okstorm

My daughter just got back from Moore, Oklahoma. Along with a team from our church, she spent the last few days helping families sift through the rubble that was once their homes. They spent hours searching for the smallest pieces of their lives.

When I asked her what struck her the hardest, she told me,

Watching the families look at the debris, or the crosses in memory of the children that died. The blank look of disbelief on their faces — they’re not in there. Then when you hug them, they just drop into your arms and cry. I remember that feeling. I remembered when that was us.

So do I.

In the midst of tornado sirens five summers ago, we were summoned to a small room in the basement of a hospital. Behind closed doors, two strangers, doing their best to be kind, said to us the most horrific words I ever heard. They told us our youngest son died at the scene.

What I once knew as my home, my family, and my children — even myself  — all changed. There was no going back.

An June 2008 entry from my journal:

It is as though my life has exploded into thousands of little pieces. Daily I strive to carefully pick up another piece. What I am finding is that each piece is part of a puzzle. And I have to ask God where each piece fits.

To my surprise, the picture of my life that the pieces are forming is a much different picture than the one I knew before.

You can’t stop the storms of life from rolling in. You can, however, allow them to deepen your relationships rather than destroy them.