Hugo … Floyd … Matthew … Dorian …. These are NOT my favorite names. Now, forgive me if one of these happens to be your name. It is nothing personal, I promise. But, if you have been near our beloved Charleston in the past 30 years, you will recognize these names as the swirling storms that gushed ashore the Holy City.
Usually, if you say, “Hugo”; I say, “I go!” Yep. I learned that lesson long ago. Each time a hurricane wobbles our way, I promptly pack my bags and drive to some “hinter land” that doesn’t know of such an invasion.
Typically, I descend upon a distant relative or friend. I say “distant”, referring to miles, as I want to get far away from these wrecking storms.
I enjoy running water, AC and hot food. You see, at 69 years of age, I’ve grown accustomed to these things.
But Dorian was different. For the first time, I stayed. Months ago, my precious daughter (gee, I love her) sweetly asked me if I would “grand sit” her kids for a few days in September.
Carrie and her husband, Nate, were planning a “get away” with friends. Without blinking, I said “yes!” The dates were set.
My calendar was marked. My early fall schedule revolved around this familial event.
Little did any of us know what was in store.
Anything planned with Carrie’s family is “interesting,” to say the least.
There are many moving parts making it a challenge establishing a schedule this grandmother can manage.
It reminds me of my own days as a mother of four. I definitely understand.
Organizing this “grand sitting” seemed difficult from the beginning.
Add to the mix an initial Category 5 hurricane with its shifting location, direction and wind power and you have an overwhelming recipe for anxiety.
The grandkids were delivered to my house the night before the storm.
I bought flashlights for each one, enough batteries to last through a dozen hurricanes, and water, lots of water.
I stocked various kinds of snack food.
Forget nutrition. At this point, I just wanted to keep everyone fed.
Hitting Charleston after dark, this stubborn storm created sounds that were haunting — especially during the night.
With each falling branch, I hugged my sleeping grandchild lying right next to me, praying constantly for protection and safety.
There was no sleep for this grandmom that night. The lights flickered. Then they went out.
My heart froze. My sweet bed partner accurately noted, “It’s dark, Nina!”
“Yes, it is,” I replied in his ear.
“ I can’t see,” he profoundly stated.
“ I know,” I whispered. “But Jesus can! He can see you and me. He can see everything.” My bedfellow fell back asleep. I continued my storm watch lying flat on my back with eyes and heart wide open. Almost unconsciously, prayers fell from my lips.
We “weathered” the storm well.
Thankfully, we were not harmed, only inconvenienced. Ahead of Dorian, the reports were daunting.
Memories of Hugo raced through my head. In my mind, I envisioned devastation.
It was hard to imagine enduring the proposed winds and rain unscathed. But, by God’s grace and mercy, we did.
I find Life to be that way. Major storms develop on my horizon.
Life seems dark, heavy, impossible. I struggle to get up in the morning, to put one foot in front of the other.
Then the storm shifts. Circumstances change. What was once a powerful storm dwindles.
Who could fathom such an ending when the beginning was so threatening.
In such situations, I remember Paul’s powerful words in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine….”
In this prayer for the Ephesians, Paul teaches God can do more than anything we ask or imagine.
In other words, we cannot even dream of the amazing things God potentially can do. Did you catch the word “immeasurably”?
Paul continues, “… according to his power that is at work within us.”
God does amazing work for us because of His power within us.
The final words of these two verses shows why God performs in such a manner: “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
God does more than we ask in order to bring glory to the church and Christ Jesus.
He does these things for every generation … forever! Do I hear an “amen”?
Grandparenting through the storm was stressful, but it was an opportunity for me to walk my loved ones through a stormy few hours.
Together we experienced the abundant love of God, a God who longs to do immeasurably more than we can imagine.
Catherine Jacobs, a mother, grandmother, speaker and author who believes scripture calls us to pass a legacy of faith in Christ to our children and grandchildren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, PasstheLegacy.com and on Facebook.