Rising Above the Water

by Amelia Old

“I woke up around 5:00am. When I stood up my feet were in water. I started to panic. I tried to calm myself down so that I would not scare Isaiah. I called his name to wake up. Once he got up I calmly told him to get dressed because there was a little water downstairs. I did not want to startle him. I heard him walk to my room and then I heard him say “Mom the stream behind our house has over flowed”. He then begin to panic. Once he got down stairs we headed for the door. Opening the door I noticed that the water pressure pushed hard up against the door which let me know that there was lots of water on the other side. I quickly shut the door to gather myself. I then told Isaiah to not be scared and hold on to me. When I opened the door the water almost knocked us off our feet. We ran quickly for the car. The sight was something I could not describe. There was water everywhere, cars sinking under water and even some crashes. In the midst of this I continued to drive and remain calm for my son. Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me… we made it to my sister’s house safely.”


The account above comes from McKenzie G. out of Columbia, SC. This was one of many stories I heard during my recent visit to assist with the flood relief. I immediately felt drawn to McKenzie. Despite losing her home and car, she still held the most beautiful smile and the most incredible outlook on life.

The standing water in Mckenzie’s living room


12141514_10200885093686594_2516846979575782353_nThe damage left behind

McKenzie is no stranger to loss. She says “HE has brought me through so much. I have learned not to be attached to things.” She was adopted and in 2007 and 2009 lost her parents. In 2012, she lost her childhood home to foreclosure which led to her home daycare closing. In August, she moved into her new apartment with her son Isaiah. And in the blink of an eye, within 3 months, it was all gone. Now they are forced to live in a hotel and drive around with all of their belongings in their vehicle. She says Isaiah is handling it well but living in a hotel can be ‘tiresome and crowded’. She’s grateful to have a place to lay her head at night while she now searches for a new home. She then must work to replenish her home. She basically has to start all over.



McKenzie and her son Isaiah have been ‘adopted’ by Activation ReACT who I partnered with on the flood relief. They will work to help assist her in replenishing her home. Simple things such as pots and pans….larger things such as furniture…and sentimental things such as Isaiah’s DVD collection. To some, this may seem like a ‘material’ thing but you see…Isaiah wants to be a film director when he grows up. He studies movies so this is part of not only being an 11 year old boy but also part of his future.

McKenzie is proof that it’s possible to ‘rise above the water’. While it’s tough, her attitude and faith remain unshaken. I find this incredibly admirable.

She says “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. “


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gardenia j October 23, 2015 - 4:37 pm

Glory to God
Favor Granted to you both McKenzie

Elizabeth October 24, 2015 - 1:39 pm

Its the third time I read this post and I can finally comment without being crazy emotional. I am so very thankful for knowing you and McKenzie!

Shantae Holland October 25, 2015 - 5:54 am

Hello there. Thank you for sharing McKenzie’s story with the world. This story has blessed my heart. To God be the glory for saving her and her sons life and for showing them favor. God is everything we need. He is our provider, healer, comforter, strong tower, rock and so much more. McKenzie your faith in God is so awesome and such a beautiful example to the world. When the storms of life are raging we still much trust God because He is in control of everything! Because of your story and many others stories in the like God has used you in such a mighty way to touch the people in this world to let them that God is real! He will do what He said He would do. He is our shelter in the time of storm. You and your son are safe! Continue to read God’s word and trust God in everything. He will restore everything you have lost and more! Continue to allow God’s light to shine through you! Peace and blessings to you!

P.S. If you can please share this note with McKenzie.

Mckenzie Gray November 3, 2015 - 1:17 pm

To God Be All The Glory!!!!!!

Elizabeth May 10, 2016 - 11:57 am

I will always be thankful that you were part of our first response!


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