It is Saturday afternoon, September 9th. Normally I would have my letter done and dusted and ready for publishing by now. Ready to send to all of you Sunday night for you to receive on Monday morning.
The thing is, this week my family and I have been preparing for hurricane Irma’s predicted landfall on the State of Florida. While we were preparing, we were keeping an eye on the local weather channel, watching for the predicted time of impact, wind strengths, sea surge levels and all the terrifying things that come with a level 5 hurricane, and all the devastation Irma has already left in her wake.
To be honest, out of everyone in the family, I have been the one to panic the most. Yikes, you would think someone who loves to study the Word and fill her heart with faith, my self control over my anxious thoughts would be far better. Well, when I heard Irma was making her direct hit where we live, and imagined those wind gusts of 150 mph (250 km/hr.), I couldn't help but wonder if my roof would withstand her strength, or if my house would be flooded by the 15 foot (4.5m) sea surge. I found myself fighting for peace with every ounce of my being.
With all the preparations done that are humanly possible, we left our home this morning and are camping in our office suite on the 3rd floor of an office complex. The building structure was built to code to withstand a level 5 hurricane. It's brick and concrete, with concrete floors for each level and a concrete roof. We are also high enough up to be safe from sea surge. The windows aren't barred over with hurricane shutters because they are hurricane proof. Which means I can sit and watch the weather outside without having to guess behind noisy, pounding metal shutters.
We have watched the weather deteriorate through the day, and have been told to expect tropical storm conditions through the night before Irma makes her arrival tomorrow morning. We are told she will hang around in all her hurricane furry until Monday morning, when the sea surge is predicted to flood in. This means hunkering down for 24 hrs of non stop hurricane force winds and rain. We were warned that there will be no power or running water for a while. So we have stocked up with flash lights and candles. We have three large black trash cans (dustbins), filled with water to flush our toilets and wash our dishes and ourselves. We have gallons of drinking water and non perishable food to last a couple of days. What more can we do now, except wait and watch the storm out. So as I'm watching the enormous clouds rolling in and around the eerie grey skies, and the tall palm trees bending under the gusting winds; I'm thinking of all those people across the state who are not in a strong, sturdy structure, or who have not yet found higher ground to escape the sea surge. And as much as I'm praying for the safety of my family and home, I am praying for their survival too. Don't get me wrong, I have stood my ground in faith more times than I can remember, and declared the promises of God over the state. I've spoken directly to the elements, rebuking and declaring Irma to dissipate in the name of Jesus. And I will continue to do so, as I know so many others will and are right now.
Since there will be no way for me to send this letter to you on Sunday night, I'm sending it now, before we brace for the storm. Thank you for your prayers. I have no doubt that we are safely in the hand of the Lord and that by next week’s letter I will have a testimony to share with you.
Love you all,