What’s it Like in Florida During and Post Hurricane Ian?

Good Morning Gorgeous,

It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. A new day to flee into your Papa’s Arms, bury your face in His chest, and let Him take care of your every need.

He can fill you up with peace, security, strength, and every need can be met through Him.

He’s the Rock that you can depend on never giving way.

He’s the steady voice that never abandons ship.

He’s the anchor that holds you still and keeps you from drifting away.

He’s the Only One who can provide for your every. Single. Need. Physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Yesterday, life changed here in Lee County and in the neighboring counties.

We endured the longest hurricane that any of us have ever experienced. We had severe hurricane force winds for at least 8 hours and tropical force winds for longer.

This is our back patio/ pool cage.

The noise was awful and it went on from before daylight to well after dark.

Nia watching the storm.
Our trampoline! It flew onto our roof and then blew away.
Kids passing the time with games. We lost power before 9am.

Many of us have experienced several major hurricanes in our lifetime.

We know how to prepare. We buy all the items. We fill the gas tanks. We cover the windows. Clear our yards. Bring in all the outdoor furniture. BUT we weren’t expecting or prepared for this.

Our town is more than 90% of the residences and businesses without power. There is no running water. Our beaches are leveled. We have two islands that operate as their own cities that have no bridge access in or out meaning residents cannot return to or leave the island. These are normally booming islands with their own schools, businesses, homes, culture, post offices, etc.. and they are now completely destroyed and inaccessible. The bridges that connect them to the mainland have collapsed.

There are no working traffic lights.

Schools are closed.

Gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, all closed

And people are in shock.

And yet, as so much appears lost in the physical realm, there are treasures being stored up in the spiritual realm.

We have lost much, but as we look closer with our spiritual eyes, we can see God weaving true treasure right into the devastation.

I see heavy doses of love being poured out from people to others.

I see friendships growing stronger.

I see a fresh gratitude for breath in our lungs.

I see community coming together.

I see hope and the ability to look to the future for restoration.

I see God everywhere I look!

This morning Chuck started the day putting our back porch back together and preparing it to be a place for us to prepare meals.

First up, coffee on the grill. And as soon as we poured a cup, two precious friends showed up and were so thankful for a fresh cup of coffee too. We boiled water on the grill and then used a small coffee pot to do a “pour over” with the hot water! We prayed together and leaned into Jesus.

Coffee with Miss Paula!

Next, Chuck made breakfast on the grill and served our family and extended family and friends while I went to support a dear friend.

Christy from momstronglife.com and I joined up with one of our close friends to offer support to her as she returned back to her home after evacuating.

We had no idea what we were going to see when we went to her home. Her home is near the river and hurricanes bring floodwaters.

The only way in was through a window because the garage and front door shutters run on electricity which we don’t have. Our friend entered her home by crawling in through her bedroom window and water had entered her home and poured into every single room.

There was hurt, pain, disappointment, and all the stages of grief. And yet. GOD WAS THERE! I felt His Presence. We leaned into Him and let Him lead. It was hard. Traumatic. Devastating. This is her home, and every room had water. But God began to minister Hope. Love. Gratitude. Belonging. And a steady strength that all would be okay.

We spent a few hours there cleaning, taking insurance videos, and speaking with neighbors. The neighbors were wearing life jackets during the storm because the water came in so fast and the news reports were so frightening.

Each person I met was deeply grateful to be alive.

After that, I returned home to cook dinner and people began to show up! It was so beautiful to hear laughter and gratitude as people ate a hot meal and sat on our back porch. The kids were climbing trees in the backyard. The adults were taking a much needed break from hurricane clean up. And everyone was getting a hot meal followed by more grill coffee!

This is where Jesus is found. In the coming together and speaking of His goodness. My praises to Him have been on my lips all day.

As we ate, we thanked God. As we laughed, we thanked God.

As we cried, we thanked God.

As we grieve and sit without proper words, we all continued to just thank Him for how He is working in all things.

I have so so much more to share! More stories. More pictures. More beauty rising up from the ashes!

I know people are hurting deeply, and they need a living Word from God. One that will ease the pain. One that will begin to open their heart to healing. Not a quick, religious answer that dismisses the pain, but a real Living Word.

And what I say today was Romans 8:28 in action. I saw God turning heartache and using it for good. In the moment of heartache and trauma, its hard to see anything good. But as you step back and look through spiritual eyes into the heavenly realm, the good is there. The Lord is there. He is working all things for the good for those who love Him.

As I hugged my friend tightly today, I felt Jesus. As I watched people eat, I felt Jesus. As I saw people thanking God for the breath in their lungs, I saw Jesus. As cars drove by my home and asked if we were okay, I saw Jesus. And in the coming days and weeks, I know He will be everywhere turning heartache to miracles. I don’t understand it, but I am witnessing it.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are so so gooood. I can’t stop praising You. I can’t stop thanking You. I can’t stop sitting here in awe of You. Lord, rebuild our city. Lord, restore hope where it’s been stolen. Lord, restore homes to places of safety. Lord, restore our community. Lord, drive away the fears of the future and replace it with strength to recover. Lord, supernatural provision for restoration of our towns. Lord, a revival of hearts back to faith in You. Lord, open our eyes to the supernatural and give us spiritual eyes to see beyond the losses and grab ahold of every promise in Your Word. Lord, infuse our city with a hunger and a thirst for You and then fill us to overflow. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Blessings and fresh Hope,

Vanessa Lynn

And if you came across this post and you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, may I encourage you that by choosing Him you receive eternal life in heaven, BUT ALSO abundant life NOW. Following Him is the most precious adventure you have ever taken!! All you have to do to get started is to pray and receive Him as Lord. The Bible says to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe with your heart the precious gospel message that Jesus taught. Repent of your sins which means simply to ask Jesus to forgive you and then choose to walk away from them and go in the New Direction that God is calling you to. Confess or speak that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for you, that He was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven. And that you recieve Him as your Lord and Savior. That you are sorry for your sins and you recieve His FULL and complete forgiveness for every wrong you’ve ever committed. And that you are choosing to follow Him now and leave the ways of the world behind for the things of Jesus!!! And if you mean that with your heart, you are saved and set free to live a new life free of sin! The Bible says you are now a brand new creation! Old things have passed away and new things have come!!! The Bible also says that all of heaven rejoices whenever a person is saved!!!! Just imagine the party being held in heaven on your behalf right now!!

9 thoughts on “What’s it Like in Florida During and Post Hurricane Ian?

  1. Thank you for sharing, this brings a real understanding to current circumstances. Praying for you, and that others will have a outlook as yours.

    1. Thank you so so much for your prayers!! Our community needs them. Please pray for continued strength and that homes, schools, and businesses will be restored. 🙂

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