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Saturday, June 27, 2015

What Do You Do When You Lose Everything?

I've been asking myself this question each and every day for the last 19 days.  Whether my family thinks about it, this is the question in the back of their minds too.  Loss is a devastating thing and no matter how many times you go through loss it's just never the same.  So I guess you can just sit back, be a fly on the wall, as I curl up and ask this question out loud.  I may sometimes talk to you, sometimes to myself and sometimes to God as I find my answers.    

On June 8th, 19 days ago, my family lost our home to a fire.  It totally destroyed what I have always called the "boys room" even though two of the three "boys" in that room are grown men.  (23 and 25) All of their possessions, clothes, books, trinkets, valuables... all gone.... turned into ash.  The girls room blackened severely with soot.  Things close to the ceiling were burned, things on shelves were melted and everything else permeated with soot and the stench of smoke.  Their dance clothes destroyed.  The smell of burnt wood, plastic and vinyl permeates everything.  In the living room old VHS tapes are warped and/or melted from the heat as are DVDs.  The TV is destroyed.  It's frame is warped and the front is torn and melted.  In my bedroom the heat actually evaporated water out of the water bed and damaged (hopefully didn't destroy) the dresser that used to belong to my husband's grandmother.  Everything is blackened throughout as if you walked into utter darkness.  The only light coming in is what you bring with you or the light coming in through opened or broken windows.  

It is a devastating thing to lose everything, to lose your home and belongings.  I have to remember, it happens to people other than us probably just about everyday... so what do you do when you lose everything???

First off, I need to take a breath.  It'll be alright.  God has never left us.  He's never abandoned us and he won't abandon us now.  It's time to remind myself of all that God has done, of his faithfulness. It's time to encourage myself in the Lord.

I need to give myself and others grace.  Losing everything is like having a death in the family.  We all deal with it, we all grieve that death differently and not on anyone else's timetable.  Even as God, through people, bless us with better than we lost, it doesn't stop the grieving.  It doesn't change the fact that what we had was suddenly and irrevocably taken from us.  I need to remember that others don't know how we are feeling at any given time and they are only trying to help even if they say the "wrong" thing at the "wrong time."  I need to give them grace.

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