Thursday, January 30, 2014

The flood that felt like a bucket of sand

This morning I'm sitting in my aunt and uncle's kitchen while fog steals over the hills from the ocean and settles in their backyard. It's a quiet, sleepy morning, perfect for curling up with good book and a cuppa tea. But first, I need to tell you about what could've been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

It could've been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week because my bathroom flooded on Saturday, for the second time. This time, however, I didn't realize it was flooding in time to prevent damage, so the water gushed into the living room and kitchen, forcing me to use every towel, blanket, and sheet I own to soak up as much water as I could. Also, it turns out sweat pants are highly absorbent and quite useful when you've run out of blankets and towels. I always knew it was a good idea to accumulate a wardrobe in which sweatpants are a staple.

Here is the thing about this flood: it felt less like a load of water and more like a large bucket of sand. Dumped, unexpectedly, on my head.

Remember that day at the beach when you and your cousin Sam decided it would be fun to bury you in the sand? And remember how, when he was dumping a bucket of sand on your chest and shoulders, the wind picked up and sent that load of sand flying into your face? Sand burning the eyes, sand in your snot, sand in your earwax, sand grinding in your teeth, sand in your hair, for days and days and days. And days.

Sand in your eyes, sand in your snot, sand in your earwax

This flood felt much worse than that.

I've been fighting really hard to pull out of my illness and its accompanying grief these last 3.5 years. But trying to pull out of this illness and its effects has felt like trying to get out of a pit of quicksand. Not surprisingly, trying to get out of quicksand is exhausting and discouraging, and has made difficult, unexpected external circumstances — normal life things, like floods, gas leaks, break-ups, and moves — feel 5 times harder than usual. It's made them feel like heaping buckets of sand that Life has decided to dump on my head while I grasp and gasp to get out of quicksand.

This flood felt like a big ol' bucket of sand. It felt terrible. Horrible. No good. Very bad. "Whhhhyyy, God?!!!!" I asked, while I dragged furniture out of the water's way and wondered where I'd stay during repairs. "I don't think I can handle another bucket of sand," I told him. "Please, no more quicksand, and no more buckets of sand."

And then I braced myself for what I thought would be a terrible week. But you know what? It's been a great week. A week full of joy and grace. And I wish that, instead of crying anxious tears or feeling frustrated with God the first 24 hours of that flood, I'd thanked him for the flood. I wish I'd thanked him in the midst of the hard stuff the way 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to. I wish I'd thanked him for the thing that felt like the last straw, the way Corrie Ten Boom thanked God for the fleas swarming her concentration camp barracks, with the knowledge that God will transfigure the bad, hard stuff for his glory and our good. 

I'm not great at thanking God for the good stuff. I have to work really hard at it. I'm way worse at thanking him in the midst of the hard stuff, trusting that he'll use it for good. Thankfully, this week has buoyed my faith, once again, in a God who uses bad stuff for good. So the next several days I'll be sharing snippets from my flood experience — evidence that God is always at work in everything, and assurance that he is compassionate and mindful that we are dust. 

Stay tuned for more!

And now, I have some news completely unrelated to my flood, I've had a technological breakthrough! I've set up an account on Bloglovin and figured out how to post a Bloglovin button on my blog. Can I get a hallelujah?!

Bloglovin creates a feed for you with updates from all the blogs you read, so all your favorite content is in one place. If you don't already use Bloglovin, you should! And then you follow this little blog of mine! Just click the Bloglovin button under my picture and blog description to the right of this post, or click the button at the bottom of this post. See you over there!


Read part 2 here and part 3 here!

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© by scj


  1. I imagine, while trying to repair the ruins of your apartment flood, you must have said to yourself repeatedly, "I think I'll move to Australia!"

  2. Ooops, hit publish too soon. I meant to add, looking forward to hearing about how God used your circumstance for your good and His glory. Blessings, Sharon

  3. Australia! If I could've jumped on the back of a motorcycle and zipped up the Australian coast instead of dealing with my flood, I would have. Great idea, Sharon. ;)

    Thank you for your encouragement! It is a glorious God who transfigures the hard stuff for our good!

  4. That attitude of gratitude is not an easy one to foster. I try to daily express gratitude to our Father, but I often lose sight of that heart of thankfulness I'm trying to cultivate.


    1. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has got to be one of the hardest disciplines!
      But its rewards, well, they're pretty terrific. :)

  5. Floods can really such pain, more so if they start from inside a building or a home, such as from the bathroom and stuff. Then, they start revealing more problems than sea levels. You should probably get a second look at the pipes and drains and see if there's some clogs or other stuff lingering in there. Good luck!

    Roxanne Vaughn @ Total PLBG