In this episode of Step Into the Story Podcast, Phil talks with Dr. Sid Webb—author, speaker, nonprofit leader, pastor, Colorado-wildfire-survivor—on losing and finding everything.
Imagine losing everything you own in just a few minutes.
Your house is on fire. The smoke and ash that was your home rises in front of you, yet the police won’t let you near it. You have evacuated nothing, taken nothing when you fled. And for the next two years, the news shows your home burning on national TV.
In June 2013, Sid Webb and his wife, Suzy, faced this crisis. In the Black Forest wildfire, which was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history, everything Sid owned was burned away—his home, his office, his possessions, his doctoral thesis and research, his tax records, everything was gone.
“We drove out of our life that morning, and that was it. We had our car and the clothes on our backs,” said Sid. “We knew our home had caught fire, but we didn’t know the extent of the damage until we got to go in one week later. Everything was gone. Everything.”
Over the next few weeks, as Sid and Suzy literally sifted through the ash that was their home, they were able to salvage a couple of things. “I found my dad’s dog tags from Vietnam and a few porcelain cups that were cracked. I found one complete page from my Walk Thru the Bible Old Testament event workbook. But there wasn’t much at all. It takes a long, long time and it doesn’t yield much. At some point, you have to say goodbye and walk away.”
During those long, hard days, God ministered to Sid and Suzy in many ways, especially with Scripture. “Some passages became a living, breathing passage for me, like Matthew 6 and Psalm 30. I also realized that God has provided for me every day of my life, just like He promised to do. Every day He’s given me exactly what I’ve needed. And even though I’m standing in all this ash, I have all I need for today.”
“My life changed in so many ways during this time. I’m me, but I’m a new me, a better me. I’m deeper, more empathetic, and I have a bigger heart for what people are suffering. This caused me to become more engaged with the world.”
After the fire and cleanup, Sid and Suzy asked, “Now that we have lost everything, how do we spend the rest of our lives?” They chose to live lightly and to focus their efforts on making an impact in the world with the time they have left. “We decided to become lean and mean and not buy a bunch of stuff unless we needed it. We wanted to focus more on missions and helping people to make their lives count while they have time.”
Dr. Sid Webb is an author, pastor, speaker, leadership consultant, and nonprofit specialist. He earned the doctoral honor graduate award from Dallas Theological Seminary for his doctoral work on nonprofit best practices. As he and Suzy rebuilt their lives, Sid founded Build What Counts and wrote Nomad’s Fire.
Listen and find out how God intersected Sid’s story with His Story, how the Bible is central to Sid’s life, and how God carried Sid and Suzy through this crisis.
And learn how you can find your true story in God’s Story.
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