What I Learned Trapped in the Flood
By: Erica M. Ponder
Life truly has a way of showing us that no matter how much we may think we are in control of everything that happens, we can be challenged beyond comprehension, but in order to conquer those things that challenge us, we must learn to adjust and persevere. If anyone would have told me that I would have experienced the things that I’ve gone through recently, I would have said “Oh God, no!” Though these things have stretched me beyond what I thought I could handle initially, I am so glad that God allows all of us the opportunity to use our sometimes unbelievable and tumultuous tests as testimonies that ultimately help to build unwavering faith within ourselves.
Almost two weeks ago, what I thought would be a quick trip to Office Depot and Walmart turned into a night that has changed me forever, but for the better. I left my apartment with no trace of rain in sight. Within a matter of hours, a normal night turned bad, and then a bad night turned worse as I looked out in the Walmart parking lot, contemplating on if I should go ahead and make that ten minute drive back to my apartment. As the rain subsided, I walked back to my car to go home. What I didn’t realize on my way back was there were high floodwaters rising second by second, causing me to panic and leaving me no room left to reverse. Trying to press my way through, my vehicle stopped and my panic increased as I began to feel water submerge my feet. I called multiple dispatchers only to learn that they wouldn’t be able to reach me in time. Thoughts of the worst outcomes began to enter my mind as I called what seemed like my last hope— the police. I felt so discouraged when they told me that no one was able to come to my rescue. In an attempt to free myself, I tried opening my car door as much as possible only to have water rush toward me. I closed the door back as tight as I could, but water just continued to rise, causing me to shiver and cross my legs on the cushion of my seat. It felt like hours went by before two men (I refer to them as two angels) pushed my car and then tied it to one of the men’s trucks.
I can’t tell you what these men were initially trying to do before they saw me, or why they decided to stop for me, but I know without a shadow of a doubt God heard my cry for help. He knew how desperately afraid I was, and He sent someone to rescue me. My first and only car is gone, but I am happy to say that I am here to tell my story. Bad things sometimes happen to ordinary people like me, yet God will use an ordinary person to say, “He will hear your cry.” At my most vulnerable and scariest moment, God kept me. With that being said, there are multiple things that can prevent things like this from happening:
Know your surroundings— Although I am not from Houston, I later found out that I was located on a “low” part of town that is extremely susceptible to flooding. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have tried to return home as soon as I did.
If the water looks even slightly deep, STOP DRIVING. What looks like a little water to you can become a lot overtime. Pull over on ground as high as possible.
Have a plan. There are so many disasters that cause us long-term grief due to the fact that we may not be well-prepared. I had only seen things like this on television. I never thought it would happen to me. What would you do in even the most bizarre situations? Think about it, because it can happen.
Keep your faith! This is my most important piece of advice. No matter what your current situation is, believe God for the very things you pray for. If you want Him to deliver you, consider it done. He will provide exactly what you need, and oftentimes He will send people. I have never swam in my life, and I was terrified, but I knew in my heart God didn’t leave me there to trap me or allow harm to come to me, but He did send me help. Allow your faith to change impossible or difficult circumstances.
I am praying for the flood victims and people that lost their lives, homes, or anything of importance to them. Remember that God makes no mistakes and He wants His children to prosper in every way possible. If you got through this or anything else that was extremely hard for you, the best is yet to come.
You can also read this story on stylemagazine.com.