Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thinking about February 22....

I just have to warn you that this is a long post,
but I'm writing it as I process the thoughts I have.

I knew February was going to be hard, but I didn't think it would be this hard.
It's made worse by the fact the report came out yesterday about the CTV building
(which collapsed on Feb 22 which much loss of life)
and it seems we are reminded at every turn what happened last year.

Yesterday I put this quilt on my bed for Chrissy to sleep in
(she had worked all night) and as I looked at it I remembered making it.
I made it at a time in my life a few years ago when things were pretty stressful
money wise. And I was worried about the winter. So I pulled the brightest fabrics
from my stash and made this quilt. I think it was an Old Red Barn Co Quilt-a-long.

As I sewed all those seams, I mused on the fact that God is our provider
and I chose to put my trust in Him and that He would provide for us.

Imagine if I had known that our city would experience a series of catastrophic events
that the central business district would be fenced off for over a year
(a fact I still can hardly believe)
that our house would be damaged and need over $80,000 dollars of repairs!

Imagine if I had known that one of our business would have to close
and that we would have to completely rebuild the other business.
That God did provide for us, but the work we have is because of the earthquakes.

I'd love to tell you that if I had known all that before it happened,
I would have put my trust completely in God and faced the future with peace and serenity!

that so would not have happened.
I would have been paralyzed with fear.

I can tell you that every night I pray...
God please keep us safe and help us to be in the right place and the right time.

I still believe God is our provider,
but now I want Him to provide safety rather than worry about money or work.
Our precious ones are so irreplaceable.

Today I put the camera and this quilt in the car and Annie and I went to this park, 
it's called Latimer square and it's only recently been reopened.
I went because it's where Chrissy went all by herself on the 22
and where my sister Jo found her.

There was absolutely no one around.
There are so many empty sections around it, I couldn't believe it.
I sat in the park and held Annie.

A magpie started singing in a tree and I started crying.
I cried for Chrissy and for all the frightened people in the park that day.
I cried for the families of the victims of the CTV building who waited for news in that park.

We wrapped ourselves in the the quilt called "Jehovah Jireh"
and listened to the bird sing, and the diggers in the distance pulling down yet more buildings.
I held on to Annie's little warm body and wished I could promise I would always be there for her.

But I wasn't there for James or Chrissy when they needed me,
I was miles away looking after Reuben and Annie.

The thing is, although I wasn't there, other people were.
James was with his friends and then went to a safe place
with one of his friend's dad.

A stranger was with Chrissy in this very park,
and my sister Jo found her and looked after her.

Jo said that it was like in the movies where a light shines down,
she said in the middle of the crowd she saw Chrissy
amongst all the crowd.

So although I can't promise Miss Annie,
is that she will always be ok. There will always be someone for her when she needs it.
Nothing is to big that you can't get through it
Sometimes you have to ask for help but it is always there.

I truly believe that God does provide.
Now more than ever.

Our whole world may have been shaken (more than 10 000 times)
but we are still ok. Damaged but ok.
We are not stronger than people in other parts of New Zealand
We are not braver than other people. Sometimes we are fine. Sometimes we are not.

This sign is still sitting out by where the church was.
The person who put it out that morning would never have imagined by the end of the day
it would be game over for that building.

The buildings may be gone, the CBD might be gone.
But we are still here. We have learnt a lot.
We are bonded by our experiences.

I think back to when I made that quilt and how I felt 
and how unsure I was about how we were going to feed the children.
We made it through that.  And then all that other stuff happened
and we made it through that too. 

This sign makes me laugh. The whole block has been demolished.
Parking is really not an issue!

I'd love to tell you that I have put my trust completely in God and 
face the future with peace and serenity!

But that would be a lie!
I have put my trust in God and I do trust Him with our future,
but that doesn't stop me from being scared and afraid,
and wishing I could protect my kids from everything bad that happens.


  1. Oh Deb, Your post made me cry... ***Hugs from India*** I do believe that He makes sure HIS children are safe... :) Take care...

  2. It is good to know I am not the only one struggling this month. I spend a lot of time thinking 'this time last year...' . I think a lot about someone I knew who died in the CTV building and I worry a lot about her family in the run up to this first anniversary. We are just in the finial stages of selling our house in chch and I have mixed emotions over cutting that tie too.

    I wish you well Deb for the coming few weeks, it is going to be a hard time for a lot of people I imagine.

  3. I still believe you are the bravest woman I know. I don't think God is offended if we are afraid he just wants to reassure us then just as you reassure Rueben and Annie Rose. Your city and your lives will never be the same but you are not broken, bruised maybe. You will never forget but if the aftershocks ever stop you will be able to put it behind you and move forward. I think of you every day and we have never met, I wish for you only good and happy times. Blessed Be,

  4. This is such a good post. I admire you and your family.

  5. So many tears! Isn't it nice that in our human frailty of fear and trembling - God is bigger than it all and will guide and comfort us.
    Blessing to you all as you continue to rebuild your lives. xx

  6. So many tears! Isn't it nice that in our human frailty of fear and trembling - God is bigger than it all and will guide and comfort us.
    Blessing to you all as you continue to rebuild your lives. xx

  7. You write so beautifully and speak for so many of us. Thanks Debbie. This morning I took a builder around my damaged cottage in Lyttelton to discuss what basic fixes can be done in the short term in order to move back into it. (The proper rebuild is likely to take years) I've been devastated by plans that were torn asunder but there is hope for a brighter future. We will rebuild PIECE BY PEACE. Keep up your wonderful blogging.

  8. I was in the park that day. In fact in one of your first photos it shows exactly where I was during the Feb earthquake. On the 3rd floor of the IRD building. We evacuated to Latimer Square past the CTV building. It is so crazy to see things looking like that. But I love your bright quilt in the midst of all those painful memories. We must lean on God always!

  9. A great read Deb, like following a journey.

  10. I know what you mean about this February being harder than expected. I've found myself journaling a lot of stuff from last year that I've sort of brushed aside, and it's surfaced a lot of emotions that I'd been burying.

    Hugs to you, and lets keep praying for each other.

  11. As always Deb, reading your blog moved me, I cannot imagine what it must be like for people living in Christchurch. On my two visits there since last February I have been overwhelmed by what I have seen. I have always loved your city and seeing it breaks my heart, BUT people like you make me believe we can be stronger than we think. When you are feeling overwhelmed think of all the people who read your posts and send their love.

  12. What a beautifully written post Deb, it brought tears to my eyes. As a Mama I can not imagine how you felt/feel that your babies were not by your side.
    Sending my love to my friends family and everyone in Christchurch xxxxxxx

  13. I don't know what to say, or how to say it. But I hope you know that by sharing your story in this way, with such raw honesty, you are blessing others who are struggling in the same way. It IS ok to be sad and scared and still put your trust in God. I hope you know you are not alone.

  14. A beautifully expressed post Deb. Hindsight is a strange isn't it. Only time will tell how you will look at this time in your life. Life. Full of change, full of challenges, full of beauty.

  15. I was in Latimer Square too. I haven't been back yet. I know I should . . . but I just can't quite bring myself to do it.


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