I sat in the closet with my brother, uncomfortable but scared to move as my parents stood in the porch and listened to the characteristic roar of the tornado passing too close for comfort. We would exit our home to find, over the next few weeks--schools, houses, and lives lost to the monster behind that roar.
Fast forward thirteen years and nineteen days...here I am again. However, this time I am in the closet with my husband and I now know the roar that can only mean destruction is nearby.
Just a few minutes earlier we watched with horror as the tornado roared through Tuscaloosa. We prayed together but really did not know what to say to the God who created the world and everything in it...maker of heaven and earth. I KNEW that he could direct the storm away from us or lift it back into the sky. However, I also knew that He could direct it right at our home...for His glory. Which would it be?
We continued to squirm on the couch until we heard these words "If you live in Hueytown or Pleasant Grove...take cover" and at these words, the power went off. We grabbed couch cushions and the phone and ran to our "safe place."
About fifteen minutes later, we exited our safe place to a yard that was eerily quite and unscathed except for pieces of insulation and shingles littered here and there, a sure sign that destruction was not far away.
So here we are on the other side of the disaster...completely safe, with power and all the necessities, and yet completely lost as to how to move forward. How do you go on living as normal when you recognize how close you came to death? How do you clean your house and scrub your kitchen without thinking of those who have no house to clean? How do you eat a yummy meal and sleep in a warm bed? It is the same feeling that you get when you come back from your first trip (or your second or your third) to a impoverished country. How can we go on living as normal?
I believe that we cannot. So, we pray and we seek ways to no longer live for ourselves. We don't feel guilty for all that we have but rather use it to help those who have lost everything. If you have ideas of ways that we can help or families that we can assist, please let me know!