On Saturday night my family suffered a horrible blow. My mom contacted me to tell me that our house had a catastrophic fire. Immediately my heart dropped. I responded that I was praying, but I laid in our bed sobbing at the news.
I have heard plenty of stories of people enduring fires, but I never expected this to impact our family. I originally assumed that this fire was bad, but not bad enough to cause devastating damage. With great difficulty, I fell asleep next to my husband. I awoke to surprising pictures of our home. Many walls had been burned down. Three bedrooms were completely gone. The entire second story was black with ash. I have tried to disconnect and be unemotional, but memories keep flashing before my eyes.
I remember when I had nearly every birthday in our living room. I remember when my sister Jocelyn and I swore we would never fight ever again at 9 years old. I remember sleeping in the upstairs hallway as we pretended we were camping. I remember watching old “scary” movies in my parents room because I had been too young to watch them when they came out. I remember living in every bedroom because change always seemed exciting.
We are so fortunate that our entire family is safe. My mother received a call that the house was on fire when everyone was out and about. I am so thankful that our dog Emmy recently went to live with my sister in Pennsylvania. If Emmy had been in the home, I don’t think she would still be alive.
In the midst of all this destruction, my family is overcome with gratitude. I am grateful that we were out of harm’s way. I am grateful that all of our childhood photos were spared. I am grateful that all possessions can be replaced. I am grateful that everyone in my family is aware that it could have been much worse.
My two sisters lost everything they own, but we know the truth. The truth is that lives matter more than possessions. The truth is that we know God will work this together for our good. The truth is I am overwhelmed with the reality that my family is safe and sound.
I don’t know exactly what the future looks like. I hope to visit Texas soon, so that I can help do whatever my family needs. I can’t wait to hug them tight.
Today I am grateful. In the midst of tragedy, God comforts our souls. Thank you Jesus for protecting us in times like these.