It seems like just yesterday I stood up in front of our church and told everyone that I was able to sleep in my room again. I thought that was the end of our struggle, but in fact it was just another stage. It is almost two weeks later and half my clothes are still hanging in Kadin's room, my shed still has a layer of silt on everything and we're still using a space heater because the fireplace isn't hooked back up. If there's one thing I've learned going through this, it's that recovery takes a long time. The flooding happened on December 3rd and 4th. That was 6 weeks and two days ago, and yet I'm still meeting people who aren't back in their houses yet. Tiffanney and I drove by a house a few days ago that had everything stripped out of it just laying on their front lawn. It broke her heart driving through Chehalis and seeing red signs on people's doors, telling them that their house was unfit to live in and needed to be condemned.
It's easy to forget, when you're not part of it anymore. When the news isn't constantly reminding us of the stories of people who lost everything. It's easy to forget when it doesn't affect us. I remember being shocked a while ago when I saw a special on the two year anniversary of Katrina. They talked in there about how much rebuilding there still was to do in that city. I couldn't believe it then, but I can now.
If you're out there and you're wondering what can be done to help, contact me because I know there are still people who need it. And next week I think I'm going to unveil my church disaster recovery plan, based on my experiences here, both personally and with the church. Hopefully this weekend we'll get our house completely back together. Sorry for the melancholy tone of this blog, but it's rough knowing that just about every night I go home to more work.
Walking through this process has reminded me a lot of a spiritual journey. Recovery can take many forms, whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual. It takes time to go through each of the stages of recovery, just like it takes time to recover from an injury or an addiction. But remember these words "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6)