Tornado Alley....that is where I feel I live at the moment. This past week was intense with storms throughout central Alabama. More than 200 people lost their lives in Alabama. Tuscaloosa was hit very hard....so much of it leveled. There was so much devastation there that the University of Alabama has postponed graduation.
In our neighborhood - right around the corner from our house...a 2 minute walk - there are huge, 100 year old (or older) trees completely uprooted like a giant plucked them out of the ground the way I could pluck a weed. So many of these trees are on top of houses. I have never actually seen devastation like this in person, only on television. I drove down Park Avenue and a very small portion of Shades Crest Road (because it was blocked fully by very large trees going both directions) and just could not believe my eyes. It was like watching television, not my neighborhood. The sadness, relief, and joy I felt was insurmountable. I felt very sad for those with homes damaged (moreso fearing injuries, or worse, loss of life). I felt relief that this did not happen to us and all we had to worry about was power outage. I felt joy that I just dropped off my fully intact 4 year old at preschool and my 23 month old and 11 week old were sitting right behind me, SAFELY, in our van.
A fear went through me like no other when I thought about just how CLOSE this is to my house, how many HUGE old trees I have in my yard, how my two oldest children sleep upstairs while Chris, Maddox and I are downstairs in the basement, and how Chris and I had NO IDEA that this was coming, heard nothing during those early morning hours, and were doing NOTHING to protect Evan and Brady sleeping upstairs. I am certain the tornado went right over our house....thank GOD it didn't touch down on my sweet boys sleeping.
The fear started dissipating as I thought about the simple yet heartfelt prayer I pray over my children every time I lay them down in their beds: "Lord, please protect Evan (Brady), please keep him healthy and safe....." I quickly shifted from feeling frightened to feeling blessed. Thank you, LORD, for protecting my boys. Thank you for blessing my family and I. Thank you for these reminders of what is really important and just how much I have to be thankful for. Please, as I am blessed, help me to be a blessing to those in need at this time. AMEN!!!!!