By: Erin Waters
Trust is one thing that has always been hard for me. I am anxious and worried. I want to control everything. I always have a backup plan and another back up plan. Before we moved to Kansas we lived in coastal North Carolina. We bought a house more inland because we naively thought it would get less damage should there be a hurricane. I felt as though I had done my research and we were making a great choice. My husband was in the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Lejeune.
We assumed we’d live there awhile and we were tired of living on base and renting. We had 2 kids in that house and then our plans changed. Fast forward a few years- we have to sell our house or put it up for rent with little notice and move to Overland Park, Kansas where my husband was starting work. We had made a good friend while we were there in NC who was a property manager so we decided to keep our home as a rental. I did my due diligence and made sure we had good insurance coverage and we got tenants right away. The kids and I stayed in the house until they moved in. Meanwhile, my husband started working in KS living with his father until we could shop for our new home.
Fast forward a year later, hurricane Florence aka “Flo” microbursts put holes in our roof and water damaged the entire house. Our poor tenants lost everything and had to move in with family. Our water soaked house took a year to repair due to the extensive damages throughout the area and limited contractors available to complete repairs.
Exactly a year after it was redone, hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas as a cat 5, and we knew it was coming for our dear neighborhood in coastal NC. The problem was – because our house was vacant – we would not be able to receive our loss of use benefit from insurance should we have to make a new claim. With a major hurricane approaching, no one was looking to move. I started to bite my nails as Dorian climbed the coast. The day it was nearing my neighborhood I thought, I need to Trust that the Lord will take care of us. He always has. Surely he will have mercy on us if I ask. I didn’t just ask, I begged. I said the Divine Mercy Chaplet (DMC) again and again and the Memorare on and off all day long. My husband was out of town for work and I remember saying it in the car on my way to get the kids. After I put them to bed I continued to pray it. Dorian was a cat 3 and inching closer to our neighborhood. I went to bed, and could hardly go to sleep. The eye of the storm was going to pass our area around 12 AM. The highest winds would hit our area at the same time as the eye passed us. I woke up at 12AM and immediately starting praying the DMC.
I turned on my hurricane app and Dorian decreased to a cat 2 literally right as it was passing us! I was in shock- was this real?! I was so grateful and I had more hope and trust that everything would be okay. I know my house is just a house, just property- but I also have elderly neighbors I worry about and also close friends too. I prayed for mercy on all of us. Many are military with no family to help or stay with. Many had literally just got our homes repaired after a stressful year. In the morning I checked our Facebook neighborhood page. No one had holes in their roof or water leaking inside their houses. I had a neighbor do a check of our house and it was immaculate other than a tree leaning sideways. Everyone even had electricity. Within miles from us there was flooding, tornadoes, fires, and destruction. I looked back at the app to see the history of the hurricane path and Dorian hit just north of us as a cat 4.
When Flo was coming for us, I did not pray- my reaction was panic and hopelessness. During the bombing at Hiroshima, 4 Jesuit priests saying the rosary were protected and spared from radiation. Just like the Jesuits, I prayed and He spared us. My trust has been magnified after our neighborhood was spared during Dorian. It’s still very hard for me to let go and let God but at some point you have to.
If you have a serious intention and pressed for time, if not the rosary – consider trying the DMC or Memorare. I like the Memorare because it requires such little concentration. I have trouble focusing with my kids asking me questions. Now they are old enough to pray it with me.
Everyone has hurricanes in their lives. Try leaning on Jesus and the next time a bad storm affects your life. During this pandemic especially, consider praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the dying. It’s a beautiful devotion, spiritual work of mercy, and it doesn’t take too long. My Dad and I said it as my grandma passed.
Jesus told St. Faustina in her diary: “At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this Chaplet as I do my own glory. When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated and His unfathomable mercy envelops the soul” (Diary, 811).
Use this time of social distancing and staying at home to repent, and grow in trust that the Lord is going to take care of us. It’s easier said than done, and that is indeed what trust truly is.
Jesus, I trust in you!