Refocusing after disaster

By now, you've all heard about the storm damage here in Tennessee. The county that I live in was fortunate to survive relatively unscathed. Two weeks ago, another storm took out two trees in our backyard. I have to wonder what would have happened if those trees hadn't already been down.

My prayers go out to all the people who have been effected by this storm. Everyone in the south seems to have either been effected directly or we know someone who was. That's how severe the damage is.

I was talking with a friend of mine who commented how life is now surreal to her. She said she talked with a family member who lost everything. Before going to help she went to her local store to pick up tarps and other items. Her city wasn't caught up in the storm damage. Everyone around her is going on about their business as usual.

My heart broke for her when she told me this. Survivors of disaster, sexual assault and abuse know exactly what she means.

When a disaster strikes your world temporarily crumbles. It feels strange to hear people talk or laugh. You want to run through the room shouting at people to stop it. It's hard to reconcile how people can enjoy life when you are in complete misery.

This is when it's important to remember that the sun rises after night falls. Things will get better a little at a time. We have to remind ourselves that we can rebuild.

After I was sexually assault an online friend shared a tip that had helped her. The suggestion was simple. She told me to take a small piece of paper and write five things on it that made me happy. These could be tangible items or memories. Then, she told me to write down three people that I loved.

My list included Hubby's hugs, my daughters' smiles, the beach, puppy kisses and chocolate. The three people were Hubby and both of my daughters.

The thing was for the list to help me focus on the positive. What surprised me is that it helped! Writing it down was good but just processing the list helped me feel better. I'm not saying that every day was wonderful from there on out. (Far from it!) But, the list did help me focus.

However, this was down the road a little bit from the date of crisis. It's hard to find the time to write something like this when you're in the middle of the worst crisis of your life.

All I can do is offer it as an idea for later. Right now, I am offering my prayers to all who are affected by the storms that swept through the south. Someone told me that the Southern states have rebuilt before and that we will again. I think she was right.

As the rebuilding gets underway my prayer is this:

My God smile upon the survivors, exceed your needs and restore your dreams. Amen.

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