A year ago today, in the middle of the Nashville flood, I wrote these words:
Night is beginning to fall in Nashville. The last vestiges of golden light, a rare commodity in these last two wild days, is beginning to fade. I watch from my window and smile, comforted, oddly, by the sight.
It’s been a crazy couple of days in Nashville. For a girl who grew up in and near the Mississippi River floodplain in Missouri, it never occurred to me that Nashville could flood. I’ve grown up watching river crest levels on the mid-day news, and even though the Cumberland River runs through Nashville and I’ve seen it rise into Riverfront Park before, I never thought I’d see the widespread flooding that happened this weekend.
And even as the rain came down and yards started flooding, I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. Some friends and I had gone to Green Hills Mall to see Tim Gunn and on the way back, drove through some neighborhoods where water was already surrounding houses. A huge, ancient tree had fallen over on a house simply because the ground got so saturated around the roots. I drove through cresting water on Harding Place and Nolensville Road. I got home, sent my friends on to their homes and told them to be careful.I drove through here after this happened.
What I didn’t know is that basically every creek in the area was now a raging river. Mill Creek carried a portable classroom from a Christian school near my house down I-24, which had become a river. The president of my company had left for vacation, but came home when he heard the Harpeth River was flooding his house. My friend Mindy had saturated carpet in her apartment and couldn’t do much to stop it from coming in the patio door. I’ve watched water rescues, talked to friends who tried to get to church and couldn’t get out of their neighborhoods, and stood in my bay windows and begged the sky to stop pouring down rain.
This whole weekend has been surreal. It’s crazy to sit safely inside your warm dry house and watch your city flood on the news on the TV in front of you. To worry about friends you can’t reach because water is over the roads. To know that try as you might, you probably can’t get anywhere either. To remember that homeless family you served food to last weekend and hope beyond hope that they are somewhere safe and dry and not cold, hungry, hurt, or scared. To know that there are people who have lost almost everything they ever thought was important or meaningful this weekend and to hope that they know the peace of a Savior. I have felt utterly helpless, utterly scared, and felt anxiety rising in my chest and lodging in my throat.
I’ve been nervous. I’ve anxiously baked brownies and cooked meals. I’ve texted friends, spent way too much time on Facebook, read Psalms, and prayed aloud. I have admitted that I am scared to a holy God who could handle that fear and can handle this flood.
As night falls and the rain has tapered off, I am scared and anxious about this city, but I’m also peaceful.
God is good, even in the storm. Even in the flood.
And today, as water rises very near my hometown, I’m attempting to remember the truth of those final words.
Because they’re still true.