I've been there.
In May of 2011, after days of sandbagging, we received over 5 inches of rain in one day. Added to the rising waters of the Ohio River and the Mississippi River backing up into the nearby fields, our little home became surrounded by rapidly rising water and we had to vacate the premises.
I'll never forget that night. Awoken from a deep sleep by my husband's voice calling, "Get up, we've got to get out of here, water is already on the back step of the house," I stumbled around getting dressed and trying to determine what to take with me.
It's not easy to think clearly in the middle of the night. Especially when you're in shock and you never believed it could happen to you.
After a few minutes, we trudged out the door, each of us carrying a laundry basket with what few earthly possessions we had the presence of mind to grab. As I plunged into cold water above my knees and waded to the mountain of sandbags to climb over, hopefully not dumping the contents of my basket as I did so, I felt like a zombie. This. Could. Not. Be. Happening. To. Me!
After all, I'm a Christian. I had prayed about this. I had my church praying about this. It just wasn't going to happen!
But it did.
A year and a half later, I can tell you that it all turned out okay. God was with us through every step of the way, making things happen, sending people to help, providing us money to fix the damage, blessings on every hand. Today, we are actually better off than we were before.
My experience of being flooded taught me
1. Take warnings seriously! If I had really believed it was possible that my home would be flooded, I would have been much more diligent on moving things to higher ground. A lot of things we lost could have been saved. My biggest regret: forgetting about a box of my mother-in-law's pictures that we had on the floor. Priceless family photos - ruined! We lost a lot of sentimental treasures - photos and letters - that we could have least kept in the trunk of the car. (Our cars were parked away from the flooded area.)
2. Even when you go through disaster, God is there. Sometimes He does miraculously take disaster away from you, other times He walks with you every step of the way so you'll know. He. Is. Enough.
3. Oh, and one other thing I learned: if you think a flood might happen, be sure to take out all the trash. If not, when you go back for clean-up, you'll wade through water that has all the trash that was in your wastebaskets floating around. Ewwww!
This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 3.) Write a post inspired by the word: Flooded. You can read other posts at Kathy's blog, Mama's Losin' It.