A deep sense of loss. Grief.
We didn’t lose any material possessions in this flood. No one I know personally was killed.
So why am I so sad?
I am grieving. Grieving Nashville.
I think you might be feeling this way too, if you live here. Especially if you lost property, precious photographs, irreplaceable heirlooms, or–and I pray not–loved ones. But even if you “lost” nothing, you may be experiencing complicated emotions ranging from fear to anger to helplessness, along with some survivor’s guilt. I know I have.
We’re grieving. We will have to work through this strange kind of grief, one that is totally foreign to me, personally. This is my first natural disaster. My first time feeling like my entire city has been pulled up by the roots and will never be the same again.
Places in which I made so many memories are now gone. My first house is likely underwater. I may never be able to drive my future kids to see it and tell them all the stories that happened in the first house their Dad and I ever lived in together. The lessons I learned there. The person I became there.
So. I have been angry. Downright furious, especially at the thought of having to return to “business as usual” the day after it stopped raining.
I have been sorrowful. When the pictures of the Opryland Hotel started coming out on the news, I couldn’t shake them. This was the place we walked around several times a year. This was where we always brought our friends and family visiting from out of town. This was where Aaron arranged for us to have our engagement photos taken, without me knowing we were getting engaged later that afternoon. I couldn’t help but break down and let the pent-up tears burst out.
I have felt unsafe. While the rain was pouring down, while I watched the footage of flooded communities, while I heard friends tell how they lost cars and possessions, I felt completely vulnerable. Would we be next? What should we do? Will we be okay?
In the midst of the fear and heart-wrenching sadness, I somehow managed to hold it together. I did what needed to be done. I survived. But I didn’t do it alone. More than ever, my husband proved to be my steady, unshakable companion. My sister kept me in reality and helped me gather water and supplies for our house and neighbors. We made it. The One who “sits enthroned over the flood” (Psalm 29:10) carried us through the storm.
So. What do I do now? God brought me here for such a time as this. We each have a role to play in the days to come. Whatever our new reality looks like, whatever our new city looks like, we each have something to offer. I don’t know what it means for me yet, but I know I am loved and I know I am not alone.