Monday, August 16, 2010

In The Midst

Rain came down in driving sheets.  Lightening flashed.  Thunder rolled.  My oldest was on the verge of panic over the storm that surrounded us.  I continually tried to reassure him that we were perfectly safe, but to no avail.  As we pulled into the parking lot at a shopping center, he exploded into a panic.  With extreme agitation he said he saw a tornado.  I scoffed at his statement and firmly told him he needed to calm down.  But, as I peered through the windshield in the direction he was pointing, I saw it. 

Bearing down across the highway, a swirling mass was headed straight for us.  Fear gripped my throat and then a rush of adrenaline burst through me.  I began searching the parking lot for my sister’s vehicle.  She had her son and two of my boys with her.  Time slowed, stalled and sputtered to a stop.  

With my son clinging to my hand and my 6-week-old daughter, swinging in her car seat from the crook of my elbow, I raced for my boys.  I gathered them close, instructed them to hold on to my shirt and trotted towards the store entrance. 

We gathered all of us, my mom, sister, nephew and my children in the ladies pajamas department. We huddled on the floor in each other’s arms.  As I looked into my children’s faces I saw fear. I heard fear in their voices as they asked if they were going to die. Fear was so thick around us, threatening to suffocate those who yielded. 

We prayed out loud as people passed us by in the dark isle-ways. We claimed God’s strength and protective hand. I pleaded for God’s calming force to fill my son's hearts.

Four years have passed since this frightening event. This summer, like none I can ever remember, has had us spending hours upon hours in the basement from tornado warnings in our area.  Each time, I see the fear, uncertainty and panic creep into my boys eyes. The memory is still so fresh.  When the possibility of bad weather presents itself worry fills our home.

I’m no stranger to worry. I understand its far reaching grip. At times it covers me like an old itchy blanket. I kick and yank, yet I’m encompassed with its prickly irritations. It is a repulsive companion I struggle to shake loose. Left to fester worry soon invites fear and anxiety to occupy my heart.

Over the years I have learned to champion over worry and its colleagues. Every verse that speaks to me about God’s strength, protection and love is placed into my verse book. Whenever worry begins to stealthily creep back into my soul, I begin to quote and quote and quote, until I feel God’s steadying hand.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand  Isaiah 41:10

In you O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Recue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me; for you are my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71: 1-3

SO, when the storms of life come our way and fill our hearts with concern our family will be raising our eyes up to the Lord, filling our mouths with His promises and feeling His comfort in our hearts. 

For He is our ROCK and FORTRESS.


  1. wonderful post!
    You are a fanastic writer by the way!

  2. Wow. I could feel the fear just by reading your post! What a scary event, but how wonderful that God brought you all through it.

  3. love this post!
    There are so many things that cause us to worry. And such a variety of things to worry about!
    My son was gone this past weekend on a boy's campout with the church. It was a big step for me to let him go.....BIG STEP!
    But I remembered he is almost 14. I have to let go a little.
    Just a few hours after he left, I was sick with worry. Will he drink enough water in this heat, will he get sunburned, will he get lost while bike riding or hiking....???
    As I lay in bed the 1st night, I began to pray. God placed His comforting hand on me. The fear was gone. I still thought about my son all weekend but didn't worry. He was in God's hands and there is no better place to be.
    My son got home last night about 8 pm and I was in the driveway waiting for him. Glad to have him back home. He had a blast!!!
    God is so good to help us through those moments of weakness. Our weakness allows His strength to work in us!
    Thanks for sharing your story with us. It hit home with me.
    Praise be to God for his awesome strength and love!

  4. Thanks, Jenn.
    Several years ago I saw my first tornado ever. I just stood and stared in awe. My husband had to drag me and the baby into safety. Neighbors lost a lot as it passed us by. Now, I know.
    But God is more awesome than a tornado and HE is in control!

  5. A splendid post girl. Even though I know that God is the grand caregiver, I find myself in bad storms remindin' Him that He CAN calm the storm. I went through a tornado when I was five and never got over the fear of a storm.

    God bless ya and have yourself a marvelous Monday!!!

  6. Wonderful post, Jenn! Living in the south, we are no stranger to hurricanes, but tornadoes are so unexpected. I'm glad all of you were okay!

  7. That tornado seems just like yesterday doesn't it? I am so glad the boys finally deemed it safe to come back for a visit!

    Love the verses you listed!

  8. What fear asset our life when a storm passes by. I do not like high winds and etc. I could feel the fear that was on your heart that day with your children. You could write a short story concerning this event with such detail. Which, everytime I read your post I think she could really be a great writer.

  9. Beautifully spoken, Jenn.

    The struggle with worry and fear is so deep, but ultimately what do I believe about my God? This flesh is truly no good to me, and He is sovereign.

    I am familiar with your story. I appreciate these verses. I will put them in my arsenal.


  10. I read this post the other day and forgot to comment.

    What came to my mind is a song by the Bishops (Southern Gospel genre)

    He's in the Midst...of our storm. He's in the Vally we walk through.

    (( I can't think of the all the words, but the tune is floating around in my head))

    I'm glad you were safe...

    I love a good storm - but when it's so up close and personal. You have right to feel unnerved.

    Good thinking.

  11. So scary! We had a small tornado come through here one time (VERY WEIRD for this area) and it scared me so badly. I remember trying not to panic for son's sake. You're prayer must have been such a comfort to those around you that day.

  12. I can't imagine how scary that would be. Thanks for sharing that scripture - a very precious one to me (in fact the first one is my children's current memory verse).
    Have a lovely day


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