(Posted February 1st 2017 @ 11:40 AM by: Melody Reever)
It was just an ordinary day. But are there really any ordinary days?
It was June 21, 2016, 6:30 pm. We were in our living room, relaxing for a bit. My husband had just been home from an out-of-town trip for about thirty minutes. We heard a “pop”—sounding as if someone had come onto our screened-in back porch and the door had banged. I got up, thinking someone was there. No one was, so I opened the main door to look out and saw smoke curling around on the floor of the porch. I stepped on out and looked around the corner of the house and saw fire licking between all the horizontal cedar siding boards around the electrical meter box. I ran back into the house, screaming to my husband that our house was on fire. He ran outside, and I went to the home phone to call 911, only to find the phone inoperative. The phone line came into the house at the electrical box. I grabbed my cell phone that was lying on the coffee table and ran outside.
In a matter of only a minute or so, the flames went from head high to roof high. My husband tried unsuccessfully to turn on the water to use our garden hose. Later a fireman told him he could have been electrocuted if he had held the hose and sprayed water on the electrical fire. God is good, and He was looking out for us! Also, if it had been 6:30 am instead of 6:30 pm (just twelve hours earlier), I would have been alone in the house with our three-year-old grandson and would have had to get through the place where the fire was or out a window—if I had awakened!
So God was looking out for us. We stood in the yard, barefooted, with only the clothes on our backs and watched thirty years of memories go up in flames—but no one was hurt, and we still had each other. December would have made thirty years living in this home. It was my safe place, my comfort place, when my husband was traveling, yet gone in just one summer evening.
We were thankful for good insurance or we would have certainly been in trouble. Our house was bulldozed and hauled away. We are glad it is completed so we can close that chapter and start this new, exciting one—one that we really didn’t desire, but God takes our bad things and makes good things out of them. We know in the end, this will prove to be a blessing in disguise.
“Out of the ashes, we rise!”
Before our house was demolished, I prayed and asked God to please help me remember any item in the house that had sentimental value, or was very important to me. I wanted to go and look, maybe under the ceiling that had caved in or in a back cupboard—wherever it may be. I asked God to help me remember now or never let me remember it again. I didn’t want to wake up one day after a few months and have an “Oh no!” moment, remembering something and it be too late to look for it.
Some things you want to keep, even though they may be smoke or water damaged. I was able to find a few important items like my mother’s family Bible that was lying right out in the open and was only wet; my personal study Bible that I have had since 1974 that was unbelievably unhurt, undamaged at all; my daughter’s childhood stuffed monkeys, Michael David and Denny Ray, that she had named for her cousins. Other such items were my baby dolls that were mine as a child along with my mother’s doll she’d received as an eleven-year-old girl. These dolls were located in a curio cabinet in the part of the house with the least amount of damage. I thought they’d been packed and taken to a storage warehouse by the hired professional company.
It was the very last day I would be at our house before demolition day. I was walking around looking, thinking, hoping, trusting that I had done all I needed to do, looked everywhere, and found every item I wanted to keep. There was a pile of trash on our garage floor that no less than ten family members had rummaged through and added to for the two months since the fire. I was using a screwdriver for something and it “accidentally” flew out of my hand and landed on this trash heap. At first I couldn’t find it. While I was searching, my eyes fell upon a hand-pieced black and white doll quilt. It triggered my mind immediately: What was that? Where was it from? I knew it was important! Then I saw them—my eight baby dolls lying together right on top of the trash pile! It was not possible they had been there for two months! I would have seen them, my sister would have seen them, or my daughter would have seen them. I believe this was a direct answer to my prayers. I don’t know if an angel put them there so I could find them—but something or somebody did! I would have been devastated if I’d lost them after knowing they’d not burned. I wouldn’t have known what in the world had happened to them. But our God is “touched by our feelings.” If it matters to us, it matters to Him!
Since the fire, we feel as if we’ve been held by God in a cocoon of His peace through the prayers of those we love and who love us. The United Pentecostal Church International is a body of wonderful, caring, and giving people who have blessed us most generously. It is past understanding by us, but we are thanking God every day for His mercy, blessings, and peace.
Patsy Huntley and husband, Wayne Huntley, reside in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is an effective home Bible study teacher, soul-winner, and prayer warrior. She is called “Mom” by her daughter and son-in-law and “Gramommy” by five very special grandchildren.