As the storm raged, I could hear my siblings crying out for mom and me. I was broken-hearted. I couldn’t get to them. I couldn’t hold them or tell them that God would see us through. I couldn’t dry their tears and rock them. I just sat helplessly, shaking and praying that those stairs (we had placed the children in the safest place in the room and it was the closet under the stairs) wouldn’t collapse on them. Or what if something happened to all the adults and the children survived? What would they do without us? I had so many what ifs and doubts reeling in my mind.
This experience has made me realize the most important things in my life. Not that I haven’t realized before, but sometimes I take things for granted…blessings that I don’t thank God profusely for that I should. My parents, the people that have given an oath to God to bring me up in His statutes; the family that loves me. Do you know what it means to be loved? To truly feel an undying love every day? I don’t know how I would live without that love. I could have lost it forever.
My siblings. Those beautiful faces that greet me each morning with a smile that says they’re happy to see me. Little Mallie’s hugs that nearly squish you. Little “Kyla moments” when she comes up and asks in her dainty high pitch voice “Bria, you wanna have a girl party?” Ellia with her bright blue eyes that smile all on their own. Avalee with her cute curls that bounce when she skips. Alexa with her gentle and serving spirit. Ashton and his artistic and visionary ideas. Brooks with his quiet but surprising intellect.
I used to be prone to look at things in a negative light. Now God has given me the ability to see the positive. It makes life so much more joyful! If I could rewind the storm, the only part I would change is the dear lives lost. But as for the rest, it has been such an amazing journey. I wouldn’t trade a day of it. The people that have reached out. Complete strangers that know nothing except disaster has struck Shoal Creek walking up to me and asking what they can do or if they can help with kids or get food for us. It has been beyond overwhelming to witness what God has done through such heart-wrenching disaster. He has taken the scattered pieces of destruction and made a beautiful masterpiece that needs displayed forever. My journey has been unforgettable, but it’s not over yet.
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.” Job 37:5
“…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”Romans 5:3,4
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”Psalm 119:71
“…And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill we’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still: to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways, and make a joyful duty out sacrifice of praise! O God Beyond All Praising