Fiery Trials

 "Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange, unusual and alien to you and your position were befalling you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory, full of radiance and splendor, is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph." 1 Peter 4:12-13

After my last post, I assumed the next big trial in our life would be Judah's passing. I was wrong. Our world was turned completely upside down when our house caught on fire because of an electrical malfunction on June 17. Seth had come home from work for an hour to let me go to a friend's house with 2 of the kids. After being there for 30 minutes, I got a call from Seth telling me that our house was on fire and he just climbed out of a window with Judah. I drove over as fast I could to pick up Judah and 5 of the other kids who had been swimming in the backyard when the fire started. Seth had smelled smoke and walked around to the front of the house and didn't see anything, but 2 men had stopped and were knocking on the door trying to let us know that we had smoke coming from the other side of the house that Seth couldn't see from where he was standing. Knowing that Judah's room was right where the smoke was coming from, he ran inside the house and upstairs, having to close his eyes and hold his breath to avoid inhaling the toxic smoke. He couldn't see anything, the smoke was so bad. He told me that he thought Judah's room was going to be in flames. By the grace of God, it wasn't. Judah was fine and Seth put him under his shirt and climbed through a window to avoid falling down the smoke-filled stairs.

Judah's room after the fire.

The fire had started in the bathroom that was situated between Judah's room and one of the girls' rooms. Just 20 minutes before, Seth had checked on my 3 year old to see if she was awake from her nap before swimming with the older kids. Praise God that she was, because the fire spread quickly to her room and her armoire near her bedroom door was in flames. I have no doubt that seemingly small decision to see if she was awake, saved her life. The firemen stated that death from smoke inhalation takes very little time in infants and children because of the their small lung capacity and that the temperatures in the bathroom and Charlie's room exceeded 400 degrees.
Bathroom where the fire started.

My 3 year old, Charlie's room.

The fire in the bathroom melted the water pipes, which was a good thing, because it helped put out some of the fire by soaking the upstairs with water up to Seth's ankles. Water does damage too though and in conjunction with the water from the firemen's hose, my house was pretty soggy and smoky really quick. They also believe that they saw asbestos, so no one can salvage anything from the house at this time due to that concern. We have an engineer coming out in 2 more weeks to determine if the structure of the house is compromised. Everything is in limbo with the insurance company until then.

The area directly below where the fire

 Within hours of the fire, our friends, family and community came together for us in ways that I can't begin to express without choking up and tears filling my eyes. We had a house to stay in immediately while friends were on vacation and a rent house in our small town that was available as soon as we could get it furnished. People began dropping off money, clothing and immediate needs. One of my biggest fears happened and God was there. He was all over it. And it wasn't just the providence of material things. I have been overwhelmed and deeply sorrowful over the sudden loss of our home, but in the midst of it, I've had this peace that hasn't left me. A peace that has enabled me to comfort and encourage my children while our house and our belongings were suddenly gone. With tears streaming down my 10 year old's face during the first hour of this journey, I promised him that he would see the glory of God come through this and to watch for His blessings. I wasn't just trying to make him feel better, I knew with a confident peace and hope that God was with us. He protected us by allowing this to happen in the daytime while the majority of us were out of the home at the time and Seth was there to rescue Judah - a task that I highly doubt I could have completed without serious injury to myself or Judah. I have always hoped and prayed that my faith and roots would be strong enough to withstand something so traumatic and I can assure you now, that my faith is stronger and my doubts are smaller than ever before regarding God's sovereignty and control over our lives. God is good and He is faithful and we know that this will make us more like Jesus and He will be glorified. I am thankful that He counted us worthy of this trial.

We've been featured in our town's newspaper and our local city news. Links to that and our YouCaring page are below.

Thank you for your prayers and support and truly being the Hands and Feet of Christ. People are asking us if we need anything and right now our biggest needs are financial considering that we don't know how long it will be until the insurance company makes a decision. With Seth being self-employed, it will also help replace his income from time he takes off to be with our family and deal with all of the aftermath. We know that God will provide and we do not like to ask for money, because He already has provided abundantly, but if you want to do something, we are very grateful for help in that area.

God is good!!!
~Elizabeth and Seth

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