How to Survive and Thrive When the Flood Waters Rise {A Guest Post}

It is a very special day on the blog today, friends! I am thrilled to introduce you to my blogging turned real life friend, Meredith. This woman has been such an encouragement to me over the past five months, and has lifted me in mind and spirit in more ways than I can count. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the She Speaks conference in July.

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Meredith is a perfectly imperfect daughter of the King, wife to her Cattleman, and homeschooling mama to a girl and boy. She has been called to encourage Life in Light of the Son through her Pen & Lens– for His glory. She finds her greatest joy in Jesus, family, friends & food…and tries to never take herself too seriously. There is no joy in that. 😉

Meredith would be thrilled to connect with you at any or all of these places:

Blog: www.meredithbernard.com

Facebook: www.facebook/meredithmbernard

Twitter: www.twitter.com/4hisgloryblog

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mmbernard

Instagram: http://instagram.com/meredithbernard

 

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“The house is gone,” he said. As much as I wanted my dad’s words to be a very bad joke or even a really bad dream, they were neither.

The shock and sadness in his voice were palpable. I pulled the car over to let my husband finish the long drive home from our Labor Day vacation, as the labor of pain and racking sobs settled in.

While we had been enjoying rare time away in the mountains with our family foursome, Hurricane Irene had been ravaging eastern North Carolina, sweeping away lives and lifetimes of memories home after home that August evening in 2011.

Lifted off its foundation and missing the entire front porch was our family’s home that held fifty years of memories from first baths for babes in the kitchen sink to many a meal of butter dipped crabmeat shelled on the newspaper clad red and perfectly square table made by my mother’s Uncle Sam.

Gone was the summer home on the Pamlico River shore where three sisters learned to ski and grew into their skin as women and years later watched their children do the same under the grey tin roof.

Nobody saw the flood coming. It wasn’t supposed to be bad. There had been nor’easters stronger than this storm. It wasn’t the wind that made this Hurricane history…it was the water. The flood waters wiped out several towns and left empty shells of homes and even more empty hearts in its wake.

Storms have a way of doing that. They come without warning, even though we know there’s always the chance.

There’s always a chance for that 100-century storm to come in your lifetime.

If you live long enough on the coast, you will feel the affects of a hurricane.

If you live long enough on this earth, you are sure to feel the affects of a life storm.

Some blow in unannounced and some we see coming for miles, but we are still never fully prepared for the aftermath.

What if we could be prepared? What if instead of just “dealing”, we could defy? What if we could come out stronger after the storm blows over? Is that even possible?

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to his people!

May the Lord bless his people with peace!”

Psalm 29:10-11

This verse reminds me Who is in control…even when I don’t understand how or why or when…I know God is over all and in all and always able.

God is able to give strength to weather the storm, when our strength is run dry.

God is able to give peace in the midst of a crisis that is anything but peaceful.

God is able to breathe life when life seems all but over.

God is able to flood our life with hope when all hope has been flooded away.

Ask me how I know. I know because I’ve lived it. I’ve felt it. I’ve known it..all of it.

I’ve felt peace in the midst of despair that could only be explained as from God.

I’ve known comfort during times of loss that could only come from the great Comfort-giver.

Losing that house was like losing my mother all over again. Yes, it was only a house, but it was so much more than a house. It was her. It was us. It was a piece of our story…washed away.

And just as He showed up when we lost her, He showed up when we lost this home.

I believe…I KNOW…the greatest catalyst for God to show up in the midst and aftermath of the storms of life is through prayer. Prayers of our own and prayers on our behalf.

As Mark Batterson says in Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, “Prayer is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue.”

Prayer is not only how we communicate our hearts pleas with our Father, it’s how He answers them. Prayer is a two-way street with the Living God who loves His children so. very. much.

When we pray, we open up the floodgates for God to love on us the way He wants to and the way only He can. When we seek Him, He seeks us.

Prayer prepares before the storm, strengthens during the storm, and comforts after the storm.

I fully believe we go through much in this life as a means to help another that will go through the same. There is comfort in not being alone when the flood waters rise.

We have not rebuilt our home, as many others have along the river shore. Instead, we are making new memories within the walls of a camper when we visit and as my then three-year old pointed out just after the storm, “Well, the river and the sky are still there, right?”

Yes. They are still there and God is still God. In the end, that’s all that matters.

He is always there. Before, during and after the storm.

 

In His Love and Grace,
Meredith

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23 thoughts on “How to Survive and Thrive When the Flood Waters Rise {A Guest Post}

  1. Meredith- your opening story puts words to the storms in my life. Thank you for sharing your journey and your wisdom here….so beautifully and richly written. This line is my favorite: “When we pray, we open up the floodgates for God to love on us the way He wants to and the way only He can. When we seek Him, He seeks us.” Amen!

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  2. Thanks for sharing how God has helped you through this adversity, Meredith! Through every challenge, my faith grows stronger. I’ve known others who have gone through adversity (a child’s cancer) and turned their back on God because they were so angry with him. I continue to seek meaning through adversity, but if my faith is low I think of Footprints in the Sand.

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  3. My family experienced a devastating tragedy a few months ago in the death of my husband’s teenage sister. I’m not sure how any of us would have gotten through it—and continue to get through it, day after day—without the assurance that God is there, through it all. His hand is on us through the highs and the lows. Beautiful post!

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    • I’m sorry for your family’s loss, Katie. That is heartbreaking, and I think I finally realized that God’s heart breaks with ours in times like that. It’s just so comforting to know He cares and weeps with us. And to have friends come alongside that do the same…I have no doubt God uses them to carry us along in times of such grief. Praying for comfort and peace for your family.

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  4. Beautifully done, as always Meredith. I know God can help us weather any storms, but I definitely felt a pang when you said it felt like losing your mother all over again. I get that – deeply.

    I’m glad everyone was safe and that you’ve come through this trying time with a beautiful testimony about the dialogue (yes!) of prayer.

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    • Oh, Kirsten, isn’t it hard when sometimes it seems like life hands us insult to injury? But God. And without ever needing Him in times like this, we wouldn’t know how very much we do need Him. Thank you for reading today and replying…love you and your heart and words so very much!! {{hugs}}

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  5. A beautifully written testimony on how to survive through the storms we experience in life Meredith. Our God never fails us even when things happen that can be so harsh. He is always ready and waiting for us to seek Him in order to help us through those most arduous times in life.

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    • Yes, Kassandra, Yes! He is always ready and waiting…it’s taken some really bad things to make me see that, but I’m glad I have. Thank you for reading and commenting today…I truly appreciate your encouragement. xoxo

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  6. How often what you write affirms what God is trying to teach me. Today’s post is the same. Such a beautiful life message. We know in our hearts storms will come in this life, but we try to put the thought out of our minds. And then we’re unprepared when they hit. Thank you for reminding us to always depend on God, to seek Him, to cry out in prayer, and to find His deliverance from the effects of the storms. Hugs to you!

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  7. I love this: “The river and the sky are still there, right?” Keeping perspective and hanging in there in prayer are SO important during the storms. But so hard! Thanks for sharing your storm story and for the encouragement to pray.

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  8. I love the way life looks through a 3-year-old’s eyes and words. Always so hopeful and so faithful. I count on my kids to keep our storms in perspective. That and that knowledge that He is always in control. Thank you for your story and your words and your faith. And thanks Abby!

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