Saturday, September 11, 2010

Isaiah 43:2

What a weekend- and it is only Saturday!!! I have had a very crazy busy week. I was asked by our pastors wife- Mrs. Sherry to be in charge of decorations for the "Rededication Celebration" for First Baptist Church Galveston- and I was thrilled to do it. This week was crunch time- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I was at the church until 10 or 11pm working on my projects- let me just say my time there was small potatoes compared to many of the faces I saw there! It was amazing seeing how many church members all pitched in to reopen our sanctuary 2 years after being devestated by Hurricane Ike. After much prep time- Saturday is here! My day started with my first ever 10k (approx. 6.2 miles) in honor of Galveston's Revitalization since the storm. It was hard- but we finished and I am ready to keep going! 1/2 marathon here I come! Here are some of my favorite girls and I after the race! Abbey was my running buddy today- and a tremendous encouragement! After the race- I went and hung the wreaths on the church doors- I made them and I love them! After that- headed home for a much needed shower and to get all of my family ready to go back to church by 11:30am.
As many of you know- our home was flooded along with most of the island during the storm 2 years ago, but our church was also flooded. Right after the storm, so many got up and working, but we haven't been able to worship in the sanctuary until TODAY- and what a WORSHIP it was! As I sat there watching the slideshow of the storm, damage done, people changed forever from this- I broke down. I remember my mom during the storm and a good bit after saying "You have handled this all so well, Erin" or "I can't believe how well you are taking this". Today- I didn't take it so well, but it was bitter sweet. From an insider of the storm- before, during and after- I am able to see how God is really working around us here on the island! I remember it all like it were yesterday- the smell, the sights, the tears, the help that was there, the damage to us and our things- but God never left us! Ken and I were challenged in so many ways- I was about 4 months pregnant without clean drinking water, living in a hotel, financially struggling with not much left of our things- but we grew closer than ever and saw the generous hearts of so many family and friends. We often joke that we could handle just about anything- we took on a hurricane! I saw a strength (physical and emotional) in him that amazes me to this day.
When I think back on that time I often think of this passage:

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze

Isaiah 43:2
I looked around today and was amazed to see how "packed" the new sanctuary was! We needed all 34 tables that had been set. I decided the easiest decoration would be a fishbowl with a candle and shells in the center. It was great. I also made 6 precious wreaths to go on the front doors. What a great turn out! As Dr. Meador spoke I was moved by so many things he said- the most amazing to me was that before Ike 1st Baptist never met it's goal in "mission donations" and now after Ike we are always over our goal! Isn't that amazing??? I think now that we have been at our lowest- we really see how the help of others saved us!

Great day! The girls were already in the nursery at this time. I love that I can say that Ike really did impact our marriage for the better- we relied on each other and saw what is really important in life. Don't get me wrong- I am still so sad about the lost, furniture, clothes, SHOES, and stuff... but it can all be replaced!

My partners in crime- Lori was in charge of food, me- decorations, and Lindsay- invitations! Our plan really came together!!!

Special friends that all went through Ike! What a testimony we all have!

I heart The Vance's- these two love our girls so much and are always so willing to lend a hand. I cannot say "Thank you" enough to them! We love you guys!!! Thank you for being such great friends to us!

Mrs. Sherry speaking about the 170 year old church.

The service ended with a touching talk from Brother Ray! All in all= a fantastic service! I know God has an amazing plan for First Baptist to seek the welfare of our city! (Jeremiah 29:7)
Happy Sunday,

1 comment:

Katy K. said...

I so wish I were there. The decorations were beautiful. That was so sweet of you to do that for the church. Isaiah 43:2 is our battle cry. I LOVE that verse.