In every thing, give thanks… (I Thessalonians 5:18a).
Throughout the first week of 2018, this verse from First Thessalonians has been ringing in our ears. It has taken on a whole new meaning for us.
Our first week of 2018 was filled with one unexpected incident after another. It goes without saying that it’s no ordinary week when your friendly neighbourhood Disaster Response crew makes a housecall!
The Incident at Home
As I write this post, most of the areas in our home have gone through significant changes in the past 48 hours.
Some time during the early morning hours last Friday, the toilet flush in one of our second-floor bathrooms malfunctioned and caused water to overfill the tank and overflow. You can imagine the shock on Quinton’s face when he opened the door to the powder room on the main level in the morning and found a stream of water dripping from the ventilation fan!
Most of Ontario was experiencing a polar vortex with the windchill factor dipping to minus 40 degrees Celsius in our area. Quinton ran upstairs, wondering whether we had a frozen-pipe situation or that something was wrong with our roof. He then discovered a river in our bathroom on the second floor!
We managed to shut off the water to the toilet and scrambled to mop up the water. It took us quite a bit of time to get all the drenched floor mats into the tub and clean the floor. The water was flowing down through the heating vent on the floor to the main floor.
Little did we know that we were about to find out what a few hours with free-flowing water could do to a home.
Thinking that the worst was over, we were about to get on with our morning routine when Quinton thought that he should remove the vent cover and drain the water that may have pooled in the powder room. So, he quickly went down to the basement to get the step ladder.
Within a few seconds, I heard him call out: “Rathi, we have a problem.”
A Hazardous Situation
Not only did the water go down to the first floor, but it flowed all the way down through the floor vent in the powder room to our basement! Thankfully, our basement is unfinished. But, we had stored a lot of our possessions down there. And some of it was completely drenched. Boxes of belongings, books, electronics, kids toys and furniture…and my very first Yamaha keyboard…(I will share in another post why this keyboard is dear to me).
What was most alarming was where the water was leaking in our basement. The water was leaking less than a metre away from the main breaker electrical panel!! Although our insurance company has been inundated with calls due to the deep freeze outdoors, it wasn’t surprising that they immediately dispatched a contractor as soon as we told them about the close call with the electrical panel.
Just as the contractor got here, we discovered that some of the water had seeped into the laundry room ceiling and along the edge of the hardwood in one of the bedrooms as well. The contractor told us that he wanted to ensure that any flooring, ceiling, drywall, etc. that was affected by the water would be taken out immediately.
Before we knew it, he had his crew come in to set up a large dumpster in our driveway and tear out baseboards, flooring, ceiling, and all. It was a scene out of those home makeover episodes on TV…the demolition part of it, anyway.
In about half an hour, they had our home cleared out of all wet items, and let us know that the work would continue after the weekend. They put in place enormous dehumidifiers and heaters in all the affected rooms on each level of our home to completely dry out any ounce of moisture.
There we were. With the ceiling gone in some places, flooring gone in other spots, and the loud, annoying hum of the dryers and dehumidifiers that have to stay on for several days.
Our family of five stood together, giving thanks. As we slept through the night, damage was done to our six-year-old home. But, the Lord protected us and our home!
We could have lost far more than what we lost. According to the contractors, we dodged major bullets with the mere fact that most, if not all, of the water ended up in our unfinished basement. If not, we would have had end-to-end damage on the second floor of our home and on the first floor as well. Also, the water travelled into areas that can be thoroughly cleaned up and repaired in full (without touching the insulation, etc.). We are so relieved to know that our home will be as good as new with no long-term issues once the repairs are complete. The damage is not in the heart of our home either, and we are able to stay home.
Another noteworthy fact is that the water didn’t enter the electrical panel or any wall that had an electrical outlet. That is another miracle! We also did not have to shut off our utilities in this frigid winter weather to deal with this flooding situation. Thank You, Jesus! How mindful You are of us! We went to sleep with thankful hearts.
A Strange Dream
That night, I had a strange dream. In my dream, I saw sparks flying out of one of the dehumidifier machines from the contractors. Needless to say, this dream alarmed me. I shared it with Quinton the next day and we prayed that God would continue to protect us and help us to be vigilant. After dealing with the loud noise and dryness of the dehumidifiers all day (and running behind our little people who were eager to get into the places presently under construction!), we had a relatively good night of sleep.
On Sunday morning, we woke up early and got ready to go to church. We were a little ahead of schedule when I was reminded of the dream the night before. I asked Quinton whether it would be okay to leave the house with these machines on. He said it should be fine.
Just as we gathered the children and made our way to the garage, we saw a lot of water on the floor of our laundry room!
We had no idea where the water was coming from. As we tried to clean up the mess, Quinton thought about the basement and ran down the stairs. From the way he called my name, I knew something was up.
We were horrified at the sight. Water was leaking around the same spot as it did before…but flowing right into the contractor’s big machines that were working at full force! (Remember the dream? Hence the reason why we don’t take dreams from the Lord lightly!) The water was also leaking less than half a metre away from the electrical panel.
It was not lost on us that the Lord by His great mercy had protected us. It was only the grace of God that we didn’t leave the house while another hazardous situation was unfolding, and it could have easily resulted in a fire and major damage..even the loss of our home.
We called the after-hours emergency number and the contractor was here within minutes to look into the situation. Turns out that the connector to the water line on our dryer came loose, causing the leak.
Thank You, Jesus, for watching over our family and our home! We are also thankful to our family, friends and all our church family who are praying for us.
In every thing, we give thanks. When we don’t understand it, we give thanks. When it happens all at once, we give thanks. No matter what, we give thanks.
We march on, giving thanks to Our Lord for keeping us and preventing disasters. What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn for good in due time. And we know that He works all things together for good…disasters included!
No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalm 91:10)
He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121:3-4)