A quick click of the news this week no matter where you live, and I’m sure your tv (or iPhone) was filled with story after story of how our state of Texas experienced a winter storm that we were quite unprepared for. I’m not a cold weather type person at all (20 years in California and 20 years in Texas will do that to you) but even on my worst day, I couldn’t have imagined what we endured this week.
All things considering, Jadyn and I have fared better than many, and for that I have thanked God every day for. We never lost our water (although quickly got put on a boil water notice), yet due to the weather and mandatory rolling power outages, we were without substantial power for about 2 ½ days. Our week looked something like this:
Starting Monday morning, we would have power off for about 30-45 mins at a time (as the temperature continued to drop in our apartment since the high outside was in the mid to upper teens, definitely never making it out of the 20’s) and then back on for no more than 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes started getting shorter and shorter. I think at one point we timed 6 whole minutes!
Inside of our home, two layers of clothing quickly became three layers, with beanies or a hoodie, gloves, and three pairs of socks (I’ll admit, the three pairs of socks was me, not Jadyn). All of this was accompanied by a few blankets. We did our best to keep our devices charged during the moments of power, but by Tuesday morning, we were both pretty much without battery on cell phones. My truck was parked in my garage (battery operated door=stuck) so I had to wait until the apartment staff could open my garage manually (which they promptly did). We now at least had a heated truck to sit in and a place to charge. This quickly became short lived as I only had a half a tank of gas, and that was quickly beginning to dwindle.
Tuesday showed signs of a “warmer” day (a whopping 30 something degrees) which made it possible to drive to get gas—for me and everyone else in the same boat. Waiting in the long lines was not an option, out of fear of running out of my now low tank of gas. Waiting in the few fast-food drive-thru lines that were open for hot food was not an option either (for the same reason). And the small patch of ice my truck slid on in the parking lot of the gas station proved I had no business out on the roads. So, home we went.
We made it through two full nights without any power at all. Wednesday afternoon we decided to head to our truck to charge up our phones and get warm (praying not to run out of gas). Thankfully about an hour later around 6pm, our power was fully restored. So many others not so lucky.
I share this not for sympathy but to share the lesson I learned (because I truly believe that there is one in every circumstance). Even when you have faith, calling something what it is, is absolutely okay—and this week was horrible!
This week didn’t make me question my faith, it didn’t make me lose hope, and it didn’t cause me to ask why. It caused me to force myself to thank God for what we did have. Often times, things in life that are horrible just happen. It doesn’t mean God isn’t looking out for us, it doesn’t mean He’s punishing us, it means life happens. And He’s okay with us calling it what it is—horrible.
So often we say, “It could be worse.” Yes! Yes! And yes! No doubt about it! But it’s okay to call things what they are. I can recognize that it could be worse, hurting for the people who have been impacted in a more challenging way, while still being frustrated by my own circumestanes. Calling something what it is doesn’t minimize a person’s faith. It recognizes that just like everyone else, you’re human, and sometimes life is just, well—horrible!
I woke up one of the nights we didn’t have power kind of in a panic worried that Jadyn wasn’t warm enough (that’s what moms do) so I went to check on her (thankfully she was fine and sound asleep). No one should have to endure any of this. No one should have to endure no heat, no water, no gas, or no food. It’s horrible.
I love God just as much today as I did on Tuesday with my three pairs of socks on. I continue to pray for every person who has been impacted. Every story is different. Yes, some worse than others. My faith assures me that everyone will make it through.
Better days will come. Hope will be restored and faith will hopefully be strengthened. No matter what the storm is, yes, we all know “it could be worse,” but sometimes, it’s okay to call it like it is!
Praying God’s protection over every single person impacted this week in the state of Texas.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself, restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10