I sat up in bed on Wednesday morning a few minutes before the alarm. Aiden was sleeping next to me. I walked into the bathroom and the floor was soaked.
It took a moment to sink in.
The toilet had clogged somehow during the night (it was clear when I went to sleep) and ran all night. I jogged down the stairs to find Aiden’s carpet soaked and water leaking from his ceiling and the ceiling of the bathroom directly under ours. On the entry level, part of the ceiling had fallen down in our dining room and kitchen.
I called our insurance agency and they sent out a Fire and Water Restoration company. For the last two days, we’ve attempted to live around the noise of multiple industrial fans working to dry out the wood and prepare for the reconstruction.
They estimated $70,000 in damage.
The experience so far has given me an appreciation for people living in areas where stuff like tornadoes and floods happen more often. There’s a numbness to disaster, an autopilot that kicks in when you realize that a problem needs to be handled.
We’ve been blessed to deal with professionals every step of the way, from insurance company to construction guys.
As I’m typing this, the fans blast around me and a few lessons have emerged.
–The small stuff matters. At what point in the night did the volume of water get high enough to creep into the walls? The level rose gradually until it expanded and started doing damage. As a family, we’ve put things off with the excuse of fear, exhaustion, or lack of money/time/resource, etc. Those deferred desires and callings build until they start doing damage and impacting your lives as parents and spouses. Cut off problems when they start before they overflow and the structure you built falls apart.
–A crew is vital. Within an hour of reporting the damage, we had help at our door. In isolation, we’d still be lost. Reaching out is sometimes the hardest thing to do, yet it is a key to success. Build a team, consult with professionals, work problems together. If you don’t know, find someone who does. Trusted experts are keys to rebuilding and starting fresh.
–Take inventory. I am a huge fan of this in all parts of life. In the midst of disaster, we must take inventory. The claims adjuster gave me a form to report losses of property. It is an awkward feeling to assign value to your departed stuff, yet it shouldn’t take destruction to make it happen. Take time to determine what really matters and how much it is worth.
–Have an insurance policy. We’re looking at a small deductible but, after that, all other costs will be paid. Do you know where to turn in the midst of a crisis? Where do you find hope? As followers of Jesus, we know the instruction from Peter in the bible when he tells us to have an answer ready when people question our hope. Tonight I know this fix is out of my hands and it is a good feeling, faith and investment now for the issues to come.
We made it through this alive, safe, and able to sleep here at night. I couldn’t ask for much more as I restart the work on this book and preparation for publication in 2016. If you haven’t yet, feel free to follow me on here or through your email.
The ride only gets better