4 Hours In Tornado Alley’s Storm

4 hours. 9 people, 1 storm shelter.

It was a tornado warning. It was quickly gathering into the storm shelter. It was crazy. It was a tad claustrophobic. It was kids eating bags of Annie’s snacks, granola bars, and peanut butter crackers for dinner. It was placing a bucket in the corner of the shelter and holding up a blanket as a make-shift bathroom. It was parent’s comforting children. It was holding up phones all around the place trying to snatch even the tiniest of signals to communicate with the outside world. It was, with angst, watching iPads and iPhones slowly lose their battery life and die.

4 hours. Waiting for the storm to pass.

It was listening. It was silent. It was winds making sounds that would make your skin crawl. It was terrifying. It was neighbors friends praying together. It was listening to Laura Story’s “Blessings” and Hillsong UNITED’s – “Touch the Sky”. It was whispering praises in the storm to a sovereign God. It was wondering if there would be anything left when you finally emerged from safety.  It was thanking Him…even in the midst of the unknown.

4 hours. Opening the hatch.

It was anxiously emerging. It was feeling relief when seeing your home still standing in one piece. It was a mess surrounding the home. It was not knowing what to feel when seeing four years of hard work outside mangled and a mess. It was relief to see goats and chickens safe and unhurt. It was feeling sorrow when seeing the destruction our neighbors were experiencing. It was a little boy who was sad to see his playground, gone. It was a husband and wife holding fast to each other. It was feeling so grateful. It was tears. It was family and friends reaching out. It was no electricity and no water. It was being startled by Search and Rescue checking in at midnight. It was getting no sleep.

4 hours.

Through it all, it was God. He was there in the first minutes of quickly gathering things to throw into our storm shelter. He was the calm in the four long hours of being in a storm shelter. He was the comfort in and after the storm. He was the certainty through the confusion. He was and continues to be.

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