Hope heals the heart and provides the strength to stand. Hope springs up a will to survive and an ability to get through, but when too much stuff covers the hope then darkness can slither in and crush the spirit.
Survival had always come naturally for me. My desire to find the silver lining always pushed me past the pain into the arms of hope. It has helped to have the support of family and friends but ultimately my relationship with God has been the driving force for finding and holding hope.
This was more than I’ve faced before. I moved along the first 24 hours with only a tiny crack of despair. The storms had shaken me, but I had managed to repair the crack before someone noticed.
I kept looking for hope because I knew hope would make the difference.
Find Hope in the Storm
I turned on the battery-operated radio hoping to listen to music. Instead, I got reports of needs, of destruction, and then the phrase was uttered – a phrase I never expected to hear in my neck of the words.
It took that one phrase to crack my resolve. All of the reports of people looking for gas and food were nothing when held up to the words in that phrase. Images of a collapsing world flashed through my mind with the words, “dusk to dawn curfew.”
Four words cracked wide open my resolve and shattered my determination. Hope gave way to a shadow and I was left exposed.
Nobody that I knew personally had been injured. It was all about the destruction – which wasn’t even the worse as I was going to find out when we could finally see what had happened in the rest of the state.
We lost dozens of massive trees and sustained enough damage that we couldn’t live in our home. Power, internet, and phone towers were gone and with them my ability to keep up with my freelance jobs.
Friends and family had rallied around us trying to help where they could. I spent the day of the storms and the following day cooking all the food that was thawing in the refrigerator. The men were clearing the trees from the driveway so we could get out if we needed to get out.
Each task completed revealed more that needed to be done. All tasks had to be done during the light of the day because that was all the light we had in the moment. We were working on plans for a generator, but the whole state was out.
Staying active helped me to hold back the pain, but when the darkness settled in then it was harder to stay strong.
Hold Tight to Hope
In the light, I was certain of our recovery.
In the dark, I did all I could just to hold on to the promise of the light.
The key to getting through when the darkness stays determined to shadow the heart is to find something, anything, to spark the hope.
For me, it was the time with my sons. We used the darkness as an opportunity to build bonfires. The Boy Scouts had stopped by and put up a dining tent so we were able to set up an outdoor house – we had a kitchen, a dining area, and a living room with a fireplace in the center.
Each little thing I focused on helped bandage the crack, The wound was still there, even know when I see the scars on the mountains from the tornadoes the wound flairs up, but the little bits of hope helped make things better.
Hope makes a way. Find a way to seed hope into all you do.