As many of you know Houston, Texas and many other cities in South Texas were hit by Hurricane Harvey. It was devastating to many people. Actually at this time, Harvey is still flooding cities in Texas. Lives have been lost and people are missing.
I learned several things from this storm. Let me share a little of my story.
On the days leading up to Hurricane Harvey the news said it would hit the Texas coast and Houston would feel the affects by rain and flooding. I was concerned but didn’t really think too hard about it. As the days grew closer, a friend of mine who stays in another part of Houston said we could come stay with her because our neighborhood floods easily.
For those people that stay in Houston, you know that from one side of Houston to another can be like traveling to another city lol. Anyway, that evening my twin sisters texted and asked if I was coming their way/evacuating to Grand Prairie. I replied, I’m not sure. Again it wasn’t an emergency at the time but it was on my mind.
At one point I was checking the videos on my weather app on my phone. I was watching a particular clip when the weather lady said Hurricane Harvey is predicted to be a category 3 or 4 compared to Hurricane Ike which was a category 2. I started to think about how I couldn’t sleep the night that Hurricane Ike hit because of the wind and the rain. Then there was no electricity.
Thinking back to this, I went into momma mode and started to think about my children and that I didn’t want them to go through that. I didn’t know if I could even ‘pretend’ to be ok while they looked on and saw through my facade as children often do. Trying to calm two 7 year olds and my 3 year old simultaneously trying to calm myself might have gotten the best of me.
I tentatively decided I would stay at my friend’s house but thought do I really want to drive 4 hours to Grand Prairie to my sister’s house? Then I talked to my husband and he asks do ya’ll think ya’ll should go to Dallas? His tone was in a question but request at the same time.
So it is Friday morning. I had been texting my girl trying to figure out when she gets off so I can head that way. I am also texting my sister.
For some reason there is this internal battle going on…should I go to my girl’s house or drive to GP. I am watching the news and the the Mayor says not to evacuate if we don’t have to. They want to leave the roads open for those who were hit hard on the coast of Texas.
James 1:8 says: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
And that is just how I was. I was literally walking back and forth through the house getting things together with my mind racing. Thinking about myself and my children. Also the fact that no matter what I did, my husband had to stay because he is essential personnel at his job.
When I thought of that scripture and that I would rather be safe than sorry, I decided we would travel to my sister’s house. I let my husband know, hating to leave him and we packed up. I put things I felt were important higher in the house just in case it flooded.
We arrived in Grand Prairie Friday afternoon and Friday night the Hurricane hit. To see the devastation in Corpus Christi, Dickinson, and then Houston broke my heart. I worried about my husband and face timed him throughout the days trying my best not to annoy him lol.
He stayed at work overnight to avoid the flooding and eventually ventured home. He had to get assistance to get his car in our elevated drive way due to the flooding. All and all he was ok. I was so relieved, hating that I wasn’t there to be with him.
As I watched the news, my heart broke over and over. Or at least it felt like it did. Seeing the flooding engulfing streets, cars, and homes made me physically sick. I worried about my friends and family as I watched on.
I felt sort of a survivor’s guilt. I still do. I saw another mom on Facebook express she did as well. I commented that I felt the same because it is good to know we are not alone. We both made a choice that we felt was best for our families.
Even still, I hated I was not there to help. Even though I am not sure I could have anyway. My husband let me know that he missed us and that his main concern is that we were ok. Which helped a bit.
As I am typing this now in a local Starbucks in Grand Prairie, I am trying to hold back tears from all that I have seen. Sad and happy tears. Sad for the lives that were lost and proud of how my fellow Texans have been coming together.
It is simply amazing! God is really blessing us through each other in word and deed! I am praying for our state as Harvey continues to cause flooding in other cities. Praying for those who need rescuing and those who are rescuing others. We appreciate you for putting your lives at risk to save the ones that we love!
Hopefully my words helped someone to heal from this storm and any other storms that will come your way. Stay tuned I will be doing several other blogs about my lessons from Hurricane Harvey!