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Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness

A few years ago I went to the Titanic Museum in Knoxville. When you enter, they give you a card with a description of a person who was on the Titanic and you can find items related to that person as you walk though the museum. At the exit, there is a list of the people who survived and who did not. The people who were the most likely to survive were in first class because they had cabins at the top of the ship and had more time to get out, and the crew members because they were the first people to know that the ship was sinking.

I’ve heard of many similar scenarios, and the evidence is pretty convincing that having money increases your likelihood of survival. That’s one of the reasons why I obsess about having enough of it. I worry because I am single and don’t have someone else’s income to rely on if something were to happen to me. I worry because I am not able to save the recommended 6 months worth of salary in case of emergencies. I often have to use my savings just to cover my monthly expenses.

I am the kind of person who takes every safety recommendation to heart. When I went to the Philippines when I was 5, my aunt told me that I was teaching my 3 year old cousin about the dangers of playing with matches and how to stop, drop, and roll if you’re on fire.

After my first divorce, I realized that one of the reasons that I follow every recommendation about how to avoid disaster is because I didn’t have faith in God. I never had that exact thought, and I prayed every night that my husband and I would grow old together, but deep down I believed that making my marriage work was mostly up to me.

Part of the reason why I decided to go on the trip to Germany and Switzerland is because I realized that no amount of money can protect me from disasters. Since then, I’ve been telling myself what I tell my clients who worry about the future: I can have faith that whatever happens, I will have the strength to get through it.

I’m also taking a leap of faith that God will look after me if something bad happens to me. It’s a scary thing to do, because I know that some people lose faith in God in the face of tragedy. But God has always been there for me, so until I’m proven wrong, I’m going to keep on leaping.

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

4 responses »

  1. Very thought provoking. I wonder how many who “lose their faith” really never had faith to lose but rather just gave God an occasional thought while waiting to test him when a situation arose? There are certainly disasters in life we may not have the personal resources to survive on our own, either financially or physically. Spiritually is another matter, true faith in God is one resource we may have available. True faith will not abandon you. A few verses I like to meditate over: Pr 1:33; Heb 4:16; Deut 31:8. Peace.

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    • Thanks Bill. I wonder the same thing about people who lose their faith. But I’ve decided that it’s not up to me to judge what happened to them and how faithful they were. I can only reflect on what has been true for me.I will check out those verses.

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  2. These comments just make me realize something. When I was young, I always thought my dad dying would be something I could never bear. I never had true faith when I was younger, either–I was confused at my parents’ conflicting beliefs, and the idea that there might only be one group of people that had it right. I was always very logical, and much of those discussions seemed illogical to me. As I aged, and especially as I helped take care of Dad in his final weeks, I found a much deeper faith. While I miss him terribly, losing my Dad crystallized my faith into something much more substantial than it had been. Now I feel like between God and myself, I can deal with the difficulties life will present me, and I saw firsthand how prayer and faith could provide comfort and strength to carry us through the worst of times.

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