It is Well

Hi there, sweet friends! Welcome back to the blog. I’m currently sitting down to write this in my living room, and so thankful for the simple pleasure of having a home and being surrounded by the physical blessings I’ve been given. Here’s a little context for you: the past week has been a little more chaotic than normal, because here in Oregon, we are experiencing wildfires across the entire west coast, like we’ve never seen before in our state.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

For the last five days, my town has been on level 2 and 3 evacuation orders, which means that you either have to be packed and ready to leave your home at a moment’s notice (level 2) or you need to leave right away (level 3). Sounds kind of scary, huh? Well, I have to say it is definitely surreal to look around your house and consider what to bring with you. What means the most? What should mean the most? What do I want to still have with me if I don’t have a house to come back to in a few days?

Obviously this puts a few things into perspective, so I wanted to try to communicate just a few of the thoughts floating around my head from the last few days. My routine is basically nonexistent at this point; work has been cancelled for the last few days, not so much due to fire danger, but because of the hazardous air quality that is extending all over the state. My days have consisted of checking in on other friends and family, refreshing websites showing wildfire maps and evacuation zones, checking the news for updates, and facebook pages for community news (the most I’ve been on fb in the last few years, might I add. Ha). I’ve prayed throughout the day, for my family and our homes, and the homes of my friends, colleagues, community, and church family. For rain, cooler weather, and for the winds to be calmed. I’ve prayed for the first responders, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, and community volunteers, whose sense of duty and courage I can hardly comprehend.

Although there are rumors and speculation, and there are, as always, those who take advantage of such tragic situations, I have seen hundreds of examples of selflessness. People who have donated, who are stepping up to check on homes and property, who are keeping others updated on crucial information, and who are seeking prayers for their families and communities in a situation they never thought they would have to face. Every time I read a story of regular people who have given literally anything they are capable of giving, including their time, days + nights, sleep, farm and business equipment, etc. it makes me feel such a sense of gratitude, I can hardly explain.

Though the situation isn’t over yet, and we don’t know how long it will be until it is resolved, I sit in my home, at least for now, more grateful for it than ever. Each day I tell myself over and over that, if the worst comes of this situation and I don’t have a house anymore, it is just a thing. And it is full of just things. Yes, I’ll continue to pray, “God, please protect my family and my home” but I’ll continue to keep in mind that God is always working. And that He alone sustains and keeps me, and from Him alone, come my joy and strength.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down — this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Find rest, my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.”

Psalm 62

Until next time. xx

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