What do you do when the world turns upside down? What do you say when unbelievable things you never in your life expected to see are happening to your friends and family?
I live in Denham Springs, Louisiana. The small town east of Baton Rouge that has been rocked by historic floods this weekend. Where the waters are still rising in some areas and friends are still losing their cars, homes and everything they have worked so hard to build. I know more people who have lost everything than people who haven’t. “Unimaginable devastation” is not an exaggeration.
Blessed to have a friend who took us in when it looked like the water would come in my house.
Blessed that the water only made it exactly to the edge of the door but did not come in.
Blessed that both of my children are safe and dry, with just a little water in one house.
Blessed that we have power and can host friends who don’t.
Blessed that my biggest inconvenience is not having my home internet service.
I am the minority. And that is really hard. If I think of what my friends are facing, I just want to cry. We are a close-knit small community that has lost everything that holds us together. Our churches are destroyed. The few grocery stores that are open have lines hours long. The schools are closed “until further notice.”
But the one thing we haven’t lost is our faith and our love for each other (okay … that is two things, I know.) At one end of town, the cleanup has already started. Piles of smelly soaked carpet and soggy drywall dot the roadsides, waiting for the unknown day when garbage pickup will start again. At the other end of town, people are still being rescued from attics and rooftops, put on a helicopter and only told they are going “north.”
We’ll help each other until everything is restored. As the water recedes, we’ll rely on the very breath of God to dry our tears, air out our homes and refresh us when the weariness of it all threatens to overtake us.
But in the meantime, I need something … anything … to be normal. I need one tangible thing I can grab on to and know it won’t float away into the swirling, watery thoughts that drift towards the unfathomable ways my life will be different in the coming days.
That thing is right here. Do A New Thing and my blog. It may seem weird that I want to spend even one minute helping or serving someone who is miles away on the other side of a computer screen when there are such needs right in front of me. I will do as much as I can for my friends and family. But a pastor from a local church posted this last night:
How do we lay our heads down to rest knowing there is more to be done? Lives to save, mouths to feed, bodies to warm. We must look to the life of Christ, trust and be obedient. Some of us will work into the night, many will rise early and ready, but it’s crucial to remember that Jesus retreated from all the hurts in this world to spend time with the Father. Even, when it was storming, Jesus was found resting on the boat. He knew the importance of trust and obedience while the disciples had little faith. Church, each of us have means, abilities and resources to serve our community. The opportunities are overwhelming. We’re in a storm. Take one step at a time, pray, trust, and faithfully respond in obedience. Casey Belgard, The Oaks Church, Denham Springs, LA
So I will retreat and spend time with the Father to fuel me. I’ll rest from the work and the emotional rollercoaster by continuing to do what God has called me to do here. It won’t be perfect. I’ll miss some deadlines and not do everything I want to, but it’s ok.
If you see me posting on my blog, promoting my upcoming course or engaging on social media about the next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, please don’t judge me. Please don’t think me insensitive to what is happening in my community. I’m just trying to grab a little normal in the spaces between obedience and standing in line for bread and milk. Anything normal will do.
Before all this craziness started, I had planned to write a post about the first steps to take when you feel God has placed a calling for ministry on your life. We’ll save the post for another day, but I’d still love to make this new resource available to you.
Have you struggled to put your finger on what your calling looks like?
Or put into words your purpose and mission?
This free, three-part mini-ecourse will help you Pinpoint Your Purpose. Through these email lessons and accompanying worksheets, you’ll learn:
- Why it’s important to understand your purpose
- How to find your purpose at the intersection of Why, Who and You
- Three ways to use your purpose as a filter in the day-to-day decisions of your ministry