Monday, August 6, 2012

Perspective: check.

It's pretty easy to fall prey to thinking about your own concerns in life.  I don't want to diminish the stress factor and challenges I have.  It's not that they are unimportant.  It's that they are factors which can be address by my mother's coin phrase (which I believe was her father's coin phrase), "and this too shall pass".  Do you know how much I hated hearing that from her when I was an angst filled teenager?

In a turn of events, the last few days have been turbulent for many.

Again, wildfires plagued the parched countrysides in Oklahoma.  This is something that stirs much emotion for me.  The first time I was evacuated was when my baby was just eleven days old.  I had never been under the threat or duress of such a natural fury before and it was combined with postpartum hormones and a body gone crazy, with a brand new high-maintenance, beautiful baby girl.  I remember sitting at my in laws' house, completely convinced that my house was gone.  I felt numb.  I couldn't even place my feelings.  I just sat, fixated on the television images of fire- wondering.  Somehow, my entire neighborhood was spared while every direction around it was scorched.  It was as though God had created a protective force field for my little girl. I still have no idea how it happened, but should one question such an undeniable blessing?  I choose to not question.  This was not the last time I have been evacuated.  Several instances occurred afterward.   Two years later, I was at work (at Harrah High School), when I started hearing mutterings of wildfires again.  Just a couple of hours later, the forum of the school appeared hazy and smelled of thick smoke.  I stood in the library watching the coverage, realizing it was merely a mile away.  Kids were checked out from school until hardly a soul remained.  When I was finally able to leave, I was rerouted by the police.  I had to take Harrah Road all the way to SE 15th, which is the opposite of the direction I'd normally take to get to my house.  As I drove up SE 15th, I passed my in laws' house- not realizing it would be the last time I saw it standing.  A fire blazed far to the south of it.  I did not (probably denial?) think the blaze would reach my in laws' house, but I stopped to call my mother in law anyway and continued to my house.  My mother and daughter were at my house when I received a panicked call from my mother in law- telling me she got a few things and the dog out of her house and that her house was burning to the ground.  I think I was still in denial.  I thought, surely she's shaken and the firefighters can save it.  Often, you believe what you want to believe in these cases.  That I did.  However, she was right.  Her home of twenty-eight years smoldered to a pile of ash and lumps of nearly unrecognizable, melted metal that used to be appliances.  The fire was so hot (approx. 2000 degrees according to the fire department) that the refrigerator collapsed and fell into an arch shape and the concrete of the driveway exploded.  Unfathomable.  Many times, I have kicked myself.  I drove right by it.  I knew how to get inside.  I knew where many favor items or heirlooms lurked.  If only I could have saved some things.  However, I am well aware I had no way of knowing what would happen and it was probably best that I drove away before the fire drew near. I'd be lying if I said the number of times I've made it through evacuation or threat of evacuation were not part of discussion about moving into a more metropolitan area.  Flash forward to this week.  The town of Luther is consumed by ravaging fire.  Luther is not that far from me.  It's maybe twenty miles. I know some people who live there.  Additionally, fires blazed in Creek County (Around Mannford, OK- west of the Tulsa metro).  I was on pins and needles- waiting to hear about my friend Misty Tharp's house.  By miracle and by faith, it was spared.  My dear friend, Tammy Devine, is from Mannford.  Sadly, members of her family lost their homes.  Above all, it is a blessing that they were not hurt of injured.

I am also empathetic to my sorority sister, Janna Graham, who lost her father to cancer this week.  Though the relationship was strained, I have also lost my father.  My mother, thank the Lord, is a breast cancer survivor.  It's hard to so many levels.  Janna will handle it all with grace, like she always does.  God bless her family.

While sitting in church on Sunday, I was filled with urgency and prayer for Misty, for Janna, for Tammy and many others.  At this point, I realized how little time I can waste worrying about my station- about the house selling (though I still hope it will happen soon), about expenses, about making a transition, etc.  God will show you what matters.  In that moment- this horrible propensity to want to control or feel like I am in control faded away.  I struggle each day to let go and let God.  In that moment, I felt I truly did. Each new day, I must learn how to give up control for the day.  I am so grateful that I was able to do so in that moment.  God is going to take care of my transition.  And that is my perspective: check.


  1. You are so right on. I had no idea you'd been through all this. Thanks you for sharing your heart! Love your blog!

  2. Linds- I'm in tears! That is so well said & thank you for your prayers.