Living in Florida is wonderful. Our state’s nickname is the Sunshine State. Sunshine and warm temperatures are the reality most every day of the year. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets and beautiful beaches are everywhere! And then there is the season known as “Hurricane Season.”
Southwest Florida has been my home for over 20 years and I always say, “The many benefits of living in Florida is worth going through Hurricane Season.” This idea seems true until the threat of a huge storm comes knocking.
This last week Hurricane Dorian destroyed the Bahamas just south of us and threatened the east coast of Florida and battered all the states along the eastern seaboard. It was a big, slow-moving storm, and no one knew which way it would turn or where it would land. For two weeks we prepared, we waited, and watched to learn our fate. The waiting and the fear this storm caused was brutal.
My deepest sympathy goes out to the people in the Bahamas who lost much and for those who lost loved ones. At the same time, I am grateful to live in a nation where much compassion and empathy exists. Immediately following the disaster, organizations, planes, first responders, and missionaries made their way to the Bahamas to begin the long road of helping with disaster relief.
Most days when we turn on the news it is reported that we live in an evil and broken world. While I agree evil does exist, this week I saw good and I saw many people coming to the aid to help and fix brokenness.
Without a doubt, this will be a long road to recovery, but I have faith that healing has begun already and that each day will be better than the last for those who lost all they had to this monster storm.
Now that the storm has passed how are we supposed to feel? How are you?
I have talked with many people this week and it is different for everyone. Physical exhaustion from planning for the storm, mental exhaustion from the fear of where the storm would hit, sadness for those who were hit, confusion and weakness from not being in control, loss of focus from a daily schedule that was disrupted, and even survivors guilt from not being impacted and wanting to feel relieved.
Whatever you are feeling today, I would encourage you to allow what is. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling and have faith that with each passing day…. good days will come. Embrace what is good in our world, embrace what you have instead of what you do not have, embrace what is important, and love others around you.
During times like these, I often find comfort in this simple prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen
Your life matters. What storm are you going through today?
Peace and Gratitude,