Twelve years ago very good friends of ours gave us a transplant sprout from their Paulowania tree. When it matures, it has beautiful purple flowers when it blooms. Whenever people would come to our home the first question was usually asking what kind of tree was in our yard. The leaves got so big they looked like elephant ears.
We have gone back and forth from the house to see if there were things we could gather and save. Unfortunately, if the fire didn’t damage the item, more than likely the water and smoke damaged it. Every time we went to the house I noticed my plants in the yard and specifically the Dragon tree were all thriving. It really perplexed me! They had just been through this horrific trauma of heat and fire for two-three hours and they are growing like mad! I began to think about what was going on behind the scenes here. My mind kept going to the verse in Colossians 2 about being deeply rooted in Christ. The plants at our house had been there for over tens years. They were certainly deeply grounded here in the yard. It was a great illustration of what Paul meant when he wrote,
“let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you with overflow with thankfulness.”Colossians 2:7 NLT
For the last few weeks I have watched our tree and I have thought about if my roots are firmly rooted in my faith. I found myself getting irritated with people around me. Irritated with our new puppy. Aggravated with life. Maybe my faith isn’t as firmly rooted as it needs to be, or as deeply as I thought it was? Yesterday was the 2 month anniversary of the fire. I’m tired. I’m worn. I want to go home to our house but it’s not there anymore. I want a safe place to be and our home was that place for me. How do I make my way through this journey without my safe place? I think about Cori ten Boom and how she found safety and peace within the walls of the Concentration Camp she was held captive within. Samantha, dig deeper. You can do this. I went back to check on my tree…
Look at all that growth!!! As I shared about the tree with a good friend last night I told her…”look at all that growth!! But I am here to tell you it is painful growth. It’s beautiful and one day the ugliness around it will be gone.” Sometimes the pain in the world is ugly from one perspective but from another advantage point, beautiful things are happening. We don’t always know why ugly things in the world happen. And in reality, would we want to know the why? Could we actually handle the why? Does is matter if we can’t change the circumstances of the why? This is not easy to let go of. I am a control freak naturally. I don’t understand why. I don’t want to be in this nightmare, but I also have no choice. The choice I do have is to remain deeply rooted in my faith. I may not be thankful right away-but I do believe that I will eventually get there.
As far as an update on where things are at– The investigation has officially been closed by the insurance company. They were unable to determine what started the fire. I will be meeting with the company that will begin debris removal later today. Having the house come completely down I think will bring some closure. Kind of like a funeral after the loss of a loved one. I am still heartbroken we did not find Esther’s body but I know she is with us in spirit and will always be with us. Please continue to pray for us. There is still so much to do. I am overwhelmed with all I have to do- many ask what they can do to help and unfortunately I don’t think there’s really anything people can help with. We still have copious amounts of items to write down for the insurance company of items that were in our home. Paperwork that was lost–car titles, passports, etc… all need to be replaced and we have to file for those items. Tim and I still have not found a good system for writing things down and getting them into the computer into the spreadsheet the insurance company gave us. I don’t know how people do this and still have hair on their heads when they’re done. In the meantime, I am going to try and rest my weary body and do what I can do day to day knowing its okay to not be 100% okay right now.