March 2, 2012. In my county alone, 115 houses were damaged. 50 of these had major damage. 50 had minor damage. 15 were completely destroyed. 7 families I know personally had damage. Less than 11 months after the last major tornado outbreak to hit this state. The most impressive number – 0 fatalities. That, my dears, is a profound testamony of God’s providential care.
Once again, I am writing a blog post about a storm. Once again, I have been humbled. This weekend has been so eerily similar to April 27, 2011 and the days that followed it. We were going through less than a year ago what 115 families are going through tonight. Some of those families are faced with the task of rebuilding their lives for the 2nd time. It’s easy to question why this happened again so soon. I keep looking at that 0 fatalities number and thanking God for blessing us. I know other cities and states were not as fortunate. I pray for those who did lose loved ones.
I am saddened for everyone who was affected by the storms on Friday. I know the struggles they are about to face and are already facing. I know the fear they must have felt. I know the feeling of your life being torn upside down. I never thought I would say this, but now I’m glad I know. Now I can help other people and give back. No, I am not glad this happened again. I would not wish the suffering on anyone. I just hope that I will be able to encourage others and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel ahead. Friday was a sad day. Even though “it’s just stuff”, the places we call home are big parts of our lives. I get that. I also get that thankful feeling of your family being okay.
On Friday, my anxiety and fear was spiraling. It was a tough day, but my perspective had changed by the time my head finally hit the pillow that night. The emotion that has stood out to me this weekend above all the others that have gone through my head is the feeling of thankfulness. Tonight, I am so thankful. Saturday was a day of cleaning up. I didn’t think I could do it. I was scared to see two of the worst hit neighborhoods, but I wanted to make myself do it. I truly wanted to give back to some of the same people that helped us so much last year. By the end of the day, I was oddly more at peace with things than I have been in a long time. Basically, I had to get over my own selfishness and let go of what has been holding me back for 11 months.
My cousin was at home with her four year old son when their house was hit. They made it to the closet just in time. The four year old’s room was trashed. They had even more damage than we did. Now, they will be dealing with repairs while taking care of two precious boys. Yet, they are still here. It is scary to even contemplate the alternative. I am thankful.
Things could have been so much different. All day I was trying to prepare myself for what would happen if our house was hit again or someone was hurt. I couldn’t see how I could move on for the second time. It didn’t happen, but for some people it did. I am thankful my loved ones are still here. I am thankful for all the texts, phone calls, hugs, prayers, and concern for me from friends who knew how scared I was on Friday. I love you all muches!
There is so much I am still learning about life. I am learning that no matter what, you just keep moving forward. God will take care of you – through the sunshine and through the storms.