Hello everyone. My name is Courtney Oshiro. I am a wife and stay at home mom to two beautiful children and you may have seen my face on a few Heirs Cosmetics posts and flyers. It is my honor and my privilege to share with you today about the crazy, yet wonderful journey my family has been on these past few months.
2018 has been a bit of a rough year for my family. From car troubles, to loved ones passing and ministry picking up as my husband is the children’s pastor at our church, and I assist him in several areas with the children. Things were already crazy and busy so being distracted with that, the last thing we expected was a huge storm to hit Hawai’i. We live on the windward side of the island and we get a lot of rain fairly regularly, so flash flood warnings are common. This time as the rain began to fall, the flash flood warnings came as usual and we knew that the possibility of the road near our house closing was high. We weren't too worried because had everything we thought we would need. We had water, candles, flashlights, batteries, canned goods, formula for baby, etc. We cleaned out the garage and made sure that everything that would be washed away was secured and put up high. We were prepared, or so we thought. At around midnight, while we were sleeping, my husband and I woke up to the sound of rushing water. Normally that wouldn't worry us because we hear rushing water all the time when it rains, but this was different. The sounds were closer and echoed as if the water was rushing inside our house rather than outside. My husband went to see what the problem was only to come rushing back into the room to tell me that water was leaking into the house.
We could see the water outside had risen to about 3 maybe 3 1/2 feet, but we could also see water coming in through the crack of our door. We went to grab towels and anything we could find to plug up the cracks when all of a sudden the jealousies of our window are forced open by the pressure of the water and the next thing we know we're knee deep in water. It happened in seconds. I ran back to the room to grab my 9 month old son and I could see that the bed was already starting to float a bit. I took my son upstairs to be with my daughter where she was sleeping, safe and dry, tucked in with grandma. The rest of the night was a blur as we tried to save whatever had not been touched by the water. The water was disgusting, it was a dark brown and you couldn't see anything in it as it was run off from the highway and all of our neighbors yards, who happen to have pets and septic tanks. Most of our belongings touched by water had to be thrown away.
The first flood happened at midnight on a Saturday, but a second flood happened that Sunday at around 1:00 p.m. or so. Between the first and second flood our amazing church family came over and helped us so much. They did dump runs, helped us wet vac the house and the van which also flooded, and clean up debris so that the water could flow down the drainage pipes better. It was crazy. People, cars and our belongings were everywhere. My husband and I didn’t even have clothes to change into as most of our clothes were soaked through the dresser.
Clothes, toys, furniture, those things can be replaced. My Bible, my wedding dress, my senior prom and bridesmaid dress, my journals that I kept when I was pregnant with both of my children to someday give to them, notes of sermons and special words God had spoken over my life through other people, some of my and my daughter's artwork, all damaged or destroyed and irreplaceable.
I held it all together until I saw my wedding dress. Then I just cried. The emotions of what had happened had finally caught up to me once the hustle and bustle slowed down. But as the tears fell, I got on my knees and cried out to God. My faith and hope began to rise. I opened my bible and in it was taped a little mustard seed to remind me that it only takes the smallest of faith to move mountains, and that little seed survived. It remained in tact and unbroken, and God started to speak to me through that little seed of scripture.
In that moment I refused to do anything other than praise God. I have known Him my whole life, for as long as I can remember. He has ALWAYS come through for me. He has NEVER failed me. So why would He start now. I stood on His word and I was not going to be shaken. I knew that what was meant for harm and destruction, God would turn it around. I held fast to what I knew to be true and I have never felt closer to God than in that moment when my character and my faith was tested.
God reminded me of my priorities and what was truly important in life. Thank God that my husband, kids and family are safe and unharmed. Our church family and our friends just loved on us, giving their time, money and furniture they had to spare to help us get our basic necessities. We may not have had everything we wanted in that moment, but we had everything we needed.
God started working in ways I could not see, but I could feel He was doing something and I trusted in Him and His process. Then BOOM, God blessed us with a place of our own. A home where we have room to invite people over, a home where people can come to hang out, relax and seek sanctuary. A home that we can raise our children in. No, we don't actually own the house, we are just renting, but it is a place we can call our own. We love our extended family and it was great living with them. However, having a place to call our own is amazing. Especially after all we walked through.
Through this experience God revealed how loved and cared for we are as even months afterward, we are still getting blessed by those who love us. Life still moves on in the midst of tragedy, it never stops, and new things keep coming up. Thing happen in life that will attempt to tear us down and shake our faith and leave us hopeless. But through it all, my eyes are on my Abba, my heavenly Father, and He has supplied all my needs. He has sustained me throughout this long and difficult process, and He continues to sustain me throughout the new challenges and trials that come our way. He has never let me down and He never will. Is God still good? Yes He is, all the time.
Here are pictures of the damages done to our home. I am so thankful for everyone who came out to help up us clean up, gave monetary gifts and furniture to help us out.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Courtney. Her story is that of HOPE, FAITH, RESILIENCE and will to OVERCOME. Hopelessness will swallow every bit of light at the end of the tunnels in life. Being hopeless takes away your will to believe. It takes away your will to have faith that all things will work together for your good, even if they aren’t "good" at the moment. These moments in life really build our character but they can also break you if you let them. You have to remember that you can push through and overcome any situation. Courtney held on to her hope and stirred up her faith that God was going to take care of her and her family in the midst of this storm. What are you holding on to? Where and what do you put your hope and faith in? I hope it's in something that will sustain you in the midst of your darkest times. Think it through and If you would like to discuss this more, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section and engage conversation about this Heir Talk Topic.