage.
Each hurricane has a story. Some storms more harrowing than others, but all came with their own brand of 'frightening.'
I have never lost my home. Never been so devastated as to have to leave and not return. I've known friends that have lost roofs, cars, homes, and even pets. But I have only had flooding to deal with. I have tried to put myself in their shoes, but can I really? I've lived a life of loss. Moves, fire, divorce. Each of these come with feelings of loss.
But a natural disaster must be a very different feeling.
Our natural man wishes to blame someone for pain, disaster, loss.
And when the pain, disaster, loss is at the end of a natural disaster God is the one that most of us fling our blame onto.
And I admit, He is the one that is in charge of everything, so He by all common sense would be the one who would receive the blame.
But I am reminded of my dad's explanation when we lost many acres of timber land, and all of our pictures in a building fire on our 96 acres of land. I remember walking over the blackened fields, feeling the heat rise through my tennis shoes even after days of the fire being extinguished. Daddy was devastated. We were alone. I only saw my dad cry three times in my life. The day his mom died, the day our dog was killed before he could save her from the three big dogs that broke her neck and killed her instantly, and this.
He was bent over picking up another branch to drag and pull toward the pile where we were gathering all the debris. The tears were sliding down his cheeks and leaving their trail from the soot that had been disturbed and re-settled on us and everything around us.
"Baby," he said. "It was time. It was time for these things to be gone and for the new to be born. Always know that where there is loss there is always gain. When we open our hearts to the new we can find it. If we keep our eyes on the ruin we never will. God gives and God takes away. And when we really know how good God is, we can receive the new."
Do you know how good God really is?
If you are reading this and have loss in your life, please invite God to show up in your future. Ask Him to prove Himself.
And then open up your Bible. Go to your local church. Or turn on your local Christian Radio station. Or talk to that person you know that knows God in that way.
God will show up if you are willing to listen and to look with an open heart.
Know that thousands are praying for you this day. Our hearts are breaking open.
We are united in our hope that you will find peace in the midst of your chaos.
And I join you in praying for your families, as I am praying for mine.
May you find shelter in His wings.
My husband and I pray for you too.
Because He IS the I AM, i am
Blessings on your day,
Robyn & Biff Cox
RR&BC, LLC ©2016
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Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?