I have been trying to write this post all week, but the words haven't come easily. So many things are going through my head . . . almost too many.
This week has been hard . . . it brought back so many memories of March 19 of 2013 ~ The day our business suffered an explosion. It seemed as if time stood still that day and that feeling returned on Sunday. The tornadoes that hit Central Illinois came unexpectedly quick and it shook neighborhoods to their core. The knot in the center of my stomach returned . . . for those whose lives have been torn apart in a matter of seconds.
Pictures of the devastation are everywhere. Videos have been released of the entire catastrophe, news crews have televised interviews with the survivors. It feels as if we are living in a sort of "Ground Hog Day" loop as it doesn't stop.
Children have been traumatized and are afraid to go to sleep for fear the walls will fall in on them.
Moms and Dads are trying to piece their lives back together. Where do they start?
For several days animals were trapped beneath the rubble of what once was their safe place, their home. Facebook has been boiling over with pictures of found pets that have been returned to their families, but pictures of pets that families are desperate to find.
I think of next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day ~ families are without homes, but are thankful to have one another. True Thanksgiving.
I have heard stories of rejoicing and communities coming together.
Neighbors helping Neighbors, Strangers helping Strangers. Many folks have come together to help those in need asking nothing in return ~ an example of God's Love.
In previous weeks, our community was mourning a building. Disappointment, anger and irritation was pretty wide spread. However, since Sunday the focus has changed . . . the focus is Life People . . . Families.
It is incredible to see people, not only from our City, but surrounding communities and surrounding states that have offered to help. Teams from out of state have journeyed many miles to give assistance or bring supplies. In this day and age I see these occurances as Precious Miracles . . . people putting others first, people loving people.
The weeks and months to come will bring many changes and healing, but it will take time. May we never forget how to love one another or how to reach out and offer a kind word or a hug. As we enter the week of Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for.
I pray we would all Hug our families a little tighter, Enjoy togetherness a little more and Thank God for His protection, provision and the Peace that ONLY God can give.