I yanked the kids out of bed and we sat huddled in my bedroom closet, hearing the pop of the electricity blowing out. We watched flashes of lightning, one after another, and heard the dull roar of wind. I saw an unearthly green outside our window.
In a mere matter of minutes, it was over. What came through our neighborhood is still yet to be determined, whether it was a tornado or straight line winds. It was destructive, whatever it was. There are lots of trees down in our neighborhood, huge old trees just knocked straight over, and some tops of trees snappd off.
We didn't have power for a little over a day, so yesterday seemed like the longest day in my life. I had to rely on people calling me to give me updates about the weather situation, because what started our day off was honestly NOTHING compared to what happened over the course of the day in our sweet state. Once I got a call that there was a mile-wide tornado on the ground in Tuscaloosa (click on that to see pics of the destruction there), and it had been on the ground for 15 minutes, I knew we needed to leave our home.
I'm still processing, and in utter shock, over the sheer damage and destruction that happened in towns all over Alabama. Almost 200 reported deaths, and over 1700 hospitalizations. Here's a link to some of the resulting damage in Tuscaloosa.
Last night we rushed through the rain to my aunt's house (who has a basement), praying the whole way, rather hysterically, that we would make it. We were listening to the radio, hearing about how pieces of debris were falling from the sky from another city into ours... how this massive, violent tornado is menacing over our city.
We had a huge hill with many redlights that we had to get over before we got to safety. I've never been there without stopping at at least one of the stoplights... me and the kids prayed that the lights would all be green... and they were. Out of six stoplights, not one of them were red.
I know it sounds simple, but in that moment, that was huge.
Yesterday, me and my precious family, spread out over the state, were all safe. I am so grateful. I'm grateful for friends who checked on us, for drive-throughs to grab dinner, for candles and flashlights, for family with basements, for babies who snuggle with you when you're the one that is scared, for a husband that is calm when I am freakin' out.
I am shocked. And grateful. And a little numb and overwhelmed still.
Please donate to the Red Cross for relief efforts for all the affected areas in our state.
This weekend is a missions conference at our church. I am greatly anticipating being with my community. Loving each other with just the presence of friends, and sharing a meal, and reminding each other of truth. Even in the wake of such a storm... I lean on God. He is the only sturdy rock to cling to.