Monday, April 28, 2014

Peace after the storm...

I love this time of year, but I hate one of the things that Spring brings to Arkansas.


I'm deathly afraid of them and just want to be in my closet when the tornado warnings/sirens start.

The warnings began while we were at Amelia's Spring dance recital. They moved us to a room at the church, lights were flickering, and I just wanted to be home in my closet. I immediately think of my babies and how I would try to save them if we were actually hit by a tornado. I let my mind race with "what ifs" and play out every scenario in my head.

We decided to leave the recital early and start home.

(picture from KATV website)

By the time we arrived home, tornadoes had touched down in different areas of central Arkansas.  Bedtime arrived and stories started to flood newsrooms and social media. I finally stopped checking my phone around 2am. I would awake throughout the night to check on different families that I knew were in the path of the storms. Just praying for the best.

The photo below is the before/after picture of a home that belonged to a family of 11. They had 9 children. The father and two of their daughters didn't survive the storm. The Mom and her 7 children are in the hospital. Many with broken bones. All with broken hearts.

I know what it's like to lose everything you own. My family went through the loss of two homes. 

I learned at a very young age that things can be replaced. Things are just...things.

I remember the second time we experienced the loss of our home. I was in grade school. I remember my friends telling me how sorry they were and all I felt was relief. I was just so thankful that my family wasn't home when our house caught fire. Even as a child, I replayed the "what ifs" in my head. I remember rounding the corner where our two-story home used to peek above the trees and there was nothing there. It was all gone. 

But in that moment, it was okay.

Our family of eight walked away as a family of eight.  

My family was okay. 

It's okay that I don't have a baby book, or baby clothes, or many pictures of when I was a child. 

It's okay because I have my family.

Many in my home state lost everything last night.  They walked away from a pile of rubble they used to call home and they couldn't say, "it's okay because I have my family."  

Some lost a father/husband. Some lost a mother/wife. Some lost their children.

I know my God is good and He never changes. 
I know my God can sustain these families during their grief. 
I also know that with that truth comes pain.  

It's times like this that I find myself saying, "God, why did you allow that to happen to this family??"

I was going through my notes from Bible study last week and it was just what I needed to read.

"God often answers our questions by revealing WHO HE IS."

When the disciples were in the boat in the midst of that terrible storm, they cried out, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown!??"

Jesus answered, "Peace Be Still!" 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:37

Jesus is our Peace.

When I have a question for God and I feel like He just hasn't answered me - that's simply not true. God answers many of my questions by revealing His character. (Galatians 5:22-23)

He is Peace.

Please pray for my home state. 

Pray for all of the families that are picking up the pieces as best they know how. 

Pray for those ministering to communities as they grieve and rebuild. 

Pray they find Peace in the aftermath of this storm. 

Pray for Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Love to all,


twondra said...

Well said. I'll be praying for you guys and your state. Huge hugs

Momx6 said...

Well said, Jill, and TRUE.