They're in their rental home and doing as well as expected. The kids are all back in school (they were the very next day) and have settled right back into their routine.
Things here on our street have been moving along too. The trees have been cut down. The house has been knocked down. The debris has been carted away. But the memories...they're as fresh as the day the fire burned.
That Tuesday night, after the activity of the day had settled some and the sun was down, it was time to tuck my kids into bed. It took awhile to convince Zoe that our smoke detecters weren't going to go off once she was asleep. But eventually, she let me leave her bedroom and she went right to sleep.
Me? Not so much.
I was terrified to lay still and close my eyes. I can't explain the feeling. It was partly panic. Partly fear. And then there was my mind racing through the "What if...?" situations. Shane helped calm me down and assured me that we did, indeed, have a fire plan. He humored my various scenarios with answers and eventually, after a good long prayer, I fell asleep. I woke with every little sound. I didn't sleep longer than an hour at a time. But I slept. Each time I awoke, I prayed myself back to sleep.
Even now, almost 5 weeks later, I have a hard time going to sleep most nights. Me: the mother of triplets that hasn't had a good night's sleep since I was 3 months pregnant! Me: the girl that usually can barely even find her pillow before she's asleep. It has gotten easier with time. But there are nights that I still struggle with sleep (aside from the problem my kids give me).
In God's timing, the bible study I'm doing (Beth Moore's "Esther") focused on fear the week of the fire. Esther 4:11-17. Esther had a choice...she faced her fear...and she took the courage she was offered. One of the points Beth Moore made (and I'm paraphrasing) was that's it's not good enough to trust something WON'T happen. Because first, the enemy will keep threatening us with it. And second, if it does happen, there's no trust left. She had us imagine our worst nightmare...and had us fill in the following blank:
IF ___________, THEN __________!
If something happens in the middle of the night, then I'll get scared....then I'll react...then I'll...then I'll...then...then...then...
Ultimately, the "then" statement comes down to, "...then my God will take care of me!" So now, whenever I close my eyes to go to bed and my mind starts running through the events of that Tuesday morning in March, I take the courage I'm offered...that God will take care of me. I refuse to let those fears take hold.
Amazingly, I've found that lesson helping me all the time...any time I'm starting to stress (no, I'm not perfect...there are still times that the worries get to me.
"God will take care of me!"
Just yesterday, I was coming home and I noticed something as I drove past the empty lot across the street.
There, in the midst of nothing, is the first (of hopefully many more) yellow tulip of the spring. That perfect little bloom has no idea of the chaos that happened as it was coming up through the ground (yes, I know flowers don't really think...save the emails!) It's amazing how God works, isn't it? God took care of that flower...and through it, reminded me again...He'll take care of me, too!