The Rain Came Down and the Floods Came Up (Part 2)

If you are starting here, you need to play catch up and read Part 1 first.

So where I left off was this...

The water had stopped rising and we captured this picture.  The muddy mucky water had risen 6 steps up.  That is half way up!

It was inconceivable what was happening around us.  We felt so helpless... and so responsible for the lives of our children.  There were too many unanswered questions, most of which we had no strength to even entertain.  

As we stood in the kitchen that night I looked to Phil for strength and found not much.  I asked him what should we do.  He said he didn't know.  

The moment I realized he was in shock:
He mentioned a couple of times that night, "I don't know how I am going to get to church in the morning.  I guess I could call so and so because they have a big truck that could get through this water."

I remember staring at him, thinking "oh, Honey, we won't be going anywhere..."  and "You really have no concept of the turmoil we face right now".  Yes, he did... but his state of shock sent him to the next order of business.  In the morning he would still need to be getting up to preach at church.  He wasn't going to let his personal home issues stop him from doing his job...

I gently told him we wouldn't be going anywhere.  That he could make a couple of calls and cancel the worship service.  Then we could figure out the next things that needed to happen.  As if I knew what we needed.  I don't think I knew how much help we needed.

6:00 am  I'm guessing that is the time we woke up.  A few calls were made to cancel service... but service did not stop there.

From about 7:00 am we had a few friends from our church start coming over to help and assess the damage.  They put on their waders and came ready to dig in their heals and get dirty.  

Here's a picture of my husband standing on the concrete around the egress window.  You are probably wondering what caused this severe flooding issue... and here's how we can best describe it.

The perfect storm.

1.  As I mentioned before, we live next to a drainage ditch.  We've lived in our house 4 years and have never seen it full, let alone flooded over.

2.  We had just had egress windows put in last spring, just 3 months before.  It was a hot and dry summer and the ground never completely settled around the concrete walls.  When the drainage ditch overflowed and came up into the yard, the ground gave way and became a sinkhole...

3.  When the egress windows were put in there was no concrete floor poured at the bottom.  Just sand and rock.  As you can see in the picture the ground sunk and came up underneath the concrete walls and completely FILLED the window space.  

4.  All of the pressure of the swirling water popped open the window.  

*holding back tears*

You need to understand...
My little boys slept with their beds right below that window.  Just seconds before it popped open and poured onto their beds, filling their room with 3 feet of mud and (2 feet of water on top of that), seconds before their bedroom door was literally ripped in half by the strength of the waters, before their dresser was pushed hard enough to knock a hold in the wall... 

just seconds before that my little boy was rescued.

I used to not let myself think about the "what-if" because I knew I need to just keep saying, "God was there" and "He had a plan for our boys and for us"... but in not talking about the "what could have happened" I have failed to let myself see how drastically God saved, how lovingly He held us in His hands.  

I've been too scared to let myself see and think and process this all.

Until now.

So there we were that morning, in a daze, in shock.  We wanted to help but didn't know how to move one foot in front of the other.  I don't remember lots of details that day.  And that's okay.  But what I felt and experienced that day and in the days/weeks following was the body of Christ.  They did cancel service that morning and instead many many people came to our house to help.

In our basement contained lots of precious items that were not replaceable.  
My husband's baby book and my baby book
our kids baby books
our wedding pictures/album
love notes between Phil and I
books we cherished
my grandmother's sewing machine
my wedding dress

Obviously none of this matters... it really made me stop and think about not holding onto things of this earth in a whole deeper perspective...

We knew our lives held infinitely greater value than those items, but it was still sad.

And honestly I thought everything was lost in the flood. But those wonderful people, they worked hard as they could to save anything they could... really, they did.  They separated each photo, wiped it off, and laid it on our living room floor under fans.  I thought our boys had no clothes left... but no, they gathered them up and ladies from our church would drive by and grab a trash bag of clothes and return it washed and dried and folded.   Poor women.  I had tubs of old clothes waiting to be dealt with and tubs of clothes to grow in to.  To my amazement, most clothing was saved.

Even my wedding dress... couldn't believe that one!

Lots of people waded through that mud and started taking up ruined furniture and loading the driveway with a pile for the dump.

This picture gives me the creeps.  This is Gabe's box spring.  The lining completely disintegrated.  The place he slept while water rose right outside the window.  {Shudder}

The walls had to come down.  The basement had to be gutted down to the studs.  And those wonderful people did it all.  They happily (and I do mean that, I think there was smiling and silliness involved) served our family.  I felt loved in such an overwhelming way.

More to come...