Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Let Your Heart Be Heard......

     A year ago today, at around 3:20 in the afternoon, I huddled in a small library office with a few of my closest friends to take cover from one of the most horrific storms to ever hit my small town.  I remember sitting in the library moments before this EF-3 swept through the community of my school thinking, "we will be fine!"  I had friends from Arkansas texting me asking if I was okay.  I replied with something like, "yes, we are fine here....there's nothing to worry about.  I've lived here my whole life, it's just a warning."  I literally have lived in this town for my whole life, and heard countless warnings.  I remember sitting in the halls of what is now Johnson Elementary, waiting for a storm to pass.....but never worrying that a tornado would actually hit.
     But, a year ago today, my mind towards tornado warnings completely changed.  My town was hit.  My school was hit!  My student's homes were torn apart.  Some of them lost most, if not all of their material possessions.  My heart broke for them.
     As I sat in that library office, I began to pray.  My body was trembling, and I was afraid.  But I wasn't afraid for my life.  You see, I knew that if God chose to take my life at that very moment, I would be safe in His arms.  I would be in Heaven with Him, my Grandpa's and my big brother Tony.  I didn't fear for my life.  I even remember praying that if He had to take a life, that He could take mine because I knew that whenever He chooses to take me, I will be with Him.  But for my students and my coworkers and everyone else that was in Diamond Creek during that tornado, I didn't know if that was true for them.  I didn't want any of them to die not knowing where they would go!  I would hate for anyone, even those who may "hate" me, to die not knowing where they would end up.  Thankfully, God spared every single life that was affected on April 3, 2012 by the tornado.  He saved us all.  And I think that is one thing we were meant to learn from this experience!
     That experience completely changed me.  You can ask my family, I am not the same.  Some days it changed me for the good, but there were many days I had been changed for the bad....I was depressed, I was sad, I was hurting for reasons I couldn't even explain.  It was a traumatic experience, but a year later, I can honestly say that I was changed for the good because of it.  I know that God is in control.  I get scared sometimes, especially when the sky is a strange color, or I hear that there are storms coming. Standing under a wooden roller coaster this summer on the boardwalk in Galveston completely terrified me because the sound was almost identical to what I heard on that day last year.  But, altogether, I know that my God will supply ALL my needs, according to His will.  He will take care of me, and hold me in His hands.
     As I was driving to school this morning, I listened to the song that really put things into perspective for me last year.  It's called Sing Along by Christy Nockles.  It says:  "So let Your song rise, and fill up the air, let Your hope ring out, let Your heart be heard!"  I pray that through all of this, that God's Heart is heard.  I pray that everyone will see that my God is a POWERFUL God.  He can create a storm that is mighty enough to destroy anything and everything in it's path.  But He can also CALM that same storm, and protect every single person in it's path.  If He can save an entire community from an EF-3, He can absolutely save us all from the problems of this world.  "God sent His Son into the world, not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."  John 3:17

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