I’m sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately. As many of you may know, last weekend we experienced the flood of the century here in Baton Rouge. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected and are experiencing significant loss. My family and I are a part of that number. Below is my parents’ street, with so many of their belongings cast to the curbside.
It’s been a gamut of emotions over this past week. The day the flooding occurred was terrifying. Water rushed in streets and houses so fast that there was barely time to think. My parents and baby sister were trapped on the second story of their house. They then waited for hours and hours to be rescued by boat. All the while, I’m feeling so helpless and frustrated that I can’t get to them. I stay glued to the news and my cell phone, trying to find a way to help them.
Thank the Lord for what we Louisianians call the “cajun navy,” which is just another name for good-hearted country boys with boats rescuing as many people as they can up and down the water laden streets. My cousin was one of those men and thankfully rescued my parents to safety. He even rescued a quadriplegic man and his caretaker, who were stranded, scared, and so grateful for the help.
While my parents were busy evacuating, I told my other sister Megan to come to my house to escape the rising waters near her. Her husband was gone evacuating people at work. But unfortunately, Meg was too late. As she tried to drive her car out of her apartment complex, all 3 entrances were impassable. She had to turn around and wait it out alone.
The water was rising and coming through her doorstep. She was alone and afraid. I couldn’t do anything but talk to her on the phone and remind her that God was going to take care of her. I was trying to be strong, but when your sister sends you a selfie like this, all you can do is sit down and cry.
Water was now so high that she had to go to the balcony. The National Guard passed by her over and over again, promising they would get her next. They never came, and all the while water filled her cute little newlywed apartment damaging all of their shiny new wedding gifts.
The Lord is good though, and He takes care of His children. After several hours of being trapped alone on a balcony, a boat pulled up to get her. It was her sweet husband, who had begged some random guys to help him save his wife. Her hero. 🙂
I felt so relieved at that point, knowing my whole family was safe. We knew they all lost all of their cars and most of their belongings, but they were safe nonetheless. The rising water then made its way further south, more to my area of town. When the water began to rise on my street, I didn’t play around. Determined to save my car (the only one my family would have access to at this point), I drove my Rav through the passable water to my grandma’s house.
My house only took in a few inches of water, but it was definitely enough to do a little damage.
These traumatizing events were just the beginning though. After the water receded came the gutting, sweating, cleaning, and throwing away of everything that was damaged by the flood. Precious items that once made a house a home were tossed to the curbside.
As devastating as this was for me and my family, let me just tell you of the amazingness I got to witness. Strangers helping strangers. People selflessly serving one another, being the hands and feet of Jesus as I’ve never seen it before. Friends coming in from out of town to help clean and gut houses, bringing with them warm hugs and homemade goodies. Churches overflowing with volunteers and meals and smiles.
My coworkers brought me plastic bins and care packages and dinner. Random strangers knocked on my door with jambalaya for my whole family. Facebook friends and Instagram followers offered constant kind, beautiful words of encouragement that brought tears to my eyes.
It’s been a quite a week, y’all. This is just one girl’s story out of hundreds of thousands. Thanks for letting me spill my heart and my story. I needed the outlet. It’s gone through the ringer and back again.
Corrie Ten Boom’s quote has never rung so true for me: “When God allows extraordinary trials for His people, He prepares extraordinary comforts for them.” Thanks for being a part of those comforts.