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Trophies of His Grace
It's Just Stuff - by Christy Nixon
I was asked to speak at CBS-Colorado Springs on September 05, 2012. This began my journey down memory lane of this summer, the summer we lost our home in the Waldo Canyon Fire.
How many of you believe the Lord talks to us every single day, in all we do, he is there guiding us, prompting us, warning us… providing a heads up… if you will?
Well… I do!
Three weeks before the Waldo Canyon Fire, the Lord gave me a dream…a heads up… he showed me that me and my family were evacuated and our home burned to the ground. I pondered this for a few days, trying to think of a way to bring THIS up to my husband. Finally I had the words… as I spoke to my husband about this dream, you can imagine the look on his face considering there wasn’t even a fire in Colorado at the time. I tried to talk with him about a plan…he brushed me off! A few hours later, I tried again, he brushed me off…then, while we were driving and he couldn’t get away, I brought it up for the third time!
Tom, I said, this wasn’t a dream, I felt like it was a warning…a heads up! We need to plan for this. After discussing it a while, we decided that the only thing that mattered was the safety of our family, Tom, our son Colton, myself and of course our precious little Papillion Rocket! Nothing else mattered, it was just stuff!
On Saturday June 23rd, we were away for the weekend enjoying the beautiful Colorado Mountains when suddenly both our phones starting ringing…concerned family, friends and coworkers were calling to warn us of a wildfire that was racing toward our neighborhood…they called to see if we were all right, what they could do to help and when they heard we were out of town…they offered to go and retrieve anything we wanted.
You can only imagine the look on our faces, but then, why were we surprised? The Lord had given me/us a heads up. As we discussed what to do… should we race back, try to beat the fire and save something… do we say “YES” to a family member or friend and have them risk everything… just to save our STUFF, we remembered my dream, the Lord’s heads up… and our conversation. TOM, COLTON, ME AND ROCKET WERE SAFE…NOTHING ELSE MATTERED! WE STAYED IN THE MOUNTAINS!!!
The next morning as we returned home, we were surprised our neighborhood was still standing, we were able to get home…hmmmmm …what’s up with the dream GOD??? The next day was business as usual, we both went to work and our son resumed his normal routine as well.
Tuesday morning, things were looking a little iffy…but the fire fighters were able to save Cedar Heights (a neighboring housing development) so we shouldn’t worry, right… what’s up with the dream GOD???
Tuesday, late afternoon, we are evacuated! As we ran through the house in the last minutes, it was difficult to grab STUFF, my son later said he felt like if he left his STUFF he would have a home to return to, in a funny way, Tom and I felt the same. It’s interesting how when you are faced with this reality what you think and what you do, I felt as though the Lord was holding my hands back saying let it go…I WILL GIVE YOU NEW STUFF!
I was so proud of my family, checking on neighbors, helping load their cars, my son knocking on doors quickly, and as we left the neighborhood, making sure no one was left behind as the fire started to consume the homes around us.
I’m not kidding … the heat was intense, the wind and the debris flying through the air as we drove through crazy traffic was intense, our emotions were intense as we realized our new reality …we were not going home!!!
IN ALL THINGS GIVE PRAISE TO THE LORD! THE WORD PRAISE IS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE ABOUT 190 TIME… MUST BE IMPORTANT! The evening on June 26th as I watched my home burn to the ground on national TV, I wondered how I would do this, how do I give praise to the LORD, how do I be a strong Christian wife to my husband, how can I be a strong role model to my son… when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry?
Fire, it is an all consuming thing with a life of its own, I watched mesmerized by the inferno that was once my home, full of memories, 28 years of marriage, 14 ½ years of parenthood, my stuff, all of our stuff, completely engulf in the most intense hideous fire I had ever seen.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
THE ENEMY WAS BUSY!
Alaska, our next big decision. We had a vacation planned with extended family scheduled to leave 3 days later…do we go or do we stay? WE WENT… I highly recommend a vacation in the midst of tragedy. Alaska was beautiful, fun, very relaxing…AND… no smoke! It was nice to get away for 10 days and enjoy something different… loving on a sled dog puppy is truly healing to the soul…so healing in fact that we had to keep a close eye on our son…didn’t want him to “FORGET” to give one back.
During this trip, I had another visit from the Lord, once again in the form of a dream. I dreamt I was in severe pain, so much so, that I couldn’t sit still; I was pacing in my dream. He reminded me of the power of my words and to speak blessings in my circumstance, to seek HIM in all I do, to stand on my rock of faith ready to receive what He has for me, for us! He reminded me that faith is believing past my 5 senses, then, He came to me, put His hand on my hip…gave me a love pat and asked “Are you alright honey”…can you believe that, He called me honey!!! After a moment I looked at Him and said “Yes, I will be”!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
While in Alaska, we took a trip to a Glacier, as we walked back down through the narrow path I wondered, if I could look backwards in the spirit, would I see the Lord’s footprints…beside us or alone, carrying all of us because we were getting through this…only because of HIM!
When we returned from vacation, it was business as usual again, with the added job of dealing with the insurance company and the whole “your house burned down thing”. But, I didn’t need to worry; I spoke blessings and watch for HIS light on my path…
Lucky my friend Mary was watching that light as well. While we were on vacation, she went driving in a neighborhood looking for a home for us to rent when we returned. To quote Emeril, “BAM”, we had a house, the current owner wanted to stay 1-2 months longer…”BAM” she was out in two weeks…right when we needed it. We asked if she would consider recarpeting the home…no, she said she was tapped financial and couldn’t do that. Two weeks came and it was time to move in, she was out, but called saying she couldn’t give us the keys just yet…”BAM” she decided to recarpet. I guess we could wait a couple more days!
After we had returned, our neighbor called, she had decided not to rebuild and gave us first opportunity to purchase her lot, something my husband was hoping for. In the days leading up to our meeting to discuss the terms, he fretted so much about it, finally he asked why I wasn’t nervous, I said I had given it to the Lord and am standing on my rock of faith.
Soon it became a game with me and the Lord, me doing the “Seek and Find” and announcement to my family of all He is blessing us with. Waived fee’s at the airport, special gifts from strangers on vacation, support from family, friends, churches, and various non-profits.
In a fire that was so hot and intense where virtually nothing survived…my son found his Precious Moments Nativity Set, something he said he wished he would have grabbed, something found in the rubble by his football coaches who showed up at the house to support him and dig through his ashes in hope of making him smile!
While two strong prayer warriors walked my burned down lot, asking, seeking and lifting my family in prayer, they called me immediately with this scripture…
Isaiah 61:3 to those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of Joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they might be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
How do I be a Christian wife to my husband, how to I be a good role model to my son, when all I still want to do is curl up in a ball and cry?
1. Have faith that surpasses my 5 senses
2. Stay out of God’s way
3. Remember I only have to face one day at a time!