First, let me preface this post by saying my husband and I are fine. Our house had no damage. The pictures I’m sharing with you of our yard show minor disruptions, compared to the destruction many other people are suffering as a result of this storm.
I feel a touch of “survivor guilt” when I see our local news showing catastrophic flooding from both storm surge in coastal communities and up to twenty inches of rain that fell from this slow-moving hurricane. People around the center and to the right of the storm always feel the strongest impact from hurricane-force sustained winds and higher gusts, resulting in widespread property destruction.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45 b)
We ended up on the left side of the eye and happened to find ourselves in between most of the worst of the circulating bands of strong wind and rain. I feel grateful and blessed, but even feel guilty in saying that, when other people got walloped, through no fault of their own. I sort of feel like we were “in the land of Goshen” in our little area.
Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail. (Exodus 9:26)
But it was no piece of cake either. Anticipating a storm and making preparations over several days is always stressful. You can never be sure what track it will finally take. The first Hurricane Watch was issued from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida state line on Saturday, September 12.
Over the next few days, we watched Sally inch her way eastward, with Hurricane Warnings moving from New Orleans to Biloxi, Mississippi, to Mobile, Alabama, until landfall finally happened in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, September 16, at Gulf Shores, Alabama. It then headed northeast into the Florida Panhandle. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama as well as the Pensacola, Florida areas suffered the brunt of the destruction.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1)
I woke up at 3 a.m. on Wednesday when I heard powerful winds and pounding rain. My husband woke up shortly after that. I understand we did have hurricane-force gusts. We still had electricity at that time, but it’s scary to hear cracking and thuds outside your home, beyond the area where your lights shine.
Our dog Shep was begging to go outside to do his business, and I was afraid to let him out into the backyard for fear of a big limb falling on him. I finally relented and walked him on the leash in our front yard, in the middle of a hurricane!
My husband made his coffee, and I had my tea since we decided to stay up, watching news reports of the storm making landfall. Then we lost power around 5:45 a.m. At daybreak, we were able to get a better view of what was going on outside. All day Wednesday, we still had strong gusts and a lot of rain.
You see from my pictures a lot of yard debris from fallen limbs and leaves.
Many of my shrubs and plants were battered.
There are several places where our fence will need to have the wooden boards replaced.
We will need help getting this tree removed since it’s too big for us to handle.
But our power has been restored, and we are working on the clean-up phase.The photo below shows debris we’ve already picked up.
My husband just got a little garter snake out of our breakfast room. Things should be back to normal for us before long.
Remember to keep all those truly affected by Sally’s fury in your prayers. Many are still without power to their homes and may be working on restoring their lives and livelihoods for weeks or months. Some may never be “back to normal.”
Adveristies of many kinds will affect every one of us. I don’t know how people cope without faith in a loving Heavenly Father. He may rescue us out of a storm, and He may not. He may allow us to go through a storm and use the resulting difficulties for something far greater in our lives. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
But through it all, we learn to trust Him, because He is good. The storms of this life are temporary, but His steadfast love endures forever.
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32: 1-2)