Miracles News

January-March, 2018

Once Upon a Time There Was a Hurricane Named Irma

by Colleen Fee, Ministerial Candidate

Colleen FeeThis is a story about a recent experience that never happened. The names have not been changed because the people in the story are innocent.

As a new student of A Course in Miracles, my experience with the teaching, at times, is like a whisper in my ear of that which I have always known. In my life I have found that many times answers for problems have come to me “out of the blue” and even the ability to perform difficult tasks would suddenly manifest when I had not specifically been trained or educated to do them. What I did not realize, until I began studying the Course, is where they came from and how to intentionally access that information.

We moved to Florida last year about a month after the devastation had occurred from Hurricane Matthew. The circumstances that brought Deb and me and our three fur babies to Ormond Beach are nothing short of extraordinary. It is another story on its own but, for now, I will simply say that it was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. We live in the guest house on the property at Pathways of Light.

In September of this year we were pretty much glued to the Weather Channel and the ever changing direction of Hurricane Irma. There was no question we would be impacted by the storm but the direction of the eye would determine the severity. Last year Robert and Mary evacuated due to the path of Hurricane Matthew. With Irma, the direction was unclear. Should we go? Should we stay? Leaving felt uncomfortable to me because I didn’t know where we were going or what was out there. The “known” felt better to me than the “unknown.” Deb and I decided we would stay. When Robert, Mary and Debra were guided to stay as well, we all got together to make a plan — or more specifically — to be open to hearing Holy Spirit’s plan. This was a huge leap of faith for Deb and me. A storm of historic proportions could very well be bearing down on us in a few short days. We were all on the same page of being guided though I felt a particular increased responsibility of initiating the inspired action. What followed was a gift from Holy Spirit at every turn.

My first thought was what to do about the windows? The next thing that happened was the neighbor contacted Robert and told him they were also staying, so I asked about having him come over and tell us what he was doing about his windows so we could do the same or something similar.

Robert and I went for the wood and it was real easy because there was a lumber yard just down the road that I had never seen before or recognized was so close. They had everything we needed. While putting up the wood, there was a problem with not having the correct masonry bit. Robert went to Lowes and they did not have any bit that would work. So Holy Spirit inspired me to tell Robert to buy whatever commercial drill they had with commercial masonry bits.

Robert was able to find someone at Lowes who was willing to help him in all of the frenzied confusion in the store. They found the last drill of its kind on a shelf they had to use a ladder to reach. It was quite literally the last one in Ormond Beach. They also had the last of the drill bits. It was a miracle because everyone was scrambling for tools and supplies.

Even little things were falling into place. I have never boarded up windows. I am not a carpenter and yet I figured out how to do all of that pretty easily.

Another big piece was about getting the generator fixed because we found out at almost the last minute that it wouldn’t start. Having it repaired was impossible. I broke down the motor even though I am not a small engine mechanic. I took the parts I thought we needed to an automotive parts store. They were not very helpful and really kind of rude, but I stayed very calm and patient and was eventually directed (by Holy Spirit) to a mower shop about a block away. The employee, Ralph (which was my dad’s name), was so positive and so nice. It was so chaotic in that shop he could just as easily have dismissed me but he took the time not only to tell me the correct part I needed but showed me a generator in the shop that was like ours and told me exactly how to put it back together correctly so it would start. This was no small task and had to be done precisely. It took about two hours to put the generator back together just right and the thing started with the first crank. I was blown away by that.

I really just felt like an open channel in those days leading up to the storm. It was just one thing after another that was amazing. At one time I had wanted to check on the two old and unused propane tanks at the back of the Pathways of Light house but with everything that was going on boarding up windows and repairing the generator, it just kind of fell off my radar. Then, after draining water from the pool in anticipation of 12 inches or more of rain, I was going to roll up the drain hose and saw a huge branch down in the yard. This was before any kind of wind had come through. If it had been something small I would probably have ignored it, but it was this very odd, long branch and I knew I had to get it removed. As I was moving it I turned my head and realized Holy Spirit put that branch there to cause me to look at the propane tanks. On my inspection, it turned out that the one with the most gas in it had rusted out the bottom and was falling over so it was just hanging there. They were the kind of cylinder tanks that hold a couple of hundred pounds of gas in them when they are full. One was empty but the full one was rusted out on the bottom. With my experience in the oil and gas field, I was acutely aware of the danger there. I know if those things fall or something hits the nozzle end, that part can break off and the tank becomes a torpedo at about 300 miles an hour. I have seen an example on TV where they have gone through a couple of cinder block walls. There is no question that in high wind it could have been a disaster. I absolutely felt guided in my actions to secure and move the tanks to a safe location on the property. Holy Spirit got my attention with a branch in the yard that had no explanation for being there.

The night the major part of the storm passed through was the most challenging for me. It wasn’t so bad when we could see outside in the daytime when the wind was picking up and know that the storm was headed for us. It was when it got dark and I couldn’t see what was happening that it really started to frighten me. I couldn’t make a determination if it was safe or unsafe. Hearing all the noise and wind and the clatter and clunking of tree limbs and things like that throughout the night kept taking me out of my peace so I just kept praying. I asked for peace and acknowledged that I believed Jesus was with me, that God loved me, that we were protected, and that everything outside of me that was causing me fear was my ego mind trying to take me away from my connection. It had an interest in keeping my mind in a scattered, frightened space.

I just kept choosing peace and occupying my mind with The Lord’s Prayer. I don’t know how many times I said it but as soon as I would say the prayer or affirm I was choosing peace or start talking to Jesus in my mind I felt like I was in a calm and beautiful place. As the wind and the noise grabbed for my attention I went to all of the things I have ever known that could heal my mind. I worked all night long on healing my mind.

The next morning we had quite a mess to clean up with all of the branches and limbs. There was only minor damage to the roof of the water conditioner room. We were safe and we had been carried through all of the preparation and through the storm itself.

After going through this experience, I can see that I always have the ability to choose again. Every time I would get nervous or anxious I just kept going to Holy Spirit and asking for peace and it would be given. Every time a door was opened the information came, the person showed up, the tools showed up, all the way through. I believe when you are open and you are asking Holy Spirit for peace, you can recognize the gifts that keep coming. We really were carried and it was, for me, a lesson in recognition of being carried with the smallest detail.

So many times we just seem to bulldoze through our lives as if we know what is going on and we really don’t have a clue. But if we just slow down to recognize that in any minute a door can open, we can choose again or choose peace. Choose it’s going to work. Choose to see things in a positive way and that is when the trust comes. These are huge lessons that I want to hold on to because I choose peace.  After having the strongest wind I have ever known try to rip it away, I found how important it was to me. And for that I have to thank The Holy Spirit and a Hurricane named Irma.

Colleen Fee is a Pathways of Light ministerial candidate living in Ormond Beach Florida. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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