As you may know that it was exactly a month ago today that tornadoes EF4 and EF5 ripped up our precious South. My hometown was one of the survivors from a large EF4 tornado. The scars and battle wounds are still visible, but God has worked his magic among us throughout this whole ordeal. Our community has come together as one. We have been singing His name a little louder and we know as Christians that hell can rain down destroy our possessions, but that's all it is our possessions. We may crawl out from underneath the rubble and we may walk away beat up and exhausted. You know what? Satan can take and destroy our houses, clothes, jewelry, cars, but he still can not have our soul. Praise God from the mountain tops for God is carrying us and kissing our wounds. I am His child and He is my God almighty. It's hard to still hear about mothers and fathers losing their children from the storms. But you know, there is hope. Those precious little gems are not lost. I believe, they are holding Jesus' hand right now, waiting to see their mommy and daddy one day. I've never been in the parents' shoes, nor do I ever wish to be, but there is HOPE. We know that we will see our loved ones again, just not right now and we will miss them and morn for them. They are in the best hands EVER. Have faith my brothers and sisters in Christ. What I mean about God carrying us is that our community has hope to wipe away our tears, say goodbye to what was and look forward to the future.
A friend that's in our Discipleship Class has lost everything. Her and her family are alright and are temporarily staying with another couple that's in our class as well. Last week, they finished clearing off the rubble and debris to build a new house. To start over after so many many years with your husband. D and her husband are the same age as my oldest sister, Maryann. Their kids are married and are starting a family of their own. To have all the photos, mementos, and so many many memories just gone is a couple minutes. There are so many other similar stories and some that have worse scenarios. I get goosebumps everytime I think about what happened to so many people throughout the South and now the devastation in the North West states (Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas to name a few). I can't thank God enough for sparing me and my family from all this pain and suffering.
I believe 20 businesses were wiped out of the downtown area, but they are making a come back. I dropped off a ad to put in our local paper the other day. There were windows and doors with windows all boarded up, but "We're Open" was spray painted on the wood where there was once a door. I had to work my way around through the only available door, damaged areas to the papers advertising section. You see a lot of that around town. There are already plans to rebuild and hopefully get new businesses and attractions to our community. You can basically get around the old part of town pretty good now. I believe there is only one block that still closed because of the extensive damage and possible risk. We are still recovering, but with God in control, we'll be healed.
Just after the tornado hit April 27, 2011
A Month Later . . .