Life after Hurricane Ian, Day 5

4am again. Hey there.

Life is weird. Time is almost non-existent. Days? What is today?

Sleep is approximately 10pm – 3am, then again 5ish – 7ish. There’s no time for naps.

Not that I’m doing a lot. It’s just that everyday things take 4x longer than normal. Going to get gas is a 3-hour event. Assuming they don’t run out right before it’s your turn, requiring you to start the process over again.

“Running” into the grocery story requires a wait in line to begin with and you’re not sure what you’re going to find inside.

Target, Aldi? Nothing cold. And lots of empty shelves.

Publix? Oh, how I love you, Publix. You are a Florida gem. Thank you for real food to cook on the grill! Well, my bestie’s grill.

Turning on a light? Well, first you’ve got to pour that gas you got into the generator, fire that baby up, plug the things in, and then… then you have light. Or whatever it is you used to just flip a switch to turn on. Turning something on with the flip of a switch is now a dream of the past and hope for the future.

Taking a shower is no longer just hopping in and turning the knob. Now it requires finding a place with running water – a place that is not currently my home.

Getting an ice-cold drink? First requires you have ice…. Which has been scarce. In fact, that might require a 45-minute round trip drive into Ft. Myers and hopefully they don’t run out before you get there!

Oh! And bathrooms… there’s no just flushing the toilets. You do your business, then scoop out pitchers of water from the bathtub to “flush” everything down and out.

And driving… that’s weird, too. Because everything looks different. Power line poles bent over the roadway or lying flat. House after house after house with roofs stripped of shingles, vinyl walls exposed down the wood, massive trees pulled up the roots, debris and destruction everywhere you look. Street signs missing. Every intersection without power, without stop lights. Houses flooded. Entire roads of cars bumper to bumper for miles as people wait in line for gas, wait for hours.

And news? Outside information? Social Media? Email? What a luxury that is! The information blackout of the first few days and still, now, the difficulty of finding information is maddening. Need to look up insurance number? Find an adaptor for the generator? Figure out where there is gas or food or ice available? There’s no more googling on the go. Now, you text (because text is the only reliable form of communication at the moment, at about 80%) so you text your questions to your friends out of state or at least other parts of the state and have them do the googling for you. Then wait for the reply. But no screenshots, you remind your friend. They won’t load. Just basic texting of words.

Life is weird. Nothing is easy or simple.

But God. God is still good. And God is in the details. As I grapple with the things of daily life right now, I keep putting my eyes on Jesus. My peace comes from Him. My rest comes from Him. My desire to reach out and encourage others – that’s from Him. And when I fail, as I did much of yesterday, He forgives.

Like Peter, who walked on the water with Jesus: When His eyes were on Jesus, he was fine. He walked on water! He was above the power of the wind and waves and natural elements! But when he took His eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. He began to panic.

When I find myself panicking, getting frustrated and angry, feeling discouraged – I know I’ve taken my eyes off of Jesus and put them on the circumstances around me. So I turn them back to Jesus. I lock eyes with Jesus, as my friend said recently, and I call on Him. And He restores me. Fills me. Gives me 2nd chances. Brings me a calmness that doesn’t make sense.

And even when I have to do this over and over again throughout the day, it doesn’t matter. Because every time I turn to look at Jesus again, to lock eyes with Him, He. is. there. Without fail, every time.

Thank you, Jesus, for always being there. Even when life is so, so weird.

One Comment on “Life after Hurricane Ian, Day 5

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