I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In the Dark

Since July, I’ve shared a lot about my family’s crazy season of waiting and change. Although we are still waiting on God to show us our next adventure, we’ve been consistently amazed at all the ways God has shown us His love and provision while we wait. Despite this, it is sometimes easy to become overwhelmed by what you lack.

Two weeks ago today, near hurricane-force winds ripped through the Inland Northwest. Autumn windstorms are common in our area, but this one was like nothing I’ve ever seen. When it was all said and done, hundreds of trees were down across the area and power was out to more than 200,000 people.

We lost our power around 4pm on Tuesday. We’ve lost power before, but it’s usually back on within a few hours. When my husband got home from work, he told me that based on the damage he’d seen, he couldn’t imagine our power would be back on right away, so we went out into the storm for ice. We were shocked at how much of our area was dark. It turned out that nearly 70% of the Spokane area was without power.

That first night, we got our flameless candles and tap lights, and enjoyed a little electronics-free family bonding time. It was kind of fun. But twenty-four hours later, we were still without power. A sweet couple from our church who had power invited us for dinner and we welcomed the opportunity to warm up and charge our phones. When we got home, we bundled up like the Pioneers for bed. Seriously, I had on long johns, heavy socks, a hat, and mittens when I climbed under a pile of blankets. It was kind of fun to pretend I was Laura Ingalls Wilder out on the Prairie.

By day three (Thursday) we were all getting a little restless. It was frustrating because temperatures were falling, which meant our house was getting colder, but not cold enough to save the food in our freezer. And since our cell phones were our only access to news and updates, we were blowing through our 2G data plan. We spent our evening with our best friends who’d had their power restored earlier in the day, and although we were optimistic that when we got home our power would be back on, it was not. 

On day four (Friday) we started to get frustrated. A neighbor told us that she'd called our power company for an update; the rep told her they thought we'd already had our power restored and it might be three or four days before they could get "back" to us. We decided it was time to check on our freezer and make some decisions regarding our food. We were amazed to find that most of it was still frozen pretty solid, except a few things in the doors. We were encouraged that we could go probably go another day.

Day five (Saturday) we all hit a point where we didn't think we could do another day. If you've ever been without power for more than a few days, then you know what I mean. If you've not ever experienced this, then I probably sound whiny and lame. But there's this point where the darkness begins to feel oppressive and the lack of light, heat, and electricity begins to drain your energy and hope. We were done. And then, a family in our church offered us the use of their little generator.We got it home and running, and got our freezer plugged in. We turned on a few lights, charged our phones, and even brewed some good coffee in our Keurig. Despite these small wins, we finally had to concede that our house was too cold for sleeping so we packed up to go and stay with a family from our church who lives nearby.

It's amazing what a warm bed and a good night's sleep can do for your outlook. On day six (Sunday) we got a second wind, especially when we saw power trucks working in our neighborhood. We were sure we'd have power by the end of the day. And then the power company issued an update explaining that the damage was worse than they'd originally assessed, and it might be Thanksgiving before everyone had their power back. On Sunday night, we drove past the trucks and were disappointed to find it had taken them several hours to repair one block of downed wires...because they still had ten more blocks to go.

Day seven (Monday) we awoke to another storm warning; this storm would bring gusty winds and snow. My internal dialogue? We are going to die here, in the cold and dark of our powerless house. Oh, and a snowy windstorm is forecasted for tonight? Perfect.

Our power was finally restored just before 4pm on day nine (Wednesday). We went into Thanksgiving truly thankful for something we'd taken for granted just over a week earlier.

At some point during that week, a good friend of mine posted a thought on his Facebook page:

Don't forget in the darkness what God showed you in the light.

It occurred to me that our nine days without power is much like our wait on God for the next step in Craig's employment. We are on month seven of that wait. The first month felt much like an adventure. Months two and three we were able to wait patiently because we just "knew" it wouldn't be long. Month four was when we actually had to trust God for provisions. Month five we were done, but month six we got a second wind. Then month seven. November. Dark and cold and powerless.

But here's the thing: during the power outage, when we hit that place where the darkness threatened to overwhelm our hope...on our day seven...what we didn't know then was that within two days, our power would be back on and we'd have a  whole new appreciation for it.

So, as we embark on month eight, I am choosing not to forget in the darkness what God showed me in the light, but also what He showed me in the dark. He has always provided for us, even in the darkest, coldest days in November when friends and family and people we'd never met offered their homes, their electricity, their food, their laundry facilities, their generators, and most importantly, their support and encouragement. And just like my new appreciation for electricity, I know I will emerge on the other side of our current season with a new appreciation for everything.

~Heidi Larson Geis

*Photo Credit: www.krem.com


  1. "Current" season? Maybe you didn't mean it as a pun, but it's there. Love this report, Heidi, and continue loving you and family and praying. Bless you as y'all keep being faithful. YOU are the lights in dark places.

  2. I so admire your courage and faith! Keeping you in my prayers.