Let the people in Moore and Shawnee feel your love. Help them to be recognize your love and feel your strength. And give them the strength they will need in the days, months and years ahead.
I will admit, with little embarrassment the last couple of days have worn me out. Mentally I am done. I prayed for the Lord to take my anxiety and for me to be able to let it go and then I took it right back again. Sometimes we can do that. Sometimes we can't.
I was watching the weather very carefully on Sunday. I can get a little too focused. 2 apps on the phone, one on the iPad and a real live weather radio. Alerts were going off in 4 different places. The one that made the difference was the weather radio. It actually said there was a rotation and named the location. It was almost 11PM, the boys were asleep, I had on my expensive new running shoes (be damned if I was going to lose those!) and I went to Eric and suggested he change from flip flops to shoes, the sirens would be going off. As we were waking the boys you could hear the siren (across the street) begin that eerie quiet start and then full blown blare. It sets your heart to pounding and your expensive shoes a movin! Eric was upstairs getting Alex and I was getting Grayson out of our bed. I dressed him as we headed to the basement while trying to answer his sleepy questions and not scare him to death. I use the term basement loosely. It's mostly a crawl space but there's a space that is 3 feet deeper with a cement floor and cement and brick walls. Alex brought his clothes and got dressed in the basement. We had blankets. We had flashlights. I had my purse, iPad and cell phone. and family binder. (When I feel stressed I pick a project that has free printables from one of those fancy bloggers. So, I have a couple of fancy pants binders) We sat, squatted and shook while trying to listen for the tell tale sound of a train through the wind, rain, hail, thunder, lightening and breaking glass. The power never went out so the light showed our fear and the 50 year old window gave a glimpse of the lightening. Some vent under the house magnified everything. I kept hoping someone would yell, "Cut! Print! That's a wrap!" Alex, being on the spectrum was largely unafraid. Sitting on an old paint bucket but, he was quiet. Grayson, sitting on my lap, blanket over his head would ask how long? What's that? Finally after a few rounds the siren was off and we went upstairs to find broken windows and storm windows. And then Monday. Yesterday. I pick the boys up from school knowing we only had a few minutes before the siren would sound. I think it was the same storm system that hit Moore and it was headed our way. We weren't home 7 minutes... wait, we were home long enough for the boys to take their shoes off and get super comfortable. So, maybe 3 minutes. Grayson, sensing my nervousness is asking endless questions while following me around the house and Alex won't get his shoes on. Love and Logic does not apply in this situation. You cannot leave them upstairs and say, "Then I guess you'll blow away with the storm." You also cannot force a 10 year old down old wooden steps barefoot. I texted Eric, "come home please". I can get super polite when I'm scared. We were in the basement twice or three times that evening. Thankfully, this missed us. (photo borrowed from FB).
Just when you are feeling thankful for your safety and that your prayers to be kept safe are answered you hear and see the images out of Moore. We all ask why? Why a school, Lord? And our human nature is to get mad and want an explanation. We also forget we are his children and children don't always get the full answer. He did not say this world would be free of tragedy and heartache. It seems like lots of messages tell us we will be protected. He speaks to the protection of our soul. We can feel blessed all we want but, it in truth we are all blessed and protected when we choose to believe in Him. The protection he promises is everlasting life with Him. Isaiah 46:4 "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." 2 Timothy 4:18 "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." In his book 90 minutes in Heaven the author describes the joy of heaven to be tenfold more joyful than our worst heartache and pain on earth. That's something to remember when our heart is broken for ourselves or others. The joy we will feel in heaven is tenfold stronger than the pain we feel on earth. Our earthly minds and bodies are temporary. Our souls are eternal in Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, I pray you will let us feel your peace and comfort as we forge ahead on earth. Until you call us home may you give us strength and peace to do your will. And help us to surrender our worries to you.