Posts Tagged ‘anger’

I Wasn’t who I am…..

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Minot
Tags: , , ,

Isn’t it strange, how one day your perspective on things just change? Today as I was just driving along, trying to get where I needed to go, I suddenly thought…Wow….I have forgotten to go to God first! I think I used to be that way….asking, seeking, searching for answers, but most always praying about something first.

The flood…..Disaster…changes who you are and what you think, and how you arrive at what you are thinking. Or maybe you don’t really think at all, maybe you just go from point A to point B and dance to the music.

I realize that I am not who I was before the flood. “Things” have taken a backseat. “Things” have gone away. One day they were all safely in my home, and next they became water logged. Soggy couches, chairs with broken legs, a dining room table folded over, hardwood flooring bulged up across the once smooth and shiny area. None of it really matters, but I matter. It matters that through all the troubles of dealing with slime-water-filled stuff, I was no longer who I am. The really hard part of all that, is realizing one day you are different. Realizing one day that you had been asleep somewhere in the midst of it all. The brain fog…clouded everything….perhaps a coping mechanism.

Oh, yea, I went about doing what needed to be done. I laughed at jokes. I helped others….and accepted help from others. Gratefulness. Emptiness. Sorrow….hoping…but mostly no feelings…no thoughts of returning to life, primarily because of not knowing I had become someone else.

There seems to be no question I know the answer to. For others, yes….I am able to say all the right words, because those words are part of the real me. But for me to help me….

What has not been lost? I didn’t lose Jesus and He didn’t lose me. I didn’t lose my experiences, nor did I lose hope. (well, only part of the time) I didn’t lose laughter, and I didn’t lose friends or family. I didn’t lose ……Those things that no one or nothing can steal. We all have them…and it is good to remember what is left. Somewhere in the Bible it talks about everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Sometimes I feel like a snow globe….I am just one of those pieces of snow, flying all over, and finally beginning to settle only to be picked up and shaken again. When the shaking is done, things never return to the way they were. Anyone who thinks we can go on as usual is sadly mistaken. Almost nothing in our lives will ever be the same again.

People talk about the new “normal”. We have to find our new “normal”. Part of finding that new normal is reminding ourselves, that something of what we have gone through will create in us a new and better person if we will allow it. The Bible tells us that “All things work together for good to those that” 1. Love God and 2. Are called according to HIS purpose. If we meet that criteria, then something out of this will be turned to good. If we don’t, then it may not.

I look around and I see some seriously bitter and angry people. I have been one of them! I think I felt betrayed by God when this flood came….I think I had no concept of how it would change all our lives. I think I was just unable to think very clearly…sometimes even now, I struggle with that.

I work, and all is well! I know my job very well, and I am good at it. But in the wee hours of the night, I wonder. Day by day I seem to awaken a little more. I seem to be finding my way back to me. I wonder what is in store for the rest of my life, and how much life is left. I don’t seem to be concerned about me, but more about my family….What would they do without me? Then I think….how Silly! They would be just fine, they have Jesus, and he is much better at helping than I am…then I tell myself….I know the answer to this….”There IS a time to live, and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to plant and a time to harvest…..” There is a time…and when it is time for those things we can’t shrink back from the things we don’t like and hold on to only the things we do like.

The amazing thing we have to remember is that we are who we are, and we are where we are supposed to be! We didn’t make a mistake! We just were swept into a time of “something”. It is OK….We are never guaranteed another day, and we never have been. We have this day, and maybe we should make the best of it we can. I think I have to be careful not to just think about me. I also think, I have to be careful TO think about me. What do I want? What do I need? Why not stop and smell some roses? It may be winter in North Dakota, but the flower shops have roses! And there is no charge to smell them! Maybe today, I should go find a sled and go sledding….not a big hill, just a small one…..I am way too old to be climbing up a really high hill….or maybe I am not!

So what is the plan? I don’t know, but God does….In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” I don’t have to know the plan…I just have to look to Jesus for the lighted path and follow it. He will take me where I need to go, and get me there, when I need to be there. I have no worries, because it is all good!

I must remember to remind myself to ask God first….then listen carefully (messages from God come in so many different ways) and then follow directions. Just following Jesus is pretty easy. He leads the way, and clears the path, and lights the way. There is no stress….just do what He has for me to do today. Tomorrow the sun will come up, and the day will begin, and if I start it out seeking His direction for my day, then I cannot go wrong. I must watch the path closely, it is so easy to step off it and go face first into the mud…or a snow bank, as the case may be.

I love babies, they are so special! Have you ever watched the anticipation of a Grandma or Grandpa trying to get a baby to smile? Over and over they smile and coax and once that little one breaks forth in a smile, those Grandparents exhibit such satisfaction….and Joy….

I think we have to think of Jesus that way….He has the answer, and he will not give up on us. He will keep trying until we “smile”. and His joy is great, because we have accomplished what He wanted FOR us. It is AWESOME to have a GOD who loves us so much, and only wants the BEST for US!

You heard about the little girl who was walking home from school, and a storm came. Lightning was flashing all around…Her Mother, came looking for the little girl to drive her home so she wouldn’t be afraid….but when Mom found her, she saw her daughter look up and smile and continue on her way, seemingly unafraid.
Once Mom got her daughter safely into the car she asked why she had been looking up in the sky and smiling…and wasn’t she afraid of the storm?

The little girl looked at her Mom….and said of course I wasn’t afraid….The light would flash and I knew God was taking my picture so I smiled for Him!

Blessings to you all in the Mighty Name of Jesus! Let God make you SMILE!

Prayyior

Advertisements

I woke up Angry this morning….perhaps because I was angry last night when I went to bed, or perhaps because I have been angry for days.

There is a litany of reasons why I could be and am angry, but today, it is over a fund that many people gave to and was created to help the people of the Minot area who were flooded out.

It now appears that those who are managing this fund have determined the only people eligible to receive any of it have to be homeOWNERS. No renters will receive a penny. To top that is the fact that ONLY those homeowners who are rebuilding and have receipts for what they have done will be allowed to receive any of the funds.

There is certainly a need for pre-screening of those receiving any of the funds from this program, because we are all aware of those who want to scam the system, that want to get something for nothing, and don’t care who they are hurting in the process. Those would be the people who see themselves as victims and figure in their own minds, that there is money there, all I have to do to get some is say this or say that.

Now it would seem in most of our minds that 6 million dollars is a lot of money! It most assuredly is. If there were only 6 people injured by the flood, each would get a million…If there were 12 then the amount anyone would receive would be cut in half…and if there 24 then it would be cut by another ¼. Each group that gets funds from that fund, reduces the amount any one person would get if all things are equitable.

Now when you consider the number of homes damaged, the number of renters that had to move, and the number of people who are paying exorbitant amounts of rent just for a place to live, it is horrendous.

If you are the decider of who gets what, every time you eliminate one group from the mix the group that is left gets more. Most people sit by and complain but do nothing when they see injustice happening.

I can tell you that injustice is happening in the Minot Community right now. Everyone was asked to fill out a form detailing how they were affected by the Flood of 2011. The information in those forms is probably the most comprehensive study of how a community is affected by a tragedy of this magnitude, ever compiled.

I was not involved in determining how to give out the money that was donated. I am sure there were many good people who did their best to determine how to give the funds out. I am not sure when it changed from how can we best help the people who were flooded out, to how can we best help our community.

I would expect there was some serious soul-searching in making the decision as to how to distribute, but I think there had to also have been some other serious concerns. Perhaps the questions asked was not “who was hurt the most?” But what can we do with these funds that will assure the status quo. Perhaps the first decision was….Well lets not give it to the renters…they may take their money and leave the area. What if we lose more of our work base? We already have a problem with finding workers for the local businesses. If we give them money they just may pack up and move out of the area. Then who will work for the lowest wages?

Then I suspect they said…Well, what about those who got their campers and Mobile homes out of their parking places before the waters came….They spent a bundle to do that, they found no place to put those homes that were moved, yet…they lost nothing! REALLY????? REALLY???? Because they got their camper or Mobile home out, because they did everything they could to protect their property (this is being responsible) they did not qualify for ANY funds from FEMA , and they have no place to live either. They ended up with friends and relatives or in a place that had no water, sewer, electric or gas. This was the group that thought they were doing things right, and in the end it cost them dearly.

The choice to exclude renters from the funds is what makes me the most angry…..I can tell you that had people known what was going to happen with these funds, there would have been nowhere near 6 million dollars to distribute. If people knew that the “little family in the crappy rental” wouldn’t get any of the funds, they would not have given. I have never heard such underground rumbling about anything like I have about this.. First they explode in anger that it isn’t being distributed to those who they know really need the help, (this is not to say that homeowners don’t need help, because they certainly do). The perception of this is that never again will I give to any of these organizations that say they are going to do one thing and then turn around and exclude some of the people who need it so much. In the future, if I ever give to a needy cause it will be given directly to the people who need it, and it will be cash.

In the first days after people started getting back into their homes, there was someone out passing out envelopes with cash in them. It was a gift. It was hope. It was not given to protect some theory of how to save the city. It was a true gift, even though in the grand scheme of things it didn’t do much more than give a few people money for gas, money for food, money for one night in a motel….but it was received with gratitude, and could be used for whatever that person wanted.

Now we have only homeowners that get funds. No help for the renters, no help for those who had to move out of the area because of allergies, no place to live, no jobs. Many jobs were wiped out in the flood too, and those employees had no way to care for themselves except to get in their cars (if they had one) and find another place in another city to live and to work.

So….What to do about it? Is that a question? How does one fix something they have no vote in and no say in? Does it do any good to complain? Probably not. Is it worth fighting for those people? They are saying out of the 6 million that each homeowner that fixes their house and can provide receipts, can get up to two thousand dollars. First you have to fix…then you get some back. What about the people who are waiting until spring to rebuild, because they are quite aware of the fullness of the Canadian Dams, and the inability of the Corp to manage the river flow to prevent flooding. Will there still be funds available in the spring for them?

It is true that those who are not making house payments and living in a fema trailer in FEMAVILLE, probably have the best shot at getting ahead. Think about it. They were in a rental, now they are in free housing. If they set aside the amount they were paying for rent for the period of time they are in that FEMA trailer, they will have a nice little nest egg, to buy something…..when there is something to buy. They will have enough for a down payment on a house….(ie were renting for $1500.00 per month, stay in FEMA trailer for 12 Months…save the $1500. Per month at the end of the year they have $15,000. In Cash) If they are wise, they will come through this OK…Others who are renting on the open market are not as likely to be able to save anything because they are spending money on rent.

In this world nothing is really equal. People don’t receive equally, nor do they give equally.

This is Thanksgiving Week….We need to focus on what we are thankful for….I am thankful for so very many who cared about this little burg called Minot and the surrounding areas. I am thankful for the Salvation Army and Red Cross and First Pres, and others who provided food for thousands of meals, who brought food to the work sites, and for shelters for so many. I am Thankful for Josh who did so much to raise money for this area, I am thankful many days of warm weather so things could get done. I am thankful this flood did not come in the middle of winter. I am thankful that everyone got out alive, even though many have found it a hopeless situation and cashed in their chips so to speak. I am thankful for people who have gathered sheetrock and coats, and have taken names from the angel tree to help those less fortunate. I am thankful for FEMA and their trailers that are housing so many. I am thankful that the workers who have come to work are cheerful and begrudging the work they are doing. I am thankful that the internet is available so people can touch base with others. I am thankful for family and friends and for food and hope.

I am thankful to God for never leaving us…for providing all that we need. The injustices of the world and this situation, make me angry, but I know the “experts” tell us that is all part of the healing process. So I will work through my anger, and look to God for continued hope in every circumstance and Praise Him in the midst of my anger, and ask…..What is it Lord, you have for me to do today?….

We will move forward….one day at a time…sometimes just an hour at a time…but we will continue to look to the needs of others, and look less at ourselves. When we see the smile on their face, and the peace that comes one minute at a time into their lives, and the hope that can be given and the encouragement that so many offer. Those are the things we have to look to. Those are the things that make life worth living. So for today, and tomorrow, let us find JOY in helping others, and in providing hope, and in loving, and doing what we can to help each other through this process.

Yes, we will survive this, we will succeed and we will go on! Yes, this week I will truly start looking for those things I am thankful for….I hope you will too!