Sometimes what looks like a terrible thing ends up being a good thing - a gift, if you will - that ends up making life better.
Such was the strange gift of Spring of 2011.
We live between two rivers, and that spring brought us a deluge of water - the Mississippi was above flood stage, the Ohio River was above flood stage and the heavens opened up and gave us a soaking like you wouldn't believe. We ended up with a flooded house.
Now, you wouldn't call a flooded house a gift. It sure didn't look like one. Flood water inside your home makes everything look terrible. We came back to retrieve our things and the trash cans had been overturned and garbage floated through the house.
It was a mess!
The flood forced us to make some decisions. For years, we were stymied by indecision regarding should we remodel the house or just try to sell it as is? Did we want to stay in our little town or did we want to move up the road to the town where I worked? It was easier to just put off making any kind of decision and just stay as we were.
But now, clearly something had to be done. We set to work to remodel the house. So many people came and helped us with the remodel! And so we discovered the gift of friendship and neighbors willing to help us.
We discovered that we were stronger than we believed. When we were so tired or discouraged that we didn't think we could do another thing, somehow the energy and the will to go on was found.
In the end, the house that had been so damaged looked so much better and more modern than it had ever looked before.
The greatest miracle was that God had blessed us in such a way that when the remodel was done, everything was paid for and we had no debt.
A side benefit to the flood was that living away from home during the remodel meant that my husband joined the worship team and became a regular attender on Sunday nights - something I had been hoping would happen. He had gotten into the habit of not going with me to church when he first became ill with bipolar disorder. When you have no home, there is not much to do. He decided to start coming and got involved with the worship team and has been going ever since.
I count that as one of the greatest gifts I could receive.
So you see, a natural disaster can turn out to be a gift - a strange gift, perhaps, but still a blessing.
This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 1.) A strange gift. You can read other responses by visiting Kat's blog at Mama's Losin' It.