Storm season is now here in full force. Yet there are many who are ready and prepared for the storm season. Some are overprepared while others are underprepared. Yet with the beginning of storm season and how it begins with a big bang, and that was last week with at least 4 touch down tornadoes in Oklahoma (three) and Arkansas (one). These storm did some heavy damage, Moore, OK which has been hit many times. They have endured many storms which have taken out many parts of town. Yet this is normal for those who live in tornado ally. Whether you are in the Midwest Plain states or in the Southeast part in Alabama, Mississippi.
Growing up in tornado ally since I was a very young child. There are times I do not remember much except for the sirens going off to the yucky looking sky. Or perhaps it was the ominous sky. I grew up around the crazy weather that changed from morning to night. From one season in the morning to the complete opposite the next. These storms even when I was child I was seeing the damage they did. I saw how the cars were mangled in many spots. There were buildings that were damaged. Yet this was something that prepared me for what I was going to see sometime later in life. It sounds crazy but this was life in the plain states. In the Midwest. In Missouri. Storms that are crazy and sometimes can be potentially dangerous. Life changes in an instant when these destructive storms hit.
Even when these storms hits, and destroy 1/3rd of the town, there is a rekindling of strength and purpose to rebegin again. The first year is rough for the survivors. Rough when the storms cause you to search for items. Search for what truly belongs to you. Search for what mattered the most. These moments are rough on everyone. Yet in one year the anniversary bothers some while other just try to go despite all the emotions going through their head. I had once been told to keep my mouth shut on the one year anniversary of the Joplin Tornado, but yet as difficult as it was to keep my emotions in, they fully did not understand how tough it was. They did not understand the struggle it was to be without a home to call your own and to go to.
The second year rolls around and emotions are still fresh from the storm. Survivors are still trying on getting things in order. They are struggling to find where they can live. Some live in a trailor that FEMA has provided for them, but have to be out in one year or still searching for a job. Some just want to gather new items to make it feel like it is more like home to them. They want a sense of normalcy but still struggle around the year of the storm or perhaps the date of the storm. They are slowly healing in a manner that God wants them to heal. Some are healing through readiing while other heal in a different manner. Some just need to allow themsleves to cry and cry through their emotions of what has happened but yet this is their way of healing while others write (like I do). Some blog it out to others others keep it in a journal and others write a book filled with stories.
Third year comes a rolling around. Many just want to put the storm behind them while others struggle through times of the date of the storm. Many people will just want to move on and just let it go. There are those who have been through many things during the storm still need time to recoup. Need time to take things slowly but not as fast as other who are in the quicker stages of recovery. Recovery takes time to get back to where they are supposed to be. Recovery for the school system needs to be handled very efficiently but also correctly. Never moving fast that there are places that need certain items done a certain way but not rushing about to get it done so it can be occupied. Being late is okay, but not to rush to put lives in danger.
The fourth year comes around and there are some who do not want an anniversary ceremony to remind them about what happened four years ago. Yet there are some who struggle to just forget that day. Sometimes it could mean something very simple to help them remind the families and such that This is part of the history yes do not dwell on it, but to realize how far we have come from this disaster. I know many would rather not have this reminder and not want to look as to how far God has brought them. God has brought Joplin very far in the recovery from the 22 May 2011. We have a new hospital that is very up to date. A new high school. Many new things throughout town, but yet I struggle to remember some buildings throughout town. Yet this okay because I can see the New things come out in the garden that has come out of the dust.
Beautiful things are coming up out the dust that once was. Beautiful things that have been declared beauty in His eyes. Things may have become hard in 2011 and for a few years. Yet God has made provisions for all his people, and his children. He knows exactly whose stories will bring glory to him. Whose stories will be sloughed off to the side. Some who will not even give a survivor mercy. Some who will tell the survivors “It is time to get over it.” Some who will push people to the end of their rope. Then there are those who give grace, mercy and love to those who need it the most. Some who want to love others just as Jesus loved us. Some who know what they will be brought through to the other side.
As the first week of storm season is coming to a close please remember that it is not easy to live where storms are predicted and in just about every weather week there is. This is a journey each and every year. This journey and this adventure through storm season can be easy and sometimes it can be difficult. Each season will be different from each other. Each storm is different from each other. Each person reacts in a different way than another person. It is life but yet it can be God honoring in a way that is amazing. God brings us through the storms but we need to keep our eyes looking only one him and no one else. Looking ahead and stepping out in such a faith that reflects him in your recovery. Showing others that despite the disaster you know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We keep our eyes directly on Him, through the pain and struggle but by the grace of God we can tell our stories to show how wondrous and Great our God is.
I know that many struggle during this season but I my desire is to see you tell your story and how God has brought you to safety in such a manner that was amazing. He has done amazing things for you throughout these four years.
Psalm 23 is a comforting Psalm to say to calm down. Yet to pray for protection you can pray Psalm 91.