It's still not over.
I thought that the worst of the aftershocks were long gone.
I was mistaken.
I almost forgot about how they felt in my house. The constant tension spinning in my brain about when the next one was going to strike. The uncertainty about being inside alone, the need to have a roommate at night, and keeping a towel close by in case of an earthquake during my shower. And yet, my attempt at turning a page has faded in the fears that have quickly rebounded.
Yesterday morning I was awakened by more shaking. I had been in a pretty deep sleep, so when I first sensed movement, I thought I was dreaming (earthquake dreams have been pretty regular over the past month to say the least). I was still dozy when I awoke so by the time I really clicked into reality, the shaking had subsided. Gratefully, I was able to fall back asleep.
Multiple aftershocks kept us on our toes throughout the day yesterday and continued to awaken us last night. It was a bit of a different story than the night before.
For hours I laid awake in my bed, re-living the sensation, reminding myself where my passport and valuables were stored in case I have to run out of my house for the very last time. I overanalyzed the sounds out my window trying to detect if the gust of wind or low rumble of a vehicle was instead an earthquake surfacing. The kids and I refreshed our earthquake evacuation plan again this morning... Something I never thought we would have to do. Memories flood back of panic, insecurity and disaster. The worst part is not knowing when or how bad the next one will be.
At dinner last night I heard stories of people coming into the clinic who were wounded from the earthquake re-occurrence. Not because a building collapsed on them or any village dangers, but because of the way they fled their homes. Deep cuts and sprained ankles that resulted from the way they desperately tried to escape from their makeshift shelters in the pitch blackness.
I think about my own fears and memories from the original shake. The sounds, the sights, the lack of control I had over my own body. But I had it good. I was in my house that miraculously stayed standing. I ran outdoors to the security of other people who took me in their arms and we stayed protected together. The Mission of Hope walls cracked slightly. Nothing fell.
I think about some of the things my friends had to witness... City buildings crashing down around them. Witnessing the screams of a mother losing her child. Breathing in the dust of disaster and the scent of decay. Losing limbs. Seeing the house they spent their whole life building in a heap of rubble. Recounting the memories of the dear friends and family they have lost. I can't imagine the emotions, the fears, the desperation they experience when the earth shakes once more. There are no words.
Please pray for these precious brothers and sisters who are still suffering beyond what any of us can imagine. I wish I could say that it's over. I wish I could assure those around me that they will never have to re-live the trauma again. I wish I had someone to tell me that I could sleep in peace. But there is no guarantee. We have no control. We simply have to lift our hands up in mercy and surrender to the One who is.
In a few days I will be flying to Florida for a week vacation. My parents will be picking me up in Fort Lauderdale and I am counting down the days. Thank you for your continual prayers as I lean heavily on the promises of Psalm 46, and that in the time I am away I will be able to rest. That there will be moments where I can reflect and process the emotions that I haven't had time to face. I trust that I will be able to testify His healing power, and that I will be equipped to face whatever is ahead in the months to come.