Saturday, April 30, 2011

Life-Be Grateful-Be Very Grateful

Many of you might already know about the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the state of Alabama. I can't tell you how frightening that day, April 27th, was for me and my family. 16 hours of unending sirens, warnings, and horrific news flashes. 16 hours of texting my friends every time I went into the bathroom to let them know we were safe: for now. 16 hours of PURE TERROR. When the lights went out in Northern Alabama, we stepped outside. Not sure what to do. We saw two funnel clouds forming overhead, and one coming straight for our home. Back inside we ran. We three. An eerie silence. A POP. A moment where I believe we all thought "this is it."

It wasn't. It was not our turn. But that didn't make us any more special or god-loved. Nope. It didn't. Why were we spared a devastating tornado hit when just half a mile up the road a church steeple had been ripped off the church and flung to the ditches? Why were we spared when just a few miles north of us an entire neighborhood incurred so many losses of homes an even a fatality that the devastation is incomprehensible?

Why were we spared and others were not? I don't think I'm less of a sinner or more of a saint. I don't think my religion saved me, though I did have my bible in the bathroom and I did pray. I believe many others who weren't spared worse prayed, too, regardless of their faith background. I don't believe I had a extra divine intervention. I just believe that in praying I was given a measure of comfort during a terrible, frightening day. The words I read from my bible gave me a sense of calm I otherwise would not have had in those moments.

I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful that my house stands unscathed. I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my blog and cyber community. I am grateful that I am here typing these words.

I cry for the ones who sought comfort and didn't survive. I pray for their families. I cry for the families who have lost their homes in the matter of a moment in time--lives were shattered. And I pray for them to find a way to draw comfort from their faith, their friends, their loved ones.

On Wednesday, April 27th--in the dark gloom of the 16 hour day blaring warnings and striking fear into our hearts--my community lost so much. My state lost so much. But during that day, we held onto one thing that nothing could take away from us: our hearts. I am so grateful to all my friends who searched for me, who worried for me and my family, and who showed me that by focusing on what matters that I am indeed a blessed and rich woman.

Tears come whenever I think about all of the people who were praying FOR me and my family that day.

Thank you.


Patricia Preston said...

Glad you are okay! It was a bad time. We were lucky. We had tornadoes skipping around us all day. Hang in there!

Anne Gallagher said...

And I'm crying right now reading your words. Oh, Christine, I can't imagine the terror.

They gave us a few warnings where we are in NC and we did run downstairs to the bathroom a few times, but it was nothing compared to what happened to you.

I have been praying for everyone there, watching it on the news. I can't believe how much was lost. I almost want to compare it to Katrina.

I'm glad you and your family are okay. If you need anything, feel free to email.

Petra said...

Like Anne, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. I was so worried for you guys on Wednesday and am so incredibly relieved the worst that happened to you was losing power. It's really when I realized how much I care about you and Chuck and Mallory! Usually, you don't think about how precious people are to you, but in times of danger it suddenly becomes incredibly clear!

Christine said...

Hi Everyone: Thanks so much for popping into my temporary veranda and sharing. We were so lucky!! I have pictures of the funnel cloud above my house posted on FB. My neighbor took them.

I'm just glad we're all okay. There is no rhyme nor reason to how these things act.

Tami Brothers said...

So glad you are okay, Christine. I know after the previous couple of weeks, this is just the cherry on top...grin... I do know that you are strong enough to handle it and to help everyone else through it with flying colors. You are incredible and I'm lucky to call you a friend.

I hope you get to head home soon!!!!


Christine said...

Hi Tami: Yes, what a couple of weeks, but at least we are safe and in a good harbor with friends. We head to Franklin TN tomorrow. Then home to check on the house for a bit. Then back to Franklin. My main concern is to take care of my kidlet.

Then I'd like to start helping the relief effort.

Gwynlyn said...

Dear heaven, Christine! I didn't realize you were in Alabama. I'm sorry you were terrified, but glad you had your faith to help you through.

Two of the Rubies live there. One, like you, made it through shaken but unscathed. Another wasn't as lucky, but she, too, is well, thank God; no power, no water, no gas, but well.

Now comes the hard part. While I have no doubt financial support will be forthcoming (Americans are good about that), know you and the entire state are in our prayers.

Christine said...

THanks Gwynlyn! I think I know who you are talking about, Danniele Worsham is a Ruby Slipper and I think Kim Law is as well. It's been a rough week, but we will prevail. I counted over 100 utility trucks coming into our state to help TVA and Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Two others saw the same amount coming from east and west states. We are beyond blessed. I'm hoping we have power by Thursday. If that is the case, I hope to help my friends who don't ... whoever is up first will help the other out.

Thanks for the prayers!!