Last Saturday afternoon I called Sister and B to check in and see how they were faring in the midst of the flooding going on in Nashville. They were doing fine but were just as stunned as everybody else by what was happening in other parts of the city. Sister and I talked again Saturday night, exchanged a couple of emails about an SNL skit that made us laugh, and when I went to sleep an hour or so later, I assumed that all was well at their house. Sister and B assumed the same thing.

Early Sunday morning Sister called and told me they had to evacuate. When B woke up around 6, he saw water lapping across the street that runs next to their house, and then he realized that the river a couple of hundred yards away was starting to fill the backyards of the houses across the street. He told Sister that they needed to move their cars to higher ground – which they did – and not too long after that they got the official news that they had to leave. They threw some clothes in a bag, moved some family pictures to the second floor, loaded a few things in their cars, and by the time they left their house the water was at the top of their front steps.

Sister told me later that as they were trying to walk/swim through chest-high water on the final trip to their cars, flower pots full of pansies floated by.

It’s been almost a week since they had to leave their home. They’ve been staying with friends, and they’ve spent the last five days tearing the first floor of their house down to studs. They lost everything that was downstairs – couches, chairs, tables, appliances, cabinets, TVs, mementos, mirrors – but as Sister has said over and over again, it was just stuff. It can be replaced. They’re going to be fine. They have wonderful friends who have pitched in and gone above and beyond. The kindness of people they know – and in some cases, people they don’t – has been overwhelming. Sister said that seeing that kindness in action has caused many more tears than losing a bunch of furniture.

After all, it’s one thing to think your friends love you. But to know it? To see it in action? It’s a blessing like no other.

The most encouraging part of this flood story – to me, at least – is how the people of Nashville have responded. They have more than risen to the occasion. The city and state governments have cooperated. They’ve worked efficiently. Churches and other local organizations have coordinated massive volunteer efforts, and they have made a huge difference. The work is far from over, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that the work will get done.

Here are two specific ways we can help.

Lindsay has written some incredible posts this week about what she and her family have witnessed this last week. She’s collecting gift cards to distribute to families in need, and I think it would be great if bloggy people jumped on board with what she’s doing. This post has all the details.

Cross Point Church has started a flood relief fund. Every single cent of donations will be used to help families who have been directly affected by the flooding.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

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  1. I have been so blessed to see the way Nashville has responded. Such a special city and know it will come back better than EVER!!!!

  2. I’m so sorry about Sister’s house. What a trial! It’s awesome to hear that the people, churches, and organizations of Nashville are working so well together to help those who are suffering the loss of their homes.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Sophie. Praying for Sister and everyone!

  4. I cannot imagine. So sorry for Sister’s house, but so thankful, so blessed by her heart–the stuff is just stuff, the love is what shines. Thanks for the link to the gift card opportunity. And as if we needed a reason to love Crosspoint more…

  5. Flood is a powerful thing. You don’t really realize until you see it. Praying…

  6. Thank you for at least telling others about what is going on in Nashville. I was in town last weekend staying with my mom for my cousins wedding. When all the flights got canceled so I couldn’t get home on Sunday, my husband couldn’t understand why. I had to skype him and put the computer in front of the tv to prove to him that it was bad. (He just thought I was trying to have a longer vacation from my 4 and 2 year old…which I wasn’t complaining about ;). I was really shocked to know that this wasn’t on the national news. But I am more proud then ever to be from that city. We just moved from Murfreesboro to Chicago almost a year ago. We really miss Nashville now more then ever.

    I am so sorry about your sister’s house. Eventhough she is probably acting fine now, I now it must be hard.

  7. I am sorry about your sisters house. Glad she has such good friends to help out.
    A friend of mine lives in the area where one of the shelters is located and put on facebook tell her how much to spend and send her a check. She would go by supplies to take there.

  8. So very sorry about your sister’s loss–and that of the others affected by the flood. I had never been affected personally by such a loss until recently… My 96-yr old father-in-law lost his house to a fire; within minutes, 60 years of life in the same home went up in smoke. Belongings CAN be replaced, and memories remain in our hearts and minds. And he is safe, still.

  9. So glad Sister and family are safe. I am on my way to Lindsay’s and have re-posted this on Facebook as well for more help!

    Love you.

  10. So sorry to hear about Sister’s house. My entire family lives in and around Nashville (I have lived in Asheville for 3 years now) and feel so helpless over here for my hometown. My cousin and his family lost mostly everything, too, but thankfully everybody is safe. I have a link to the Nashville Red Cross in a blog post and am collecting donations from my friends at work to send. Thanks for posting; sorry it hit close to home for you, too.

  11. Oh Sophie, I had no idea! Praying for them…and for all those in Nashville. Our friends Miranda and Jason had the water up to the top of their garage…they have lost a lot of stuff, but like your sister, so many have stepped in to help.

    Love your tender and caring heart!

  12. Please let us know if there is anything specific Cross Point can do for Sister. This has been such an emotional week for all involved and we want to support and serve as many families as we can. God has still shone brightly in the midst of this tragedy!

  13. Praying for your sister and her neighbors, Boo. I can’t even imagine. May God fill your sister’s heart with his most tender mercies during this time.

  14. lavonda says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your sister’s home and everyone else that’s affected. When we had the 500 yr flood here in Atlanta last fall…. it was so scary. To see the water come from everywhere and you can’t stop it…. They are all in our prayers.

  15. My heart goes out to your sister and B, and everyone affected by the Nashville floods. So very sorry about their home. I will be keeping them – and all the people of Nashville – in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. I’ll be praying for them! You’re such a good sister! :)

  17. these stories are just amazing. i’m glad your sister is ok.

  18. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I was out working all day in homes just like your sister’s (with CrossPoint Church). The devastation is beyond words…I never imagined our city looking like this. But everyone was cheerful and working hard today!! Thanks again for using your platform to make people aware of how they can help. Allison in Nashville :)

  19. Destiny says:

    God bless Nashville…

  20. I live in Nashville too and I just cant believe it still! I did my house cleanup today(just my basement flooded and chimney) adn the whole time I was thinking of everyone who lost their homes! My office is collectiong donations and we would love to help your sister out! If there is anything they need please tell her to send me an email.

  21. Nashville and the people there are never far from my heart or mind. It truly is devastating. Crosspoint and Pam’s church, Grace Uprising, have been phenomenal to watch via twitter and facebook on how they are POURING out Christ to others.

  22. I live on a tiny knob of a hill in Franklin, so my home was spared. If there is anything that I can do to help your Sister, please let me know.

    Your sister is right… the way the community is pulling together has been an incredible thing to watch. It makes me proud to call myself a Tennessean.

  23. I am so sorry about Sister. That breaks my heart. Again.

    I am so proud to live in Nashville, though. Every single person seems to have risen to the occasion. You just can’t help it when it affects so many people you know. Just to give you a typical example, two of the twenty kids in Punky’s kindergarten class lost their homes and a third had a tree crash through his dining room. We’ll rebuild though. I have no doubt.

    Thank you for the links, too! I’m directing everyone to Cross Point’s donation page, too, since as a member and volunteer for Cross Point, I get to see exactly where the money is going and feel really good about it.

    And of course, if anyone wants to send an unused gift card to me, I am making sure they all get to the families who need them most. :)

  24. It’s just so sad what happened in Nashville. Growing up in South Georgia on a river, I’m well acquainted with what floods can do to a home. My Dad lost all 4 of his homes when Albany, GA flooded back in ’94. And we had our own floods back in the fall of this year. My school flooded, my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts was flooded (and closed for months), entire towns were under water. Water is very damaging and scary. And unless you’ve been there it really is hard to imagine what it can do. Nashville will rebuild and it will come back stronger than ever. But, in the meantime it will be an unimaginable mess to clean up. I will pray for strength for your sister and her neighbors.

  25. I still cannot believe what has happened there. Just 4 hours south of me! I’m sickened to see all the destruction.
    Still praying for Nashville and it’s sweet people!
    God is so good!

  26. misslisslee says:

    So sorry for your Sister, and so very glad she wasn’t one of the (so very) many who had to evacuate by boat. I have wondered why Nashville’s tragic situation hasn’t made national news, and I think it’s because half of the guys in town who owned boats put them into that water and started helping people. Volunteers put on waders and went out and helped people. The loss of life could have been so much worse.

    As a transplanted Tennessean, I’ve always thought this was a state full of decent folks. The only positive aspect of this is that we all know it now – we’ve seen all of those decent, caring folks in action.

  27. I am also here in Nashville-in Bellevue. I’m so sorry about everything your sister is going through. My 3 year old and I have been praying for her and ALL of hte others and trying to help out in any way we can. Thanks for sharing the story and helping others know about all that has happened.

  28. Please know I am praying for your sister, her family and all those affected by this tragedy.
    Blessings today and always,
    Matthew 21:22

  29. Oh, I am so glad to hear that your sister is okay! I am sorry about her home, I just cannot imagine.

  30. Kristin says:

    I enjoy reading your blog. I have never commented before but this post really spoke to me and I wanted to share how the words from one person in a time of suffering (Sister) can lead to inspiring another (me)to strive to live better and give more towards those that she loves and those that need love.

    Thank you for sharing. Below are the phrases that convicted me…

    The kindness of people they know – and in some cases, people they don’t – has been overwhelming. Sister said that seeing that kindness in action has caused many more tears than losing a bunch of furniture.

    After all, it’s one thing to think your friends love you. But to know it? To see it in action? It’s a blessing like no other.