photo by David J. Phillip—AP

photo by David J. Phillip—AP

This past month has come with a big shift in perspective for me. Throughout my life, I have found that most perspective shifts are a gift that I'd often rather not receive. They tend to come through life's most difficult seasons, when the way see everything around us is suddenly distorted by a trial or hardship.

Just a few weeks ago a perspective shift swept across the U.S., especially for those near and dear in Texas. Hurricane Harvey (and now Irma) wrecked the homes, businesses, and lives of so many friends, families, and strangers. But in the midst of chaos and heartbreak, something beautiful began to happen. People all around left behind their petty, everyday concerns to help those whose concerns are so much greater.

I cannot imagine the devastation felt by so many along the coast. Some lost family members, some lost pets, and some lost all of their physical possessions. But despite the widespread loss, every day more stories emerge about people coming together to help each other - strangers who left the comforts of their own homes to go help those in need; people bringing boats to rescue the stranded; neighbors providing food and clothes for those who have none.

What a beautiful picture of Christ. When we were at our most desperate, heartbroken, and helpless, He swept in. He didn't have to save us but chose to because He loves us so much. Jesus laid down his life and sacrificed everything. These stories surrounding Harvey have reminded me that this is what the community Christ intended looks like - total sacrifice for the sake of the helpless.

This blog began after our life group had our own perspective shift. We lost one of our own, Max, this past December. Max not only changed Sam and Spencer but all of us around them as well. Max taught me to focus on the present, to hold tightly to those around me, and even more so to trust that God will carry His children through life's deepest trenches. If I could choose - I would 100% rather have Max here, but I am thankful for the new perspective I have because of his life. 

My husband and I recently moved far from the comfort of our Texas roots to Seattle, Washington. While this move has been a great adventure, it has also brought about a new perspective. As an outsider and newcomer to this community, I have learned the importance of opening your arms to the new folks around you, leaving your comfort zone to develop new friendships, and caring for those who you may not even know.

I have been thinking about the many hurting families who will be relocated because of Hurricane Harvey. Their lives that were comfortable and predictable, instantly became full of unknowns and scary new beginnings. I can only hope that they will be welcomed with opened arms wherever they go; that the God who gives hope would give these hurting families new life and new community.

If you or someone you know are one of the families hurting today because of Hurricane Harvey, our hearts and prayers are with you. Texas Forever.