“Are you surviving your storm?”

When my father and I crossed the Florida state line

July 31rst, I left Mississippi and moved to Florida. The nickname for the state of Florida is the Sunshine State, but it’s not always sunshine. Typically, it rains about 4 times a week, and the weather is always unpredictable. It can be sunny one minute. The next minute, it is raining. Unfortunately, Florida is also known for hurricanes. This week, I survived my first one, Hurricane Ian.

My sentiments exactly

Friday morning, I was in the airport headed to North Carolina, and I received an automated call from our school district. It said that the school was preparing for the incoming hurricane, and they would keep us posted on school closing. I was oblivious to the fact that it was one was brewing in the ocean. Truthfully, at that moment, I didn’t care. My only concern was getting to my grandson and meeting him for the first time.

After being in the airport from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, I was all smiles. It was only one airline that had a flight going to North Carolina.

On the way back home Monday, I received a text from my principal and friends. My principal wanted to see where I was. I told her I was about to board the plane in a few minutes. She informed me that school was being canceled the next two days due to Hurricane Ian. On the way there, my flight was canceled without any notice. I had to find another airline to get to NC. With what transpired on Friday morning, I was worried about the returning flight being delayed or canceled due to the impending weather. Thankfully, it wasn’t. I made it home safely, and the first stop was to Wal-Mart. I purchased some nonperishable food items in case the power went out. I said if it doesn’t go out that I can always take what I bought to school for lunch. I tried to purchase a flashlight and batteries, but they were sold out. I went back Tuesday morning to see if the flashlights were restocked, but they were still out. On my way out the door, I saw one of the battery powered fans. I bought one of those in case the power went out. I didn’t get what I anticipated, but I still got something else to prepare for the storm.

The late arrival was worth it all. I was able to spoil my first grandchild.

Tuesday night, the weather forecast was saying that it would hit central Florida, but Tuesday wasn’t bad. It was rain and wind. As I said earlier, it rains all the time. It wasn’t much different. Wednesday came, but this time was a different rain and wind. I was watching a tv episode on my laptop when the lights went out. I was a little after 4:30. I said it’s beginning. I reached out to my brother and father because they live in Florida as well. Their power was still on. In my mind, I said theirs will probably go out later. I was on the phone with Juan telling him about my power outage. It was weird. In the living room, the light about the stove was working, but everything else in the living room/kitchen area did not work. I went in the bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom light was on, but the sockets didn’t work. Juan suggest that I flip the breaker. I did. When I did that, all power in the living room and kitchen was gone. Yet, the light remained on the bathroom, but my sockets in the bedroom now worked. I decided to charge my phone and laptop because I didn’t know how long the power would be out. Even though it was weird, I didn’t question it. I said thank You God for allowing what is working to work.

My battery powered fan. I didn’t go to Walmart for it, but God put it in my path. He knew I’d need it.

During the night, things got really bad. I am not sure how fast the wind was blowing, but it was very loud. The rain was pouring hard. Occasionally, I would wake up because of the sound of debris hitting my window. I said I know it is going to look bad in the morning. I would say a prayer and go back to sleep.

One of my moments when I woke up during the middle of the night because of debris hitting the window

Thursday morning, the heavy rain and strong winds continued. Juan and my dad still had power. They laughed at me. They said that I was wishing them bad luck. Juan said he’d prayed about the storm. Well, I had too, but I didn’t have any power. I said my dad is closer to the coast, where you’d assume that he’d be hit by the hurricane. Nope. Hurricane Ian ran its path in Central Florida. It came to me.

This is how the wind was blowing the tree limbs.

With me having no power, I had to be strategic on being on my phone. I didn’t want my battery to run down quickly. I wasn’t going outside in the rain to only get soaked to charge it in truck. I did the best that I could have done for my soul. That was talk to Jesus in prayer.

This is what I spoke to God. πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

Mentally, I had no clue on how to prepare for the hurricane. It was my first one. On Monday night, questions were running through my mind. How bad will it be? What is going to happen? Will I lose power? They didn’t tell us to evacuate, but I didn’t take it lightly. Hurricanes are a serious matter. They come in and wreak havoc in our lives. There is flooding. There is damage to homes. Power outages can last for days and weeks. Sadly, people have lost lives. The same way as the hurricane, spiritual storms storms come in our lives. The devil wants to wreak havoc and have us to lose faith in God.

Water coming in from outside.

Back to Thursday morning, I laughed and said God I’ve only been here barely two months. I’m experiencing my first hurricane. Truthfully, I was feeling some kind of way having no power. God began to speak to me. He had me to look out the window. He said you see the storm outside. I said I do God. Look at it. From where you are sitting, it looks disastrous. The wind is very strong and blowing things all around. The rain is pouring heavy. It doesn’t look safe. Limbs are down. Lights are out. Devastation is all around. Now, I want you to look at you. You are sitting inside your apartment. You are focusing on what is going on outside instead of what you have going on in here. You might not have power, but you have a place to lay your head tonight. It might be raining outside, but are you wet? You might not be able to cook on your stove, but you have food. You might have some water coming in under the door and your air conditioner, but have you lost any of your belongings? You might not be able to be on your phone as much as you want, but you can. There is a huge tree that has fallen in the apartment complex, but did anything happen to your vehicle? You are home sitting in the dark, but are you losing pay? Carman, things might not always be what you want them to be, but I have never left your side. I haven’t left you alone. I am the Lord, Your Father, Your God. All I could do was cry.

When the power was restored

Situations are going to happen in life, and we don’t know the exact moment they are coming. The Bible tells us that they are coming. We just don’t know when. John 16:33 says “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” As I’d gone to Walmart to prepare for Hurricane Ian, it is imperative for us to stay in the word of God to prepare for the next spiritual storm that will happen in our lives.

I can’t speak for anyone else. I can only speak for myself. Often times, when I have gone through these storms, I am crying and asking God why. Why do I have to go through this? I’m looking at others and saying why isn’t it happening to them (one example was wondering why my brother and dad weren’t experiencing what I was experiencing). Why does my truck engine have to go out on me? Why did I have to have a bitter divorce? Why did I have to go through lies on my job? Why did I have to have surgery on my shoulder? Why did the loan go bad on the one I co-signed, and I did it with a good heart? I’m constantly pleading and asking God for direction and answers. I can say that EVERY spiritual storm that has happened in my life that God has given me strength to endure. It was dark in my city for almost 30 hours. I had no clue when the power would be restored. Those spiritual storms were dark moments in my life too. I wondered how long will this particular storm last. Oh but God. He never left me. Sometimes, He will send a ram in the bush. Thursday afternoon, my food began to thaw in my freezer. I called a friend. She told me to bring it to her. Here I was freaking out because I didn’t want to have to repurchase food. I didn’t lose a thing. If I had lost the food, I know that He would have provided. Everything that I thought I lost during the spiritual storms, God restored. When He restores, it is always better than what it was before.

Linemen from different states coming to rescue us in Florida

School was dismissed from Tuesday through Friday. I received calls and text from friends, family, and loved ones from all around checking to make sure I was ok. They were greatly appreciated. Initially, when asked how I was, I would complain and say that I have no power. After the revelation on Thursday morning, I changed my words and said I am blessed. I wasn’t expecting to experience a hurricane this quick moving to Florida, but it was a great learning experience. This morning, I opened my door to sunshine. If you were visiting the city, you would not have known what was going on only a few hours beforehand.

First selfie after the storm β›ˆ πŸŒ€πŸŒ€

During this week, God and I have had some deep conversations. I am thankful for this time alone with Him. He continues to restore my faith. There was no way in the world that one light and one only socket works (in two separate rooms) when everything else in the apartment didn’t. That was God looking out for me. He showed me to quit focusing on what is going on around me. It might look dark, but greater is He that in me than he that is in the world. I will have more trials and tribulations. When I do, I need to stay in His face. As quickly as Hurricane Ian came and left, that’s the same way the storms will leave in our lives. Storms will not last forever. We just have to make sure we survive and stay focused on the One that will keep us in the midst of our storms.

My first self care Saturday in Florida πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’› πŸŒžπŸŒžβ˜€οΈ

Published by Carman

I am a banker by day, but writing and photography have always been my passion. Writing is therapeutic for me. It gives me peace.

3 thoughts on ““Are you surviving your storm?”

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