September 22, 2017

Friday Faves: Torments of Life

Friday Faves: Torments of Life

It seems like lately the world is experiencing so many tragedies; fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes are happening to the land. Cancer, mental illness, loneliness, heartbreak are happening to our physical bodies. Divorce, financial insecurities, and growing pains are happening in our homes. No matter where you turn, you will see and hear about these sad, lonely, heartbreaking tragedies that are filling our world. It might be easy to get down, discouraged or even fearful.

There is one constant in my life that keeps me calm, confident, and focused on what matters most. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that hardships and challenges are part of this life. Everyone experiences them. But the constant, that keeps me focused on the bright side of life is my confidence in the Savior’s power to assist me through them.

Tragedies

This last week I was forced to call upon his strength. Because last week the tragedies were literally close to home. My cousin and her little family have been attending medical school in Saint Maarten. Her sister and brother-in-law had gone down for a vacation to visit. Little did they know what that vacation would turn into. Hurricane Irma, what they thought would be a small storm, turned into a category 5 hurricane.

A Teaspoon of Home

They closed up their house and headed to the university. They were literally in the safest place on the island. American University of the Caribbean had been constructed two years prior and built to withstand a category 5 hurricane. Due to the amount of people in the college and island, each person was limited to one backpack of personal items. There wasn’t space for stuff, but more keeping the people protected. They settled into their shelter.¬†Then they waited. We all waited.

We called upon the powers of heaven to watch over and protect them. Irma hit. 200 miles per hour winds and waves. They said it literally felt like an earthquake, the buildings were moving and rumbling. When the winds finally stopped, they went out to see the damage. Their little home had lost it’s roof. It was completely soaked with water. They salvaged a few things, but had basically lost it all.

A Teaspoon of Home

Well with their home destroyed, the island in rough condition, and violence breaking out, they were kept in the university for protection. They rationed food, encouraged and supported one another.

Terror filled us all as we learned that Jose, another hurricane, was heading their direction! We dropped to our knees, pleading for help beyond our own.

It wasn’t long before we heard the news, my cousin and her daughter were evacuated from the island to Puerto Rico. Then hours later, the rest of the family followed. Again, we prayed. We thanked God for the safety of our family and asked for protection for those who couldn’t leave the island.

Humbled by the love and outpouring that has come to them through this tragedy, they hope all are still safe on their island. Strangers, family and friends have donated to a gofundme. Clothing, toys, books and life essentials have been delivered. Even upon arriving in Puerto Rico, they received clothes, food, water and diapers. Can you imagine the humbling feeling being on the receiving end because you literally have nothing.

They were able to catch a flight home to family just a few days after the hurricane. We feel so blessed.

Today, I am grateful for tragedies and hardships because they bring out the best in people. You are able see good and it outshines the bad. Tragedies, trials and hard times strengthen me. They make me turn to my roots, to my Savior, to my family. They make me strong. I hope that we can all remember the strength that comes as we unite for good.

 

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