While away with friends one day, I received a call from a neighbor that my home was on fire and eight fire trucks were in front of the house.
My husband Charles and I immediately jumped in our car and rushed back to Houston, Texas. When we arrived, we were not allowed inside. Our neighbors had been evacuated from their homes for safety. The firemen continued spraying down what was left of our house to make sure there were no hot spots.
Sadly, our beautiful townhome had been gutted by fire. We lost practically everything. In the mid-1980s our home was featured in the Lifestyle section of our local paper, showcased as remodeled by a famous Houston architect and decorator. Now it was featured as being totally destroyed.
Charles and I were in shock for quite a while. Being longtime Unity students, we never had a process of asking “Why me, God?” We both understood that life just happens, and our choice was to transform this devastation into something good. We saw all of our earthly possessions in a pile of rubble, yet we still had our faith, our friends, our church, and God to rely on. We had to take time to heal in our own way, and we asked God to see us through this.
We set aside our grief to find the blessings in the situation. The first blessing: No other home was affected and everyone was safe. The second blessing came in the form of a dead car battery. Our longtime housekeeper stayed in our home whenever we were away. The night of the fire, Sandra planned to drive over that afternoon, but when she got in her car, the battery was dead, and she wasn’t able to house-sit. Had she been in our home, there was a great possibility she would have perished in this disaster.
Another neighbor who lived two doors down from us had recently purchased a home in New Mexico. I called her the day after the fire, and in my typical bold style, jokingly told her we needed to live in her house for the next year while our home was being rebuilt. Mimi just laughed at me, and we ended our conversation. A few hours later, Mimi and her husband called me back and said they thought it would be a great idea, as they now had two mortgages and it would help them out. We sealed the deal and five days later moved into a beautifully furnished home. Fourteen months after that, we moved into our new home.
Losing everything can cause devastation in a relationship, but Charles and I remained committed to each other. Love led us through.
Our dear friend and Unity minister Rev. Janie Paulson used to say, “We see prosperity and giving as heaped up, pressed down, and overflowing.” We feel as though God has rewarded us with blessings that are heaped up, pressed down, and truly overflowing with love and joy. We did not draw the fire to us because of subconscious thought. We drew recovery and celebration to us because of our faith.