Two years ago, my son and I were visiting my family in Chicago and I got a call from my husband, who was back in San Diego with my daughter, saying, “I tried, but I can’t get back to our house to get any of our things.”
The 2014 SanDiego wildfire was headed straight for our home and Rusty tried to get there and grab a few of our most treasured items, pictures, favorite stuffed animals, paintball memorabilia, anything that cannot be replaced, but our neighborhood was already blocked off before he could get there. When I heard those words I collapsed at the thought of our wedding pictures, the kids’ baby pictures, all of our priceless keepsakes going up in flames and the worst part was that I was 3,000 miles away from my husband and my baby girl.
I cried and prayed and cried and prayed as I was glued to the news and minute by minute map of the location of the fire. For hours, I watched over the internet as the fire crept all the way to our back fence. I watched as the wildfire surrounded three sides of our neighborhood. And, I watched as God put his hands on our home and guarded it from any permanent damage. I watched a miracle happen before my eyes.
Rusty and Carter were “homeless” without any clean clothes or toiletries for 4 days or 5 days, but we have some wonderful friends that took them in, fed and clothed them, and gave them a comfy place to sleep. When they returned they saw that our neighbors on both sides of us had their fences burned down, one of our neighbors car was completely destroyed, and a few neighbors refused to evacuate and actually put out burning grass and bushes with garden hoses. He also learned that the firefighters deemed our neighborhood “un-saveable” so they moved on to a neighborhood that they could actually protect. That is how I know God protected our home, that is how I am sure it was a miracle.
The wildfire took 17 days to fully extinguish and left behind 26,000 acres of charred land, 1 death, 6 injuries, and 65 lost homes and buildings, but all it left behind for us was an overwhelming smell of smoke. The smell was stuck in every single piece of fabric in our home so that meant loads and loads of laundry to wash which someone close to me turned into an amazing life lesson on appreciating God’s hidden blessings.
“Laundry is always a blessing in disguise…smells of spit up or dirt from children in the house, sweat or grease from a husband who works hard to provide, perfumed or sweet scents of fashion or comfortable blessings, and in this case the smoky smell of God’s protection! Enjoy the laundry.”
I cannot thank God enough for all of that laundry.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.