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Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

After the Flood

Teharah Smith tells her story of God’s provision after a devastating flood.

2019 was an amazing year for me. I was booking acting gigs, I had just been nominated for the “40 under 40” award, I was being inducted into the Young Women Professionals League, and most importantly, God saw fit to let me see another year of life. 

As I was leaving for work one morning, I noticed water on the laundry room floor but didn’t think much of it. That entire day it rained, and when my workday ended, I went home. 

Yet nothing prepared me for what I saw when I opened the door. 

There was water everywhere, flowing in like a faucet. It was pouring in from every drain including from the laundry room. I tried everything to stop it. It took my Shih Tzu’s bark to snap me out of my denial of the situation. Gallons of water were coming in and not going out. I realized I was about to lose everything I had worked for. The beautiful living room that I sat in just last night was now under water. I looked down to see papers floating and my brand new laptop completely submerged. I went to call for help, but my phone had died. I stuffed whatever I could into a garbage bag. 

Suddenly, I realized that I hadn’t heard my dog barking. I looked down and the water had risen so high so fast that he was struggling to stay afloat. I put him outside, praying that the wind from the storm would not carry him away. I ran back in to grab more items, but it was too late. The water was turning black. The sewer was coming in, and it was no longer safe to be in the apartment. 

I ran back out and stood outside, watching my home fill up with water. I felt complete emptiness. I was numb, standing in the middle of a full storm. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just stood there. 

I remember asking, “God, why? What did I do to deserve this?” I had never been as confused as I was at that moment. The enemy started feeding me lies … I’m supposed to go through this. I’m supposed to lose everything. It’s me. I was so low that I settled into the thought that I deserved it. I stood outside my flooded apartment for three hours. Eventually, I got in touch with my father, who came and got me. 

The next morning I got up and put on the only outfit I had: sweats and a T-shirt. I got a rental car and went to my Young Women Professional League orientation. It was mandatory, and there was no way I was missing it. I vowed that no one outside of my immediate family and best friends would know about what happened to my home. I was going to handle this alone. After the meeting, my friend asked me why I had come and I asked her, “What’s sitting at home going to do?” Life still had to go on and I still had commitments. 

Monday, 48 hours after the flood, I was assigned to substitute teach at my local high school. As I drove I began to talk to God. I was low and confused, but I knew God could work even in my situation. With the rest of the strength I had left, I cried out to Him. “God, I don’t know what you’re doing and why,” I said, “but I’m choosing to trust You.”

Just after getting to my class, my agent called. I answered, hearing her voice going a mile a minute and telling me to check my social media. A very popular life coach was telling my story live … a story no one was supposed to know. My agent just so happened to tune in that day and heard this life coach tie her message of resilience to the “young lady who lost everything and showed up to her meeting the next day.” The life coach asked for anyone who knew who I was to tag me. I couldn’t believe it. 

After class, I checked my phone to see what was happening. I had many calls and over 200 mentions on Facebook. So much for not telling anyone. My agent decided to tell the world my business and post my Zelle and cash app. As I processed everything that was happening, the life coach called. She told me to tell my story in my words. I couldn’t even fight her. I knew in my spirit she was right. 

I went live and told my story. I was very uncomfortable, but I knew I needed to be obedient to what God told me. The love pouring out from other people was beautiful. I was overwhelmed with joy. My phone crashed from all the kind messages. What I had designated as punishment was God showing me His love. He loved me enough to take everything away to bring me where I needed to be. 

When the pandemic hit. I was living in a room in someone else’s home. All I had was my dog and a bag of clothes. God was dealing with my pride. I hadn’t wanted anyone to know what happened because I’m Teharah J. — the actress, the producer. I had an image to uphold. God showed me that I was trying to decide what I deserved. I was afraid. I was allowing past situations to determine my worth when God was telling me I was worth more. I settled because I forgot who is actually in control. 

The flood had to happen. God had to prepare me for what He was calling me to. Because of the flood, I have been able to encourage others not to give in to their circumstances. I’m more grounded than I’ve ever been, I am clear on my purpose, and I have actively accessed the peace that was given to me when Jesus died on the cross. I know what it truly means to be free. The fear is gone. I can stand boldly and say, “God, I’m yours.” 

God has blessed me in more ways than I can express. It’s still me, my dog, and everything I own in one room, and every day I wake up and praise Him because I know He is trustworthy. 
MB Mag readers, know that God has a plan for your life that’s bigger than you. Nothing is ever too big for the God we serve. Psalm 55:22 says that if you cast your burdens on the Lord, He will sustain you. Let go of the things you are holding onto that are too painful to let go. Choose to trust God and follow Him. Do not lean on your understanding, but let Him guide you. The enemy will do his best to knock you down. But you serve a mighty God who has not failed you. Remember what He’s done. If He did it before, He will surely do it again. Trust Him in everything.

To hear more from Teharah follow her on Instagram.

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