Archives for posts with tag: Harvey

Day 68. Today was rough. That might be an understatement, but I’m trying to be positive.

It’s not working.

I had a complete and utter mental breakdown at work today. Sometimes it just gets hard to be strong and hold it together. It’s like there are little fires everywhere that need to be put out, but only one can be put out at a time. Then, as soon as you put out that fire, another quickly ignites.

We are all at our breaking point. We haven’t even had full time to process the storm that fell upon us last week. Now we are being pushed to be ready, to get things done, to be good to go when our kids arrive. I just don’t see how that is possible…

I will do anything for my students. ANYTHING. Those are my kids. But how can I provide and be strong if I am not over the recent events that have occurred? We are between a rock and a hard place. There is no winning.

I will continue prayer. I will continue to trust that God is in control. But I will also continue crying. And I will also continue to be tired and love off of coffee, icy hot patches, and poor food choices. (I can’t win all the battles.)

Today is over. I will not worry about tomorrow because it is a new day and another chance for me to go in and try one more time. That’s all we really need to do in order to succeed; just get back up and try again.

I am not perfect. This process is not perfect. The outcome will not be perfect. And that’s okay.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Advertisements

It is done. I wonder how tired Jesus actually was when he said those words before he died on the cross. He had worked so hard to bring his father’s love to people and I can imagine that some of those people were probably hard to love or talk to. So how did he did it?

Yes, Jesus is divine and that’s probably a huge factor as to why he was able to love others the way he did, but he was still human. Though the loving part might have come easy, the liking part was probably hard. Sometimes people are just hard to like! Sometimes they do or say things that really don’t sit well with us. But we have to love them anyway.

This was a lesson I learned while running the disaster relief distribution center this week. Sometimes people came in and they were understanding and appreciative of the goods we did have and those we were out of. Other times, people would get mad at us and leave. It was a hard week, but we did it.

We were able to help about 325 families this entire week. It was nice being able to see that hope was being restored in their hearts. But some people were hard to deal with. So how did Jesus do it?

It seems counter-intuitive, but when we pray for patience, we are often met with situations that require us to be patient. And boy, was I met with those situations this week.

I hope serving his people will help me get God’s attention. I do it all to praise and glorify God.

Days 59-61. Blogging from the disaster relief distribution center I helped set up.

I don’t think people can understand how such a tragic, unfortunate natural disaster that affected so many people could be a miracle, but it is. Here’s why:

1. Deep down, people have good hearts.

I sent out a simple post on Facebook and it caught like wildfire. It is true that when you ask, God will provide. People came from EVERYWHERE to donate their goods, time, and even home-cooked meals! Literally everywhere. As in, people are coming from Arkansas tomorrow just to cook for us. ARKANSAS. We have received donations from over 200 people over the past 4 days. People want to help. People want to give. People want to rebuild and rekindle hope in others. Without events like Harvey, most people wouldn’t show the goodness within.

2. God provides, man!!!

Given the opportunity and space, God will work his magic. Letting go and trusting that God will provide is the hardest thing ever, but everybody learned that lesson during Harvey. The people we are serving learned it by losing EVERYTHING and then relying on strangers to provide them with everything they need. From clothing to tooth brushes, baby diapers to school supplies… God provided. I learned it by just trusting God in knowing that if I had the desire to help, he would take it from there. I’m but a vessel of God’s great love and work.

3. Love is everywhere. Kindness is shown!

Ever notice how much people try to be extra kind, extra thankful, extra humble, extra understanding, extra aware of one’s blessings, and just plain extra loving towards others after a disaster? Why do we wait for the worst to come to get out and help? This should be an action that is recurring and constant in our daily lives. We should always be patient with others enough to be loving and understanding of their situations. People don’t only suffer tragedies at the exact same times as others. Everyone is constantly fighting a battle that we know nothing about. Love and kindness should always be spread. ALWAYS.

4. God strengthens his workers.

We have served over 500 people in the past 4 days. We are open 12 hours a day and we have been working those straight with very minimal breaks. We have 2 days left. I’m exhausted, but the good kind of tired! God will keep you going even when you are rolling on about 5 hours of sleep and 3 cups of coffee. After all, he blessed us with the coffee bean for a reason.

I can’t explain what this experience has been like for me. I just want to cry and laugh and hug people and scream and jump for joy all in one. I can’t think of a good word to describe that feeling, but I can describe me right now… blessed.

Days 57-58. Harvey turned into a tropical storm, but hit us harder than we could ever imagine. My neighborhood, my city, my state… all submersed. Everything is under water. Everything is drenched. Not many places are accessible for food and even if they are, there aren’t many goods left.

I literally cannot put my feelings into words. There is nothing I could ever write that could express my emotions towards our situation. From the outside looking in, nobody can really comprehend the feeling without also having gone through something similar. From the inside looking out… only hope.

It’s surreal having been in that “outside perspective” before, witnessing people on the news suffer through various tragedies or natural disasters and being able to do nothing about it. And those were all places far away from home. Now imagine being in the city that is being affected and still being unable to do as much as you wish you could. It’s unbearable.

I am so fortunate and blessed that my street does not flood while others just a block away are under water. I watch as my school is taking on more and more water. I hurt hearing my students are losing their homes and are having to evacuate because everything is under water. I constantly check in with my family and friends to make sure that they are still doing ok! My heart can’t handle anymore.

And it’s still raining. And it’s still going to continue raining for a couple more days.

I haven’t broken down yet. I haven’t allowed myself to cry. Instead, I have gathered a group of friends and opened a shelter space at a nearby location. We’ve gathered donations. And tomorrow I will wait all day if I have to in order to be able to help even just one person. I will not stand idle. I just can’t stand by and do nothing.

If someone is reading this, I’m not sure if anyone is, but if you are, please consider donating to help my city and state. Please donate to the Red Cross if you can. Donate to any organization of your choice! But most especially, donate your time in praying for us. Prayer is the smallest gesture that yields the greatest result.

God is with us in the storm and in the calm.

Days 55-56. I’m worried about my father and grandfather. They are in the direct path of hurricane Harvey. I’m constantly praying for their safety and well-being.

Everyone has been so negative when it comes to the hurricane. It’s going to destroy homes and flood our areas! Why did it have to come hit us, why couldn’t it have gone in another direction, etc.

I see it as more of a time for rebirth and growth. A time to pause and relax. A time to take in the sounds of the rain and thunder. A chance to acknowledge God’s great power.

I am reminded of the story of the disciples on the boat and they come upon a huge storm. Obviously they begin to freak out, and when they look over to call for Jesus, they find him fast asleep, unbothered by anything. They begin to panic because the storm is rough and they are right in the midst of it. Finally, Jesus awakens, curious as to why they are panicking. He asks and reminds them, “Why are you worried?” ┬áThen Jesus commands for the wind and rain to stop and all is calm.

Didn’t they know that the son of God was present and can calm all storms? So why did they panic?

Isn’t that true for us too? We focus so much on the events in front of us that we forget who our help is. Just like the disciples, we panic when things get crazy. We feel like we are drowning and that the storm is going to take us under. But we need to remember that the person saving us isn’t intimidated by our storms. So neither should we be.

It’s hard to let go and let God take control. It’s even harder to believe that he will calm our storms, especially when they are a category 4 hurricane coming straight for you. Whether it be a real storm or the storm within us that we have to endure, the savior is still the same. Like the disciples wondered, “Who is this, that even the wind and rain should listen to him?” It’s the same God who will do the same for us.

Though it may seem like the last thing to do, sometimes we just need to stop and embrace the storm. Enjoy our time on the ride. Go out and play in the rain. After all, it isn’t until we get wet that we finally feel alive.