Surviving Sandy

I live in New Jersey. There. I’ve said it. We’ve lived here for over eight years, yet I’m still reluctant to admit it. I love it here, but Friends and Seinfeld are so much more appealing than The Sopranos, Jersey Shore or Real Housewives, and Manhattan is only twenty minutes away. Regardless, it’s time to come clean. I’m a Jersey Girl and we’ve had an eventful week, to say the least.

Praise God — my family is fine! We have been without power since Monday and without phone or reliable cell service since Tuesday morning. I am not complaining. In fact, I’m rejoicing and feeling a smidge guilty since so many of our friends and neighbors have suffered so much worse at the hands of Hurricane Sandy.

Personally, we had no flooding and no damage to our house. We lost some branches, but nothing was broken and our water still runs. We have a gas stovetop, so we can still cook. We have a wood-burning fireplace, and thanks to a rather mild winter last year, plenty of leftover wood to fill it, so we’re not too cold. We have no heat, electricity or internet, but we have clean water, even hot water if we want it. (Our water heater is also fueled by gas.) All in all, we are exceedingly blessed.

Almost too blessed.

Living like pioneers provides an adventurous challenge. I’ve thanked God more than once this week for my experience living in a third world country. It’s made our trials bearable and even — dare I say it? — a little fun. I have to smile at the stories my kids will be able to tell their kids about the tortures of their childhood. As the temperatures dropped and the novelty wore off, we decided to make a move.

Right now we are in Pennsylvania. My husband and I need to work, and we need the internet to do that. We drove nearly two hours to get gas (I’m sure you’ve seen coverage on TV.) and to stay with family members that never lost power. The drive here was … surreal. It felt very War of the Worlds-ish with mile-long lines for gas stations, flooding and debris everywhere. Without power, we spent our week safely tucked in our cozy haven, clueless of how bad things really were. Last night we watched the news and reel after reel online, stunned by the damage, overwhelmed by the destruction of places we know so well.

THANK YOU for your prayers! Please keep sending them. We are exceedingly fortunate. Many, many of our friends and neighbors continue to suffer from far worse conditions. We have no idea when our power will return nor when the kids will go back to school or my husband back to his office. (His building is on the water and currently flooded; the trains he uses to commute are shut down.) What we do know is that God is great and we are His.

We know that our help comes from Him and that the prayers of the faithful are powerful.

So, please keep praying. Pray that power will be restored, that water will subside, that illnesses and pollution will be minimal, that fuel will multiply, that insurance companies will be fair, that all these events will turn people’s hearts toward God.

“The Lord strengthens and protects me;
I trust in Him will all my heart.
I am rescued and my heart is full of joy;
I will sing to Him in gratitude.”
— Psalm 28:7

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