Today we lived through what may be the worst tornado outbreak in US history—the devastation is heart wrenching. I’ve spent the last four hours watching storm after storm break out. Reports of damage, devastation and deaths are pouring in. It’s more than I can even process right now.
As these storms began I thought of the phrase – port in the storm, a safe place. When you from these parts, you know that means the basement or the smallest room in the center of the house. As I watched the storms pop up across the screen, I prayed that everyone was in their safe place.
My oldest daughter, the one who will make me a Grand mom in September, called to let me know her power was out and cell service spotty. She promised to stay in touch. I watched one storm head her way – I called, she answered. I told her to get to her safe place. She promised. I trusted.
Tornados popped up everywhere. Devastation widespread. Reports of roofs ripped off, tress snapped, complete neighborhoods wiped out. And then I saw the tornado pop up – out of nowhere. It was clear and then it was there – heading right to their little town. I called. No answer. No worries. Cell service spotty.
I texted. Sometimes text go through when cell service is spotty. Nothing. The storm was full out red on the radar—a tornado. It was there and they live on the top of a mountain, the edge of a bluff. No protection. Right out in the open.
I could only pray she and her hubby were their safe place – their port in the storm.
Ten minutes passed. More reports of houses ripped from foundations. More videos of mile wide violent tornados. More pictures of loss. More than I could stand.
Twenty minutes passed. No word from her. Reports of fatalities.
Thirty minutes. The knot in my stomach tightened. Nothing. More reports. More deaths. My mind whirled. What if?
Forty minutes. No word. Prayer request sent out. I needed a port in my storm. Not a basement. I needed to remember who holds me in the palm of His hand. And I was reminded by a sweet friend who sent me a scripture —
Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I'll take care of you and your children. Gen 50:21 The Message
And this comment “It's Joseph speaking to his brothers, but it was God speaking thru Joseph and straight to you and me.”
And in that moment God reminded me He has a plan, a perfect plan for her life and for my life. He is my port in any storm. My safe place. My shelter and my strong tower.
My heart calmed. The knot eased up. I know that His plans are greater than mine. I trusted His will over my wants.
Fifty minutes. Still nothing. More reports. More devastation. Very likely the worst tornado outbreak in US History. 53 dead.
The phone rings. It’s her. She’s good. She’s safe. All is well. My heart rejoices.
But what if it had been different. As it is for so many in Alabama tonight. The confirmed 53 and the many more, unconfirmed. What if the call had never come? I don’t know how I would feel because I’m not there and I won’t assume to understand the pain others are walking in.
It looks like chaos to us. Trees down everywhere. Houses reduced to a piles of debris. Huge buildings just gone. People crushed. Images everywhere. So much sadness. So much gone – homes, schools. hospitals and people. Gone.
It looks like chaos, but God is still God. None of this took Him by surprise. I won’t even begin to try explain this. I can’t.
But I know God is still God and He loves His children.
He binds up the brokenhearted (Ps 147:3)
…my stronghold and my refuge (2 Sam 22:3)
He is God. He loves me. That’s enough for me today.
Pray for Alabama. Pray for all those who have lost family members. Pray for those who’ve lost homes. Pray for those who are waiting to hear from their loved ones.
All of Alabama needs your prayers. We are at a loss for reason. But as for me, I will trust God.
I am so glad that your daughter and her family are all safe! We are all praying for Alabama and those who have lost family members and friends as well.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Mary
god does know what he is doing, and we all need to trust in him to protect us from harms way. god is so good!!
Praying for Alabama. Looks like at least 9 dead in North Georgia…west of us. So glad you and yours are ok.
We are praying and will continue to do so! Praying for God’s new mercies on AL this morning.
So thankful your family is ok. Praying for those who are not. I so agree with what you said, “None of this took Him by surprise. I won’t even begin to try explain this. I can’t. But I know God is still God and He loves His children.” We don’t understand and can’t explain, but can only lean…
I’m so thankful for your outcome and praying for those whose outcome was different. I love you, my sweet friend.
This post made me cry. I can’t begin to imagine. The heart of a mother and the unknown answers about children…so many hurting today.
I dropped your card in the mail before I knew of this devastation. What a macabre gift on it’s way to you now. I am embarrassed. You don’t need coffee, you need prayers. Please know they are coming friend. Fast and furious, we are watching and hurting with you tonight-and praying.
So happy to hear you and your family are safe! We had tornadoes in our area, too. I found out from my mother tonight that one touched down about a mile from my parents’ home. Seven people dead in one little community. Not the extent of devastation as Alabama has, but we just don’t have tornadoes in our area…well, until now.
Sending hugs your way, sweet Mary! Love you…
Praying and hurting for all of you.
Thank you for sharing, Mary. Reading your thoughts just brought so much more reality to the situation. I didn’t know you lived in Alabama. We have friends who lived through it also, but are also now trying to help with the aftermath. Praying and believing with you that Alabama will experience Jesus’ grace and peace during this uncertain time.
That just made me bawl!
I can not imagine what the waiting was like!
I am SO thankful your sweet girl and her husband
(plus bitty baby) are SAFE and well!
We are praying for all of you
May God continue to comfort and provide peace!