As I'm sure you've heard by now, my hometown of Rockport, Texas has been completely devastated by a horrific category four hurricane. Rockport was at the eye of the storm at landfall and Hurrican Harvey still carries widespread and deep devastation as it moves up through Texas.
Now, first things first, my entire family, maternal, paternal, in-laws, you name it, are all safe after evacuating Thursday night/Friday morning. We are so thankful that we were not stubborn about staying and were loaned a reliable vehicle to take us far away from the wind and rain and destruction.
As many of you have held your breath watching these events unfold for our family, you found out that we, like the majority of our town, lost our home. My home was located on the bay that the eye passed over and was torn to shreds by wind, rain, and debris. Nine tornadoes went through our neighborhood and took every casualty they could. A beautiful thing that we learned this afternoon is that even though there are only two windows remaining on our house, even though the neighbor's roof from four houses down was slammed into the north side of our home, EVEN THOUGH we only had a few holes in our roof that caused the ceiling to collapse - one of the two windows that didn't break was my girl's bedroom window and the wind whipping through the house slammed their door shut leaving their room with minimal damage. For my family to walk out of this with clothes on our children's backs is a blessing and miracle that I won't soon forget.
Unfortunately, my family is not alone in this.
Countless families I know and love are on their way home. (I have to stop a moment as I type that, because in the past 48 hours that word "home" has changed so drastically for the residents of Rockport) What they will find is trees that are over 100 years old in their living room. Debris piled up everywhere they look. Boats on rooftops and in the middle of the street. The roadways are a maze of downed oaks, glass, fences and power lines. Homes and small businesses are leveled. We are expected to be without power or water for at least 4-6 weeks. And after that the process of rebuilding can begin. It seems like a lifetime away for so many.
Along with this extreme heartbreak we've endured the last 48 hours, we've experienced great love and blessing. From having a free place to stay for me and the girls while my husband (along with many of our friends) returns to Rockport in an effort to start clean up, to receiving monetary blessings from friends and strangers to support us and the families who are now unable to work. I've heard your heart's desire to help so I wanted to share some ways for you to help.
Chamber of Commerce GoFundMe
Rockport Farms Rebuild
Please Search Go Fund Me's Website for the tag "Harvey" and "Hurricane Harvey" to find relief efforts for Port Aransas, Houston, and other Texas Coastal communities.
We are unsure what navigating this level of grief and change looks like, but I do know that our community is enthusiastic about rebuilding. It is a beautiful opportunity to watch God's hand at work through His people. I'm sure more specific needs will come in the weeks and months ahead, and I'm very well aware that this storm is leaving so many of us with so little and we are unsure when it's reign of wreckage will be over. Asking any of you for your consideration, prayers, and resources seems so selfish. The world is a hurting place, the hardships that face mankind are far-reaching and innumerable. But I do know that we tend to want to help the people we've made a connection with, so I won't deny any desire to help my community!
With limited access to email and cell service, I do welcome any questions you may have. If I don't have the answer, I'll try to point you in the direction of someone who does.
I have always been so proud of what amazing people you all are.
I am so sorry to say that all sessions and mentoring/portfolio reviews are postponed until further notice. I promise that all of your time with me will come eventually, but I have no way of knowing what that looks like right now and am so grateful for your patience and understanding at this time.
I will leave you with some words from a very wise friend, Shane Sampson
"When you see a place and people that you love left in ruin it's horrifying. Fear can grip and hold you. Angst builds and anger seems to be the default. I have never seen anything like what I saw yesterday in Rockport. But I have hope!
If you have hope in Jesus my encouragement to you is to share in that hope. Where ever you are, provide comfort for the discomforted. Hug people even strangers, hold them like HE holds us. Be a strength for people who have none. I'm praying needs are met, food, water, shelter, finances... whatever! I'm praying for moments when there is laughter and breaking bread with different people. Times went people are lifted above things and relationships are celebrated above situations and circumstances.
People of need please drop any pride and share your needs with the people who love you. Maybe even a strangers who ask?!? It's not easy but everyone needs help and now more than ever people will be around to deliver hope! Don't let that be stolen from you or them because of fear and perception.
Trust me when I say this is not the end of Rockport! The Rockport community is tough and will work through this together. They will help each other and the many visitors that come will come and serve this community."