Shelter

My husband and I still laugh about it, so don’t spend too much time feeling bad for me or pondering my foolishness. When Utah had a 5.7 earthquake in March 2020, it “shook” me to the core. I am still not sure about all the reasons it had such a profound effect on me (I was not injured and our house had little more damage than things falling off shelves and walls) but something about being home alone in my perceived “safety zone” (as we had also been placed in a voluntary “stay home stay safe” order from the governor due to the pandemic) and being rattled and rolled while the earth roared in my ear was simply terrifying.

I forgot what I was supposed to do in the event of an earthquake. I forgot after having led earthquake drills year after year for 26 years of teaching. I felt a huge sense of loss of control over not being able to remember. It haunted me. It kept me awake for nights. It caused me to stop and listen at every unusual sound or movement. Once the shaking stopped and I stopped shaking, I immediately formed a plan for what I would do in the event of another earthquake.

The day after the initial incident, I was standing in our living room talking to my husband who was sitting on the couch. Suddenly we were hit with a 4.5 aftershock. My husband laughs later that, “One minute you were there and then you were gone.” I dived. Yes, dived under the kitchen table and held on to the table legs for dear life until it was over and for some minutes afterwards. I looked up to see my husband peering down at me on the floor gripping the legs as if they were heavy ropes keeping me tethered from falling off the edge of a cliff. When I stood up, both knees were bleeding from scrapes I incurred during my daring dive. Like I said, we both laugh about it now. I must have looked pretty funny.

I remain comforted I have a plan in case I am in the same situation again. I was glad to know there was an available shelter under my kitchen table. It made me feel secure to remember this refuge was here if I was near and needed it. However, a few days later, I realized that the only true plan for safety was to seek the eternal shelter and refuge found in my heavenly Father. No matter how well I prepare-placing myself in the shadow of His wings is my true safety. I did not do it right away on the day of the earthquake or in subsequent days, but I am growing in my all-encompassing plan to trust God as my ultimate shelter.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1

For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. Psalm 63:7

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