I used to think I was a fairly chill mother. That is, until I experienced a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Matthew last fall. Then those perceptions flew out the window-quite literally as I imagined the howling winds shattering windows, flinging pine trees around like toothpicks, and sweeping flood waters right through my front door.
All this dreaded anticipation of the hurricane’s destruction was enough to leave me one frazzled mess of a mom. I remember frantically scurrying around to pack things in our car like sardines just a few hours after my husband’s unexpected phone call. He convinced me we should leave town in the middle of the night to avoid the angst of gridlock evacuee traffic-especially with our two little boys in the mix.
Yes, it’s hard to be an evacuee. But dare I say, it’s even even harder to be a mommy evacuee, especially with a nursing baby and a potty training toddler in tow! All the uncertainty and upheaval of an indefinite evacuation didn’t make for the happiest of children. Nor did it make me the most serene of a mother.
Being a mommy evacuee rattled me to the core on multiple levels-emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But that rattling was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.
Whether you’ve been an evacuee like me or not, this truth still stands: There’s always a silver lining in the hard times.
I think life’s storms rattle us out of complacency, compelling us to choose and cherish what’s invaluable: our faith and our family.
So yes, it was truly good for me to be a mommy evacuee, and here’s exactly why.
Being a mommy evacuee compelled me to let my anchor drop more in Jesus, and less in the deceptive mirage of materialism. How easily I had succumbed to finding security in possessions.
It’s crazy that it took a hurricane for me to see it, and then to start relinquishing it at my Father’ s feet. But such is the case for this Southern girl that grew up in a bubble of middle-class, American suburbia.
It was good for me to “survive” on 2 pairs of shoes and 4 outfits for a week.
It was good for me to worry about having enough food for our family due to supply chains being affected in our area.
It was good for me to wonder if we would find an open gas station and restroom on the trip back home after the evacuation. (We truly didn’t find one, by the way!)
Indeed, it was really good for me to gain a glimpse of what is the norm in many developing countries around the world. I needed to grasp this priceless truth: how little I need of earthly trinkets, and how much I need the eternal, extravagant love of Jesus.
I don’t think I’ve ever treasured the sense of home so much as when we finally returned to our house after Hurricane Matthew swept through our area. We were blessed to return to an intact home with no major damage. But it could have been different. And maybe it will be different next time.
On my first morning back home after the evacuation, I randomly grabbed a coffee mug inscribed with this quote: “Home is where the anchor drops.”
As I sipped my coffee that morning, the Lord started letting a truth simmer in my heart. Home is where the anchor drops. If my anchor is dropping in Jesus, I have a forever home and am eternally grounded in His eternal kingdom-regardless of the condition of my earthly dwelling.
It’s a truth I started savoring that day, and hope to keep embracing every day, whether I am a mommy evacuee again or not.
Yes, I want my sense of home and security to be rooted more in the love of Jesus, and less in the condition of my environment, possessions, or circumstances. Why? He is the only one who can anchor you and me in this tumultuous journey called life.
So let’s keep anchoring ourselves in Jesus, friend. He will carry us through each and every storm.
Reflect and respond: What storm, literally or figuratively, caused you to anchor yourself more in Jesus, and less in materialism?
Scripture to Savor: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.” Hebrews 6:19