It was a mother’s worst-case-scenario. My husband and I had finally made time for a much needed one-night retreat away from it all. Our children were staying with their beloved grandparents; we would be gone for a total of 24 hours, barely a few hours away. We disconnected from internet and cell phone signal was spotty. God met us right where we needed it, and when it was time to leave the next afternoon, we were aware of fresh winds of the Spirit breathing life into our hearts and our relationship.
But then there was Hurricane Matthew. We had assumed we were safe – that it was turning away from us.
Imagine our dismay when we had driven only a few feet and were practically floating through an unexpected flash flood – and this was in our SUV! We quickly switched into panic mode. For us, that meant my husband went super-calm and quiet, and I wanted to talk about it all. [We both quickly realized that this wasn’t working: lessons learned in a decade of marriage – and yes, you’re welcome.] Our focus was that we had to get home to our kids. We must. There was no other option.
One-and-a-half hours later, the situation was deteriorating quickly. More unexpected huge puddles on the road. When I checked the satellite radar, it showed us tracking right along with Hurricane Matthew’s new and unexpected path. Evening was falling and flash flood warnings were increasing.
We finally gave up and found a hotel that wasn’t yet full in which to stay. Then we had to call the grandparents and the kiddos and try to act brave and calm about the decision that had my mother’s heart trembling: we couldn’t make it back before bedtime as planned, and we were going to try again in the morning as long as Hurricane Matthew allowed.
Needless to say, it was a long night.
As we surveyed the damage the next morning, we decided that we were going to risk it and try to head back to our “babies.” So we did. And God used the prayers of many to clear a path for us back home. It was a joyous reunion and a relief to give and receive hugs, laughter, tears.
And there’s a picture there, right? How anxious I am! How anxious we are collectively as a culture/nation right now!
We look around us and want to be anywhere but *here* – whether that’s the dark side of a cancer diagnosis, the turmoil of parenting challenges, a hurricane that’s wreaking havoc in your community, on the eve of a presidential election that has us all twisted in knots inside, in the midst of racial tension, stuck in a hard family relationship, etc. We want relief. We want a way out, or a promise that we’ll make it through. Or, even better, our people with whom to ride out the storms of life – literal and metaphorical.
We have One. He fought his way through the depths of hell itself to be with us. It was costly [he died] – but miraculous [God raised him to life]. And it’s the only Hope I know that’s so sure and secure it is called, “an anchor of the soul.”
When the storms of life hit (perhaps literally), where do you turn? How have you known the peace of Jesus even in the very middle of the very worst troubles in your life?
2 thoughts on “when anxiety overwhelms: a mother’s tale of Hurricane Matthew”
I am grateful for God’s protection for you all, a blessed time away for you and Seth, grandparents who step in to help, and lessons learned. Thanks, too, for sharing these lessons here with us!
Amen and Amen. Thanks for commenting, Becky!