The Morning After {the tornado}

We woke early after a loooong night of little sleep and too much worry, wondering if our friends were okay, if our church's meeting space had survived, and what exactly had happened to our community. Dropping off our kids with their grandparents freed us up to go out in search of the answers to all those worries. I was focused as we working our way through roadblocks and security down to our friends’ home where our friends’ home once stood. I was on a mission, get to their house. Find her. Give her a hug and a Dr. Pepper. I had a plan.


I found her neighborhood, or what was left. I could see the demolished street from atop the hill where we sat behind law enforcement who were protecting our friends from looters. I found her home, or what was left. A sad resemblance of the place I dropped my kids so many times so Matt and I could go on a date night. Once inside, I found my friend, what was left of her. I lost focus. I lost my self-controlled-persona. She wept on my shoulder while uttering confusion over her spared life and not that of her son’s best friends who had eaten dinner with them less than 12 hours before the digging through rubble began. She may not have been intact as I'd left her or once knew her but she was becoming a new creation.


She gained composure as did I and ask for a task. I headed to a bedroom with the goal of retrieving any remaining toys and clothes. I dug and packed. I shook off glass and shards of home. I crammed totes full of once treasured belongings that are now “remains”. I found glimpses of HOPE among the destruction. Signs God was for us, not against us. He had not left us.


I glanced out the window as I threw a piece of lumber through the shattered glass only to see a world so broken I had no chance of making a dent. I couldn’t comfort those whose house was g.o.n.e. Whose children were g.o.n.e. as they lay in a hospital bed and those who knew and loved them dug through their pile of stuff in hopes of finding anything of value.


Just months earlier I'd been sitting in this very house, celebrating that my fourth child would soon be here. I Still Have Her. Alive and well. Tucked safely away with her Nanna as I wonder how my house was untouched with a pile of twigs unwavered, the house I stand in has walls and survivors, and the one down the street is void of life.

before and after

I prayed for discernment. Jesus had something for me- Something that I would have the pleasure of being a tiny part of. I got to work with the comfort that in my action, my Redeemer is bigger than my failure. Action is all I could do. Working. Feeling I was attempting to do. something. to right this wrong.


Day one of aftermath was overwhelming to say the least. Swirling questions of God's sovereignty.


Before accomplishing anything close to what I wanted, I left to grab my babies for lunch. I nursed and snuggled my baby. I hugged and gave extra grace to my bigs. They napped and I tried to tackle the mounting text, Facebook notifications and messages that were flooding in from family, local friends, long-distance friends, and heart friends from across the world.


I am a cog. I am just a cog. I am just a cog for the great work Christ is starting in this time and place. Bring on the pain. Bring on the mountain of request to help that I am unqualified to assist with. Bring on the challenge of learning to love this broken, scattered, hurting place. I am thankful that we can find Hope, Joy, and Peace amidst the storm even when we don't understand it. Now its time to put to action the hope, joy, and peace that I have and can only be found in the One who made me.

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  1. “She may not have been intact as I’d left her or once knew her but she was becoming a new creation.”
    THIS….so very true and so evident


  1. […] The morning after the storm, it was evident to me that I wouldn't be able to serve like the rest of the valley church in the way of clean-up or collecting donations and felt useless. THEN another mom suggested maybe we could take turns watching one another children and working in town. YES! I can do that. So the next day I opened my home for childcare to those in our valley families who needed somewhere for their littles to go. […]

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