Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane IKE Interruption

As you may have read in my first posts, my husband and I tranplanted ourselves to the Texas Gulf Coast. Well, we now have experienced and near Cat 3 hurricane. Literally with the eye going over our apartment. I am making this entry from a hotel where we have had to vacate to. No water, no electricity, no phone, no ice, no refrigeration. No complaints, for God spared us any flooding and damage, save for a leak in the roof that caused the hard wired smoked detectors to start screaching at 2am in the middle of the hurricane, and not stop for 8 hours, only to restart after a rain on Sunday, and not stop. Who knew that DC current was so durable. No electricity, but, still...and the one detector where the leak was right around is on the 20 ft. high ceiling in the stairwell. No maintenece on site, no extension ladders, no abiity to block the screeching wail of the alarm. So, we took a break to clear our heads and see what to do next.

For any who read my blog, and who are going through storms of their own, I want to share a very special part of our experience. Perhaps this will give you inspiration for your own trials. Prior to the hurricane, we made the decision to "shelter in place" based on criteria given and the elevation of the property where we live. During the storm, there were times when the wind was screaming and howling and whipping around the sides of our apartment with such force and power that we wondered if the windows were going to implode or the roof was going to be ripped off. During this time, I would check the radio for updates or watch our battery operated TV for a clue as to where the storm was. But, only for a moment, about every hour or two. Instead of tracking the storm, my husband and I tried to rest. During the storm I prayed without ceasing. I invisioned my husband and I asleep in the bottom of a wooden boat, with God in the bow, and Jesus in the stern. I saw the sea raging around us, but still, we slept. I hear "Be not afraid". And I prayed. And I say this next with truth and sincerity of heart, that when the wind was so strong and the building was popping, the windows were rattling, I would ask Jesus to pray to His Father, as I prayed to my Father, to please, if it was His will, quiet the wind if just for a second. And every time, every single time, my prayer was answered with a pause in the wind. God was present with my husband and myself. He answered my prayer. Prayers were also asked for protection for all of the property. And an example of this prayer being answered was seen across the courtyard. A huge Oak tree had been in need of being taken down for over a year. This tree was just in front of another apartment. During the storm, the tree could have been blown and fallen in any direction. It could have easily crushed the roof over the front bedroom of the apartment. But, it did not. It was destroyed by the storm, but when it fell, it split in two, falling to either side, with not even the most remote damage to the building. Indeed, a prayer answered.

I can't explain the destruction and devastation felt by my comminity, and surrounding city. I can't explain anything. But I can say that I know that God and Jesus were in our boat. I can say that because when I asked, I heard the quiet answer of God, over the roar of Hurricane Ike.


Angie said...

Hi Annie,
I'm so glad to hear that you and your hubby are safe. What a lovely testimony to your faith in the Lord and His ever present help in trouble.

It's so true that we all go through storms of one kind or another in life, but when we have Jesus Christ going through the storm with us we don't have to be afraid. We can lay ourselves down in peace and sleep.

Thanks for encouraging my heart today with your words.


Annie T. Baxter said...

Thank you Angie...having this diary that allows me to share this incredible experience with whomever chances by to read it, is a great gift. I really believe that life is a journey, some of it stormy and some serene. But never does it need to be traveled alone.

Until next time...

Dianne said...

What an amazing story....your prayers and your vision....as Angie said, we all go through our storms...I once was in a storm so severe I thought I was going to die on the spot. Then I heard a voice that said "I AM HERE" and then I knew I was okay. Being alive to tell one's story means everything is okay. Everything is always okay.

Annie T. Baxter said...

Hi Dianne,
Thank you for reading my post and sharing in response. When you wrote that in your storm you thought you would die on the spot...that sounds so intense. I'm glad you survived and are safe!

And I agree with what you wrote...everything will be ok. Always.