I have been at a loss for words the last few days. I keep going back and forth from gratitude to guilt that we were spared major losses. We have friends who lost EVERYTHING.
Today, I wanted to share some thoughts to those of y’all not in Louisiana. I know it can just feel like a passing story in the newspaper so here’s some heart behind it:
1. Louisiana is not resilient. The word resilience has been bouncing around in my head for weeks. The definition means “the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched”. And the truth is, our state won’t
be the same after this. We won’t ever be back to our original form. We will be so much better. I can’t speak for those who knew the 13 (and counting!) lives lost but the common
reaction I’m hearing from ones who lost all they owned is that they have experienced radical kindness. Louisiana is already a special place. Believe me, we have our problems (you don’t come here to eat healthy) BUTthe people y’all. The people are incredible. If you have ever visited Louisiana, you have no doubt been met with hospitality and people that will treat you like family. In the face of disaster, just imagine that amped up 10 fold.
Someone my brother-in-law knows (who had a huge truck!) got to us and got us to my sisters house. A stranger decided to brave the storm and rescue one tired momma and papa and two kids. A neighbor of ours made room in their freezer so I didn’t lose the 200+ ounces of milk I have pumped. My dad kayacked to a neighbor’s house just to bring coffee
since her appliances were electric. He also picked up several neighbors who couldn’t get home. One neighbor moved all of our trashcans to higher ground so they wouldn’t float away and leave trash everywhere. Another neighbor today went around pouring bleach in the trashcans to get rid of the maggots (yea, it’s gross after sitting out in the muggy rain a week!). Friends and strangers brought food. Cut out drywall. Washed laundry. Ripped out carpet. There are thousands more stories of rescues, kindness and community that I hope the world will hear about. If you have a stories, let’s share them! We hear enough tragedies of humans just being terrible to other humans. The rain may have done a number on Louisiana but the people are making sure no one suffers alone.
2. Hurricanes couldn’t prepare us for this one. This was no hurricane. We are pretty well prepared for those, especially after Katrina. This was a hundred year flood. And the majority of people didn’t have flood insurance because the amount of water was crazy.
Just to give some context, my husband left for Crossfit (at 5:55 when it was just a light rain. At 6:50, I called to tell him he wouldn’t make the 1/2 drive home. His car stalled out and died a block away.
More context – Los Angeles got the same amount of rain in 3 years that some areas of Louisiana got in 3 days.
And some more – For us, there was no time to get sandbags. And we left in such a hurry that evening that we weren’t able to put important things high up. When my mom (who NEVER worries about anything) called to say it didn’t look good and we were just a few inches away, I’m not kidding, I prayed my prayer journals that I’ve filled out over the past 3 years and my Tyler box didn’t get ruined.
And more – Some people went to bed Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning with water up to their knees.
3. We need our 49 brother and sister states to help. In Denham Springs alone, 90% of the homes were destroyed. 90%! Even in Lafayette, there is a healthy mix of people who need help and people who weren’t effected who can help. There are people who can lend fans to dry out homes and man power and offer a roof for them to sleep under, but in Denham, everyone is dealing with their own stuff. Within one extended family 13 homes were lost.
We can’t do this alone. The last week has been a looong one. If you flooded, you’ve been moving furniture and removing drywall in the hot Louisiana sun for days. If you didn’t flood, you’ve been bouncing from friend to friend to friend trying to help where you can. We honestly, can’t do it all and cleanup isn’t nearly done. If you can donate funds, please do! I’m listing a few different places at the end of this post where you can donate.
4. God has not forgotten us. You have probably read a ton of stories about how slow the media has been in reporting things. Some people think there isn’t enough looting or rioting to gain attention over the Olympics and the election. I wish there was more awareness so that others could help but here’s the bigger truth: God hasn’t forgotten us.
This morning on the way to the gym, the song Fierce by Jesus Culture had me tearing up.
Like a tidal wave
Crashing over me
Rushing in to meet me here
Your love is fierce
Like a hurricane
That I can’t escape
Tearing through the atmosphere
Your love is fierce
You cannot fail
The only thing I’ve found
Is through it all
You never let me down
You don’t hold back
Relentless in pursuit
At every turn
I come face to face with You
People are broken and devastated but for every status I saw that said their homes were flooded, was a second comment that said they are grateful to be alive and for the support they have been shown. There is hope here and the only possible reason for that is because God is here too!
Here are 6 ways you can be praying.
1. That the church would rise up and be the hands and feet of Jesus. That people who have an impression of the church that is one of judgment and intolerance will find love and strength.
2. For provision and opportunity. That God would provide places for people to stay. That the right resources would get to the right hands. That their would not be a surplus or shortage of any provisions but that they’d be distributed in the wisest way.
3. For peace and mental and emotional strength. One friend who had to take her two young kids on a paddle board to leave their home mentioned her sons fears. I never thought about this but there will no doubt be some scars. We even saw this a bit with Vivi as our fire alarm kept going off during the storm. Now every beep or loud noise she hears sends her into hysterics.
4. For strength. I already mentioned, people are physically tired but there is sti ll a ton to do. Pray that the Lord will bring supernatural strength like He does to momma’s of newborns.
5. Smooth & quick process with assistance &
rebuilding. There is sooo much redtape y’all but the concensus so far is that FEMA has been much quicker in their response. Please pray that this continues.
6. Agreement among couples and families. Every couple we talked to fought during the 3 days of no power trapped in a house together…including us. People are in uncharted territory having to make decisions and deal with so much tension right now. Pray that the
Lord would bring families together as Satan tries to tear them apart.
7. School solutions for students. School was supposed to start for many during the storm. Pray that the Lord would comfort these kids and wisdom for parents as they may be displaced, living with family and figuring out logistics.
BUY T-SHIRTS (proceeds donated to flood relief)
Isaiah verse (Through deep waters, I will be with you) T-SHIRT
Cajun Navy T-SHIRT
The screenshots in this post are what’s all over my facebook feed right now. This isn’t just the highlights. My whole feed is full of posts like this. Be encouraged. God is here. And his kids have gone to work.