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The Flood….



Last week I traveled to New Jersey for work during a rainstorm. By the time I arrived the rain had stopped, so I went to see my brother and have a bite to eat. I checked into my Hotel in Wayne on Sunday around 10:30pm. I had a good night’s sleep, but when I woke up the next day it was raining again.


(the water is rising)

I’m not sure if it started in the middle of the night or what but the rain was coming down hard. If you aren’t familiar with Northern NJ, it floods very easily. Especially in Wayne, Passaic and around Morris County. What would normally be a 20-minute commute took me 2 hours.


(the water is rising)

I complained a little on the phone with wife and my son as I maneuvered through downed trees and closed roads.  I got off work at 6pm and met some friends for dinner. After dinner, on my way in, I noticed some puddles had formed in the parking lot level below the hotel but I didn’t think anything of it. I slept well.


(the water is rising)

As I left out Tuesday morning, I noticed the puddles had turned into full blown flooding in certain areas of the parking lot below the hotel. I had to do some maneuvering, but I was able to get out for work. After work I attended a holiday party. Around 8pm I decided to call the hotel and ask about the conditions of the parking lot surrounding it.

“You can only access the hotel from one entrance”. The manager said frankly.

I was totally distracted by the traffic because half the highway on route 46 was shut down. I missed the entrance. I ended up parking one office complex over from the hotel. I walked about a half mile along the side of the highway into the parking lot at the bottom of the hotel. I had to walk through water just over the sole of my shoe for a couple of feet to get up the hill to the hotel.


(The water is rising)

I woke up the next day and the parking lot below the hotel was completely flooded and the nearby river hadn’t even crested yet. No way in or out. I could’ve stayed there and did nothing all day and lost a day of work. It wasn’t a guarantee I would even get out the next day.  As I sat in the lobby contemplating my next move, I felt so helpless. No I felt useless. I just needed to get to my car that was past the water. I decided to walk through the water, even if my shoes and pants got wet. My corporate office made arrangements for me to change hotels, I just had to get out.  Imagine a solution to a problem or a promise from God being on the other side of a flood...….and to get it all you had to do is walk through the water!!

Just think of the rising flood waters as…financial issues, job loss, grief, health issues, heartbreak, mental health crises, generational trauma…even menopause!!

Imagine financial freedom... All you must do is walk through the water.

Imagine healing trauma…. All you must do is walk through the water.

Imagine therapy for your mental health… All you must do is walk through the water.


I asked the hotel manager for two garbage bags and checked out. I took off my socks and put on my ankle length boots. Just in case my feet got wet at least my socks wouldn’t. I Grabbed my two bags and my briefcase. I headed towards the hill. A fellow guest looked at me and said, “So, you’re going to go for it huh”? I looked up and said, “You know what…I am”. I slowly made my way down the hill. I took a deep breath, and I began to walk through the water. It came up a little over my ankles, so far, my feet were dry from the plastic bags. However, my travel bags almost broke my neck and back. They were so heavy. All the while I’m staring at my feet watching my steps to ensure the water doesn’t go past my ankle, or worse I possibly step on something that would cause me to twist my ankle and fall. It felt like the longest walk ever.


Finally, I looked up and there was my car. I wanted to cry but had no idea why. The hard part was over, but the sight of relief made a tear well up in my eye. I looked around at all the water and just screamed!!

As I drove off, I felt so free. It was like I was safe in the hotel, but had I stayed I would not have got the job done that people were depending on me to do. My work isn’t sitting in the lobby, waiting for the water to recede. My work is past the flood. So, as I give the world my last free blog post I have so many feelings. Fear being the greatest, but I know I can’t sit here. Doubt is a close second whispering you will never make it. BUT I CAN’T SIT HERE.


Don’t sit there…. go and take these things with you.

1. No matter how high up on the hill you build your house…. the flood is coming.  The water is going to rise. And it may not come inside your house and damage all your lovely things, but you can’t just sit there and wait for the water to recede. You’re going to have to walk through it to dry land.

2. Build on solid foundations. Faith can take you farther than the finest granite. When granite cracks faith cradles you. When the water seeps in…faith will keep you afloat.

3. Just because it’s unexpected doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared. Be prepared to walk through the fire. No matter what people say, it’s okay to absolutely look like what you have been through. Teary eyed and smelling like smoke or soaked.

4. Something I always say whenever I post videos is, “Take what you need”. Essentials are essential. Be strong enough to carry what you need for your journey because help may not come.

5. ONE STEP AT A TIME. It never fails.

 

It’s okay to cry at the sight of the finish line. It’s okay to allow your emotions to lead you to dry land. It’s okay to tie plastic bags around your ankles and walk through the flood…because believe me…THE WATER IS RISING. Don’t just sit there. I don't know what's next, but I know I am past the flood.

You coming or not?

Mandy



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