Friday, June 13, 2008

Storms



As most of you have heard, the Midwest is being hit by severe storms, especially in Iowa.
Remember them in prayers.

Here in NE Indiana, we are becoming more and more water logged. The storms roll through with an annoying frequency, bringing a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Pair that with damaging winds and fierce lightning and you have a whole mess of chaos.

This past Monday, Paige and I were out for a mom/daughter time. We dropped Sarah off at gymnastics and headed over to Barnes and Noble at the mall. The moment we stepped into the store, rain began to fall. In a matter of minutes, the sky was black and the wind whipped through the parking lot. It was so bad, at one point, you couldn't even see out the store window.
This was no regular Midwest summer storm, this one was here to cause trouble.

I could feel Paige tense up as she moved closer to my side, reaching for my hand. I looked down at tears in her eyes. I leaned over and whispered a prayer in her ear and squeezed her hand. We decided to walk to the back of the store and find a book to keep us occupied. While walking, the employees of the store instructed everyone to move away from the front doors and windows for the time being. Security guards were asking people to not leave the store and/or mall.

Now I wanted to cry.

My mind raced to Jeff and the kids. I knew they were safe at home. I knew Paige and I would be safe at the store (there are tornado shelters located throughout the mall). Sarah? What about Sarah? She was around the corner in a large metal industrial building at gymnastics.

I tried to call the gym. No answer. I found myself praying the universal prayer, "Father, help me. I'm slipping into worry and fear." I took a deep breath, recited Jeremiah 32:17, and tried to call Jeff. Thankfully, he answered immediately. He had been trying to get through to us but the storms were obviously messing with the phone systems. He had just called the gym and the coaches pulled all of the girls off the floor and they were safe in the back enforced rooms of the the building.

I looked at my watch. It felt like forever but only 3 minutes had passed. The rain was pounding the building. The lights were flickering. The thunder was deafening. The dark ominous wind was still covering the parking lot. I tried to keep Paige occupied with several books, "Hey, look at this one. This was my favorite. Oh, this looks fun. Do you like this cover? Would you like to help me find this author?" She played along with my game but I knew I was *this* close to having a curly haired, sobbing daughter on the floor if things didn't improve quickly.

And then it happened. A small group of teens walked by, laughing and yelling, "Tornado. Tornado. Bring it. We're all gonna die."

Paige began to cry, hard. I hugged her tight and prayed over her. Why did the teens do that? Do they really think they were being funny? Would God understand if I would have beat them senseless with a nearby encyclopedia?

And just like that, the rain stopped. The wind quieted. I peeked around the corner and looked outside. It was clear. YAY! Paige and I went about the business of finding a book and enjoying dinner.

Before picking up Sarah we decided to visit the Christian bookstore. While driving, I realized that all of the stop lights in the area were out. A lot of businesses were dark. "The storm must have knocked out power for this area," I thought. We continue to the small strip mall where the Christian store is located and I realize that everything, minus Walmart, it dark and empty. I drive through the lot, thinking we will have to visit the store another time and what do we see? In the midst of all the darkness, there is light. The Christian bookstore was bright and open. They were not affected by the storm.

Isn't that cool? Isn't that a lot like life? In the midst of the darkest storm, Christ shines bright.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lena said...

My heart beat faster just reading this post! Sad about the teens - it hurts me to think about Paige upset to tears at their ignorance. So glad to hear that all ended well and the storm moved on out.

4:24 PM  
Blogger oceans5 said...

How scary. I am teaching my girls when they are scared to pray about it and know that God is listening. So glad your whole family is safe.:) I would have said something to the teenagers. That was very inconsiderate.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Holly Wood said...

Oh wow... how inspiring!!

10:28 AM  

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