It’s been a pretty emotional couple of days here in Hawaii.
Saturday morning at 8:08 (which just so happens to be our area code), Hawaii was woken to the Emergency Alert System blasting our cell-phones with a terrifying alert!
Road alerts were flashing the warning. Sirens were blaring. The news announced the bomb threat. Twitter, Facebook…you name it! Everyone: locals, military, and even tourist were spreading the word to run for cover from a nuclear attack headed our way within 15 minutes.
Sounds like a scary movie, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this was the reality on Hawaii on January 13, 2018.
Families all gathered up their children and a few last-minute items of food, water, flashlights, and blankets. All, sitting and praying for our lives in the not-sufficient shelter of their closets and bathrooms.
Phone calls were made to family members saying their last “goodbyes.”
Tears were shed. Panic struck.
Several of my friends were out at the beach miles away from home. Some were separated from their kids while enjoying a sunrise hike. Getting home to shelter in 15 minutes was NOT going to happen. They were not going to be able to comfort their children in this horrific last moments! It’s just heartbreaking.
Some even ran and hid in the sewers because there was nowhere else to go!
38 LONG minutes later, another announcement came out saying the alert was, in fact, sent by error. Error?!?!?!
I think that’s where most people stop reading about this.
They think, “oh, it was just a drill or something. No big deal.” NO! It WASN’T just a drill. The announcement flat-out said, “this is NOT a drill.”
So, yes, “nothing” happened. We may have found a loophole this time. But, that doesn’t lessen the panic and emotion that flooded our island that day (and even still now, a few days after the fact).
Remember the panic we Americans felt on 911? That was how we felt here on the island Saturday morning. In our best knowledge, we were being attacked by a nuclear bomb. A bomb in which we have little chance of surviving. Just saying that, puts chills down my spine. And, that possibility is sadly still out there.
Luckily, I have a strong faith.
But, my heart aches for those who don’t. Those who had to face that day not knowing where they would go in the afterlife. Those who had to face that day alone and unsure.
Church was a little fuller this Sunday (the morning following the scare.) I can’t help but think the two are related. I know the pews were filled with people who have questioned where they would go after death. They were also filled with some who needed to hear God’s love spoken in a time where there was so much doubt and fear surrounding us.
I also can’t help but think, God’s not finished with us yet. He is using this event to draw more people into His loving arms. Sometimes, we need to be woken up a bit to see reality for what it is. We AREN’T promised tomorrow. None of us are.
I feel we got a second chance at life.
As scary as this is, I refuse to let this create fear in my life.
My cousin’s sweet little girl was on the beach shortly after the “all clear” was given. She was clueless as to what was going on. But, there she sat. Smile on her face and innocently singing, “we will not be shaken.” That has become my theme song for this event.
Check it out here:
And, here’s a few lyrics to give you an idea of the powerful words:
For we trust in our God
And through His unfailing love
We will not be shaken
Though the battle rages
We will stand in the fight
Though the armies rise up against us on all sides
We will not be shaken
For in the hour of our darkest day
We will not tremble, we won’t be afraid
Hope is rising like the light of dawn
Our God is for us He has overcome
All those against Him will fall
For our God is stronger
He can do all things
No higher name we can call
For Jesus is greater
We can do all things
The next morning, I woke up to my son standing at attention in his bedroom singing the star-spangled banner to a flag he colored and hung on his wall. Something tells me, he felt the need to show his appreciation for those keeping us safe (his daddy included.)
I think us adults can learn a lot from these little ones.
We can’t let the enemy control us (in any situation.)
We need to stand firm in our faith and our devotion to our country. We need to be “unshaken.” I won’t let this make me feel weak. Quite the opposite. I will use this to make me stronger. I’m not scared of death. I know where I will go (heaven) and I honestly am so excited for that day when it comes. But, I feel like God isn’t ready for me yet. He is still using me each and every day. He speaks to me during my morning quiet time and helps guide me in life. I know there’s more I can do and I’m excited to follow His prompting.
This has been a reality to check for me to not take anything or anyone for granted.
I’m not going to just make those “I love you” phone calls when I feel death knocking on my door. I’m going to do it because I DO love them and I want them to know it every day…not just on my final day.
How about you, friends?
What would you have done in that situation?
Have you been in a similar situation? I know I have followers from all around the world. I’d love to hear from you too. What helped you find peace after the moment passed?
Friends, do you have any unfinished business to tend to? Take it for me. Don’t wait until that moment of panic happens. Make that phone call today. Make write your wrongs. Forgive others. Spend that time with your family instead of spending time on your tablet or phone. Invest in those relationships you’ve been putting on the back burner for too long.
You won’t regret it. Believe me!