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June 7, 2011 / Jessica Turner

Tornadoes

Two posts ago I shared the story of Liberty’s birth.

I shared about how important it was to me to wait on the Lord’s timing for her birth date. (And for all those who questioned, yes, natural labor, but that’s a whole other post, maybe..) His timing is perfect.

We drove home from the hospital with Liberty on Tuesday, April 26. It was just my mom and me as Andrew had left earlier with Gabriel. Toddlers and hospital rooms are not the best combination.

I was not paying attention and my mom and I missed the turn for Hamilton and we ended up in Phil Campbell. It was a lovely little mishap. We parked at the Piggly Wiggly and mom went to the local produce stand across the street and got a wonderful array of yummy-ness. The Dreamer guided us to Hackleburg’s main gas station and that’s where we found our road back to home.

The very next day, April 27th, deadly tornadoes struck Phil Campbell and Hackleburg. And the cities have been almost wiped out completely. The Dreamer was working in Phil Campell earlier this week and text me to say that the produce stand is now bulldozed to the street. The gas station in Hackleburg was destroyed as well. Many lives were lost. Yet many lives have gained new perspective. And that is our story.

We live just short of 15 miles south of Hackleburg and are thankful for our safety. And why the tornadoes hit Hackleburg, I do not know. But, I do know it doesn’t change how good God is now and forever.

You see the devastation and wonder why; wish you could do more to help and willfully vow never to take another tornado warning light-heartedly. And then the question of why comes back to the surface… In my life there have been many whys. Why did my grandparents pass away before I was married? Why did I experience a miscarriage on my first pregnancy? Why is it that children are sold into sex trafficking? Why does it cost thousands of dollars to adopt needy children and only a couple hundred to kill them? Why, God, Why? Perhaps this side of heaven we will never know.

I am reading through on of Elizabeth Elliot’s more obscure titles called, “A Path Through Suffering.” She was widowed early on in her marriage to Jim Elliot (Who was martyred along Nick Saint. Reference the movie “End of the Spear.’) and she talks about all the cards and well-meaning scriptures people sent to her during this period in her life and she said that no scripture was more alive to her during this time than 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When my sister-in-law, Lea, and I drove through Hackleburg this verse was our topic of conversation. When you see such devastation it reminds you that everything we have or may be experiencing is very temporal, but for a moment. We are daily perishing, but the hope is that in Christ our inward man is being renewed day by day. Our afflictions are what we may be feeling or seeing, but a more eternal realm is moving too and it is a greater reality because it is forever. How Leah and I expressed such a longing for more spiritual reflexes. To be more in tune with the eternal realm in our lives. To fully gain in Christ a strength that guides us gently and peacefully through whatever tries to shake us. The trick is staying in His presence and Word. That is where the renewal takes place and that is where our eyes are trained to look at the eternal.

The relief efforts here are still on going. Its been amazing the stories you hear and the way the community has held each other. I pray that if you read this and are able to support the relief efforts here you will by clicking on this link:HackleburgHelpingHands. And know that even if you never see the fruit of your giving here in the temporal realm, your reward will be great in heaven, the place I pray becomes more real to us daily.

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One Comment

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  1. Penny / Jun 7 2011 3:44 pm

    Jessica,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful writing. I love Hackleburg and the wonderful people there so much. My prayers are with them daily. Blessings to you.
    Penny Jones

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