A fire is coming. You’re being evacuated. You only have 20 minutes to grab whatever you can. …What do you take?
It is 4:51 a.m. and I’m still awake. I can’t sleep. I can smell the smoke and the ash in the air, but maybe it’s because I just went outside to get something out of the car. I can smell the fire burning.
Only 15 hours ago I received a text telling me to prepare to evacuate my home at any time. By 5:00 p.m. (three hours later) we were ordered to evacuate our homes as quickly as possible. So, the question still stands… what do you take?
The entire time I was driving home to help my family evacuate I kept asking myself that same question. To my surprise, I could only think of a few things. They were items that, although seemingly pointless to others, were treasures to us. Items we could not replace. We didn’t haul out the flat screen TVs, we didn’t try to load up the couches. Instead, we grabbed the photo albums. We filled boxes and boxes with our albums. We took the wedding dresses. We removed precious paintings/photos from the wall.
And that’s it.
Because when you only have a few minutes to take everything… what do you take? What is most important?
Today I drove away from my home, perhaps seeing it as it is for the last time, with tears streaming down my face. I have always claimed to have grown up in the best place on earth. I consider my home to be a well-kept secret from most, as well as a sanctuary from the world. I drove away today, not just from a building I call my house – but an entire canyon I call my home. My heart is breaking knowing the fire might wipe it all out. However, no matter what happens I feel immensely blessed to have grown up in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
So, there’s a fire coming. You only have 20 minutes to evacuate. What do you take? What is most important?
We already have it. When it comes right down to it, nothing else truly matters. How grateful I am that my family and I are safe and that we have the gospel in our lives. We may never see our home the same way again… but we also might. I believe in miracles. I believe in God. I believe He has a plan for us and He will guide us, as long as we listen.
Come what may, but we will pray. We will not stop praying. We will never stop praying. Prayer is one of the most powerful connections we have with God. So I beg you to pray with us. Pray for the firefighters. Pray for the winds to cease. Pray. Because with hundreds of prayers, we just might see a miracle.
And in the end, if we return to ashes, then we will rebuild. God is on our side.
But we will pray, and we will never stop praying.