Hurricane: Blossom & Flourish

Well, hello from North Carolina! Yep! I’m in the Queen City {Charlotte}. We’ve had our share of wind, rain, power outages, downed trees and flooding during the historic Florence’s stay. Needless to say, however, we have not been hit with such the force that our Eastern NC cities were by this lady. A little power-outage and a little rain–absolutely nothing to complain about here. Yes, I know there are still severe repercussions in the surrounding areas which are not child’s play. I know that. But…in comparison to the big picture here? Exactly. Nothing ‘but a thing’. (Compared to the Eastern parts of the state, that is). Read on.

She started out like all of them do: off of Africa’s coast. And little-by-little she made her trek eastward. She shifted a little here and there, but not by much. It was a historic route, really. She didn’t veer too much towards the Caribbean or southward–she stayed steady. East. She knew what she wanted: straight to the Carolina’s east coast and then inward-westward, upward. North and South Carolina were in the same boat that floated with the wave of the unknown. This hurricane simply had us guessing which of the Carolina’s she wanted the most. It was a crap-show come landfall anyways, so…yeah. Who cares which of the North or the South it was. It was something else!! If you view any kind of news/media coverage at all: You’ve seen. You’ve heard about it. Maybe–you’re even living it.

I have family on the East coast. My mom was raised in Columbus Co., NC. I have cousins, an aunt, a late-uncle. His name was Eddie. My mom’s only sibling. He LOVED hurricanes, and embraced their natural power. He had a terminal illness with his kidneys that started when he was 13 years old. He passed away in 2001. But BOY did he live for these incredible storms when they came! He, as his norm, would travel to Wilmington, NC 3 times a week for dialysis for decades. I remember him as being the most cohesive part of fun and livelihood but pure understanding of mortality that I’ve ever met. He was the person you’d interview if you were doing a piece on “living on the edge” but yet “responsibility” AND “fun”. Marry those together and you’d have an Eddie Lennon. My mom is his female clone. If you’ve met her, you know this! Her name is Kim Lennon Abernethy.

I have a ton of extended family on the East coast. My DNA is in part the exact same as their’s. And may I add that I love the hashtag #EasternNCStrong? IT’S GREAT! You should use it whenever you post about #whatsnext for our NC Coasts and if you’re a praying person: How are you praying for NC? {Literally: Our state?} If you’re in NC, this is YOUR state? How are you praying? Are you praying like you believe it makes a difference?

Last week, way before Florence made landfall–I was praying for what was to come. Who ever knows? Our technology is incredible these days and with weather–we were darn near close. I saw somewhere that our models showed a landfall that was just 20 miles away from where the eye of the hurricane landed. INCREDIBLE! Almost unprecedented. And even after it made it’s landfall and made it’s way near inland–where we are are in Charlotte–we saw relief fleet after relief fleet driving on our highways and byways to the aid of others. AMAZING. Some not even from our state! Some from states FAR, far away. Someone was driving those trucks in that fleet. Someone with a family and friends from another state–yet here they are driving a truck with a trailer carrying lifesaving “stuff” for the one in need RIGHT here in NC. To say my heart swelled with gratitude and thankfulness is a sad understatement. It was something else! They were (and are) here to HELP. It wasn’t their state that got hammered. It wasn’t their need. But yet, here they came (and come). And that goes for the Coast Guard and ALL the local first responders. I was (and am) HUMBLED to see it all, and beyond thankful for it in regards to my state–North Carolina.

But, what the heck with the title of this post? What does blossoming and flourishing have to do with hell-on-earth and devastation? It’s all in the name. Why Florence? Why now? Why NC? (and SC?) She could’ve hit Santo Domingo. Which, would’ve been sad had we seen it on a pretty and cleaned up headline (but not too close). I also saw a report that folks are saying they literally just finished cleaning up Hurricane Matthew back in 2016 and here comes Florence in 2018. What the SAM HILL?!

I looked up the meanings of names, just because. “Matthew” means ‘a gift from God.’ “Florence” means ‘to bloom and flourish.’

We see something from far away and think “Gosh. That’s so very unfortunate. Lemme pray.” {Not to say we don’t pray. I know I do.} HOWEVER! This rotating thing of furry and destruction is in our own backyards, per se. What in the world? You mean, Santo Domingo isn’t the one getting the direct hit? You mean, Bermuda isn’t getting cozy and going “EYE”-to-eye” with this rotating storm of devastation? You mean…IT’S US here in the United States? YEP. That would be correct. Storms are no respecter of countries or persons. And Florence has said her piece and put the fish in different rivers and ponds than before. She’s shut down major highways and roads. She’s dislodged the family from their home. She’s taken lives. Heartbreaking. But…what next? Do we stay flooded in our tears? Yes. For a time. Grieve. Be mad. Hurt. Open that stinky fridge that’s been without power and smell it. It stinks. Those family photos. They are ruined. That furniture–it’s gone. Those “things” are swept away within a matter of days…

Here’s where the title of this post comes into view. We will not be shaken. We trust in our God. I don’t know the state of each and every person affected–but I do know this: There is NO Higher name to be called, but to the God of our universe and to each and every one of our souls. He hears and He knows. He is not taken by surprise. There is not ONE day that God is not true to His faithfulness. He WILL make something gorgeous here. It may look different, but what doesn’t have to be different is the way we praise Him through this storm. Our praises will be our new floors and will turn into our new ceilings for generations to come. There will not be a day through this re-build that He won’t be with us. Pray THAT in.

I have seen more than ever with anything–even Hurricane Matthew most recently–people coming together like a matched up Rubik’s Cube. Fellow humans {and States} with resources coming together to patch the holes that were made by nature. This storm has mobilized folks from states away to come to the rescue and the substantiation of those affected. It’s so humbling and incredible to watch.

Florence means: “to bloom, flourish”. Imagine the most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen. See in your mind’s eye: A rose bush. Nothing on it yet but green leaves. It looks like any other bush or shrub. It looks like a well-rounded area covering. But then, a bud. A little bud that is opening oh-so-slowly. Florence took her time. She was (and is) in NO rush to leave her dumping grounds. She took her time, and to be honest as I’m writing this–she’s still taking her time. There’s outer-bands of rain fall to to be seen and river-rising to be risen. Florence is larger lady, and the ‘fat lady hasn’t finished singing yet.’

I believe there’ll be a newness and a freshness that has been unprecedented in this area. Something that is historically new. For those of you ‘researching’ folk: What does ‘historically new’ mean? In our life time or record–it’s not been done yet.

It’s here. And I believe it will be beautiful. It’s something that hasn’t been done yet, and that’s 100% true. I don’t know what it will look like, and I don’t know what it will entail. BUT, I do know that it will be perfectly fitting for what the future is supposed to hold. Even for where I live (Charlotte), there are areas that don’t typically flood that are flooded. What does flooding do? Provides LOTS of water, right? What does water do? It provides many opportunities for growth! It’s the opposite of a drought. If you pray, pray that every single person involved would channel this opportunity of water to where it needs to go to make something new and beautiful. For the ‘insured’ person, it means new stuff. For the ‘uninsured’, it means a new beginning. For the person with both insurance and incredible sadness: A LIGHT and a new beginning that can be seen. A new beginning and a “new normal” that can be walked towards. (or swam towards).

Pray for the most beautiful beginning or re-beginnings. There’s a flourishing-something here with this storm, and God wants to re-configure something here. It’s hard. It SUCKS. It is absolutely awful. It’s horrific. It’s hellish in nature, but God will take this and make something gorgeous out of our ashes. Beauty for ashes, right? Or…in this case, beauty for excessive water. Beauty from a hurricane, from a storm, from “stuff” in life.

I believe a flourishing rose will be found, and it may be found through YOUR prayers. Thank you for petitioning the Lord like you believe it makes a difference!!

2 thoughts on “Hurricane: Blossom & Flourish

  1. Pingback: Hurricane: Blossom & Flourish | ShellsLife2Share

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