"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Disaster’s Our… Middle Name

So, I never know whether or not to start or end with the worst part of our vacations, with Ireland I ended with it and with Italy I began with it.

For this vacation, I am going to start with it because I have a feeling that by the time that I get to the end, you folks at home are going to be like “What? Is she still posting on her vacation???  Move on already.”

I have a lot to share. Because this vacation was good, folks. A little too good. Something had to go wrong.

It all started Wednesday afternoon.  Isla had just woken up from her nap, and we were all lounging in our PJs in our hotel room, when I got a call from the front desk.

“Mrs. Wann, can you please come to to lobby?  There has been an earthquake.”

I immediately knew what she was saying without needing to come right out and say it.  And weirdly, I had been thinking about that same thing for the first time in probably years that afternoon when we had been swimming.

What she meant to say was “TSUNAMI.”

I jumped out of bed and started throwing my clothes on.

“We have to go to the lobby.  There’s been an earthquake.”

Nick and I started grabbing our important things and throwing them into a bag.  I grabbed our wedding rings and cell phones, plus a bag of diapers.  Nick grabbed our passports and iPads.  We raced to our lobby.

You know, I am ashamed to admit it, but I was so scared.  Like ridiculously scared.  I have always been so flippant about death and have been known to boldly say things like “I am not afraid of dying.  I am looking forward to it!  I’ll be in heaven with Jesus and it will be amazing.”

Until I was actually faced with death.  Not just any death.  I kept imagining Isla being wrenched from my arms by a huge tidal wave.  That was not a way that I had ever pictured myself meeting Jesus.

We got to the lobby and I tried to make small talk with another mom.  Nick set about trying to figure out what the heck was happening, and also he was annoyingly jovial… didn’t he realize that we were about to DIE???

Here he is trying to capture the “mood” of the lobby on his iPhone.  I was not amused.

I also kept imagining surviving the tidal wave only to have to roam the island for days until we were rescued.  I knew I couldn’t trust the hotel staff.  They would ditch us the first chance they got.  No sir.  So I raced back to my hotel room and stuffed every ounce of food that I had into another bag… just in case.

And then little Frances.  She was being so naughty.  So, so busy.  She kept running up to the piano.  I snapped at her too.  And then felt guilty.  I mean, we only had a few minutes to live and I couldn’t even muster up the tiniest bit of grace for her. Worst Christian ever, that’s me!

Doesn’t she just make the perfect little refugee baby in this picture???


Then the bad news started coming in.

  • This earthquake was an 8.7 earthquake, only a little bit smaller than the 9.1 earthquake that hit this part of the world in 2004.
  • And it was coming from the same place as the earthquake that hit in 2004, somewhere in Indonesia.
  • Nick and I tried to piece together where that was using our shaky geography, thinking that it was far away from where we were, only to find out that no… it was very close.  Not only that, but Thailand was one of the worst hit places during the 2004 earthquake.

OH MY!  We were goners.

I immediately started reciting my favorite part of Psalm 91 -

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble,
   I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”

It was verse that I read a lot while I was pregnant with Isla and trying to prepare for her birth. I had to look up the rest on Nick’s iPhone, but I started reciting it out loud and immediately felt so much better.  I also recited Job 19:25, and I felt perfect peace.  I am so thankful for the word of God, and peace the surpasses all understanding.

Nick was meanwhile running all around, cracking jokes.  He came back from chasing Isla down by the piano, and showed me a request for Hotel California Smilethat someone had left at the piano… “You can check out anytime you like… but you can never leave.”


Eventually good news started coming in!

  • Because our hotel was situated next to a deep bay, even the 2004 tidal wave had done very little damage to our hotel.  Only the pool was damaged and there were no casualties.
  • The earthquake movement was more lateral, as opposed to 2004, which was a very vertical movement, so they did not expect a big tidal wave.

And I felt silly. And relieved. And I started to let my husband make me laugh again.  And we got brave enough to move to where we could see the ocean.  As you can tell, we were pretty far from the beach in the lobby.


I am so relieved!IMG_0485

This video is well worth watching!  Isla was being so bad, and she kept wanting to jump into the infinity pond.  Nick’s “observations” are always pretty funny Smile.

Anyway, it was the worst part of our trip!  But it wasn’t so bad, and at the very least, I (yet again) learned just how precious the word of God is.

Now, onto the GOOD stuff!

PS. None of my videos have been uploading!  I will keep trying… we took so many good ones.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that was the "worst" part, but OMG that is really scary, and I'm so glad all was fine, and you had His Word for peace.


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