Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings : On Enduring Hurricanes and the Aftermath

Eleven years ago, the wrath of Hurricane Rita, the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, made landfall near the Sabine River, devastating southwest Louisiana and the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas areas.

In anticipation of the storm, my parents followed the advice of weather experts and left their home to drive north to where my older sister and her husband lived at the time. When the okay was given for residents to return home, they found that things could have been so much worse, but their house and property got quite a blow. They lost seven large trees, lost their chimney, and a tree landed on the roof of my dad’s office, a branch breaking through and causing damage inside. They were without electricity for weeks.

In the days that followed, I remember they came to stay with us. About every other day, they would go back to their place and work long and hard. Although they were physically well and strong, my heart hurt for them, having to deal with the mess, and the changes that came with it.

It took months to repair the damage, months to get the downed trees taken care of, and the yard will never look the same. To this day, whenever I go back home, I remember what used to be and a part of me still grieves.

Storms. They change everything. Sometimes, in a hurricane’s fury, historical buildings and homes are destroyed, and while you can rebuild a house or a building, the history is not in the new structure.

If you live long enough, you will encounter a bad storm. They are part of life. And they leave you changed, don't they? The landscape is never the same. We are never the same. Sometimes we're seriously wounded. Scars follow, and we look at our scars and always remember the storm that caused them.

And the landscape. It's never the same after a storm. Whether by death, or divorce, or just an irreparable wound to a relationship, a storm often takes people out of our personal landscape, people who were so much a part of our lives. We never imagined life without them. But a storm came and now they are not part of our personal landscape anymore. Their smiling faces are no longer in the holiday pictures. We miss their funny jokes and their silly songs. But they aren’t there. Eventually, we move on without them.

You can move forward and build a new life, new relationships, but the history is not there. The course of your life has been altered forever.

I believe, from personal experience, that storms make you a stronger person—you build strength and character just by surviving them—but they are a hard thing to bear.

I don’t know who wrote it, but part of a favorite poem goes like this:

“Because of storms that lash the ocean waves,
The waters there
Keep purer than if the heavens o’erhead
Were always fair.
The brightest banner of the skies floats not
At noonday warm;
The rainbow traileth after thunder-clouds,
And after the storm.”

Until next time, dear friends, if you are in a storm, remember the words of George Mueller when asked how to have great faith: “The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”



  1. What great damage that hurricane did! Hugs♥

  2. Yes, the landscapes of life are everchanging. I so appreciated the analogy. As the song says, "Praying for sunshine, preparing for rain."

  3. Storms of life do take their toll....and changes do come in the aftermath. We are blessed to have One who never changes, who holds us with His righteous right hand. He is our hope, He is our future, He is our God. I've lived through several hurricanes, for some we stayed for some we evacuated. But we overcame and we're doing great! Enjoyed your post, very good message.

  4. Those are some pretty incredible pictures.

    Oh, how I know about "storms" and the aftermath!
    Yes, there are scars and tender spots, but life goes on.

  5. Hi Dayle! Oh, yes, storms can damage not only property but people. We lived in Galveston, Texas, at the time of hurricane Ike and so much of the island was just destroyed. We were blessed just to have our backyard fence blown down an a few missing roof shingles. Some of my friends lost everything and one lady in particular, her personality changed and about many years she was never the same again. I don't miss those hurricanes or tornadoes! We just get loads of snow! :) Thank you so much for popping in to see me and your kind words.
    Be a sweetie,

  6. This was wonderful. I loved how you talked about storms *changing the landscape*. Sometimes I am tempted to mull on the damage, instead of moving on in God's strength. Good, encouraging words for me today as I continue to repair from a recent upheaval in a relationship.

    Goodness, your parents were lucky - but even so, what a mess! Glad to hear that they were safe through that storm!


  7. Beautifully written post, thank you.
    It's oftentimes hard to remember the view from the high ground, when we are in the depths of the low ground, but it is part of life. Part of growing stronger and increasing our faith. For without 'test', there can be no 'testimony'. Thank you for this reminder of enduring and enduring with great faith :)

    So glad that your folks were safe and able to rebuild again. I sure hope all that are going through similar trials right now can get through them as well.


  8. LOVE those words by George Mueller. His faith has been an inspiration to me so many times. I was amazed at the topic of your post tonight, because it hit right on a sad storm my family and I are currently in the midst of. We want to be faithful to God through it, even though the pain is so hard to bear. Bless your dear parents' hearts, this is so sad that they had to go through this awful hurricane. I am so sorry.

  9. Hi Dayle. So true that there are storms in the weather and storms in life. We just have to deal with each. Your parents' house really got whammed that time. Wowsers. But look how wonderfully they got through it all and are still going strong! Guess I learned a lot through each of life's storms, so they weren't without merit. Okay, well, hope you have a good, stormless day! Susan

  10. I am in a storm right now. The winds are blowing and the waves are high. I am afraid. But I know that the wind and waves obey my Savior. I know that He is with me. And I am trusting Him.

  11. You speak so much truth here, Dayle. Storms...we've all been through a few of them, some worse than others, but I am SO grateful for a God that comforts and gives strength and wisdom to get us through. How do those who do not know Jesus get by in this life? Beautiful post.

  12. Just love this. Storms come to us all, and who you have by your side and in your heart are the ones who see us through.

  13. Hi Dayle, I like the way you compared a natural storms impact to the way our personal landscape is often never the same after life's storms. While enduring the storms are not easy, I too believe that we come out on the other side better.

  14. I can't even imagine going through such an experience. I love your analogy of braving the storm. Yes, trials make us stronger, but hopefully we don't have to go through too many!

  15. you and your parents faced alot with strong deep faith ,hope and courage though it is hard and cruel to bear.
    i salute your strength for you decisions and your love and care for your loved ones ,hugs


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