This post is directed at those suffering after a tragedy or devastation has upended your life. While I wanted to write this post after watching the coverage of Hurricane Michael, the things I share here will be helpful for ANYONE entering a season of massive change.
As I watched the devastation of Michael, I couldn’t help but be taken back to that moment of realization that we didn’t have anywhere to go home to.
It was just over a year ago that I had evacuated my 2 kids and I to Kentucky from Florida to outrun Hurricane Irma. I had no idea what we would come home to. Later we would find out that our roof had been ripped off and all our belongings destroyed. Over the last 12 months we have had to completely rebuild our lives. It has been surreal, overwhelming, and a test of the greatest proportions.
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A huge knot was in the pit of my stomach as we drove over the bridge nearing our home. I had an idea of what I would see after Irma ravaged our little beach front bliss, but I felt an overwhelming fear that it would be too much to handle. Seeing the rubble looked like a war zone. I knew many had suffered worse fates, but I also allowed myself to feel the grief over losing a place that has brought us so many memories. I am thankful for the safety of my family, but I can’t lie and say I’m not devastated at the fact that I must now leave my home. We spent the day dumping belongings into trash bags to take to a local storage space as we wait to hear how long the damage will take to repair. I know I’ve been absent but I see your prayers and notes of encouragement. Keep them coming because times like these call for support and community. Thank you for being MY community. I’ll be back to regular posting on Monday, but I’ll be taking the rest of the week to mourn this chapter of life and begin to embrace the next. Just do you babes, even when the going gets tough. Let me know you’re still here with me by leaving a comment! Xoxo Allie
But if there is one thing I can offer you right now, it is encouragement for anyone finding themselves in a similar situation. I have been where you are, and I have made it out the other side. It. Will. All. Be. Okay. This is a time of renewal. All the old is gone, and the new will come. And it will be glorious.
These next things are what helped me specifically get through one of the hardest times of my life:
1. The things are just things. Even the photos and the sentimental items. They are merely things of this world. The memories will be with you forever. And you will find new things. I promise.
2. Your home is where you are. It’s in your family. It’s in your body. It’s in your faith. It’s in your perseverance. It’s in the ability to rise. You can take those things with you ANYWHERE and start again and it will be glorious.
3. When it comes to children: keep as much normalcy as possible. There’s no need for them to know the full scope of all the devastation happening. Do your best to fake it til you make it in front of them. Keep them reading, learning, go take time and visit family, take a mini trip, keep it an adventure and they’ll never know the difference.
4. Ask for and receive help. Let people bring you meals. Let people start go fund me pages. Accept the hand me down clothes and furniture. Allow ppl to invite you into their homes. Because they desire to serve you and you NEED it.
5. Stay positive when you can. Cry when you need. Set a timer for yourself to feel the feels. I cried to the front desk lady at school, to strangers, to my husband and mom, to my dog. I broke down in the car sobbing, wondering WHY ME. And then I had to do the only thing I could: CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLE.
If you or someone you know is suffering, please share this with them. My DMs are open via Instagram if you need me or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last thing I want to hit home again is: IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. Look at each of your family members and tell them how grateful you are that you are together and that you can rise above anything together. When the dust settles, it will be a monumental circumstance in your life that will teach you that things don’t matter and your relationships will carry you through this life.
Just do you babes.