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.