Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

We arrived in Texas without too many hiccups.  We got to spend a little bit of time with my sister-in-law in Tulsa.  Tulsa was a bit of a surprise, with its rolling hills and beautiful lakes, I never expected those views from Oklahoma.  I would love to explore it a bit more if given the chance. We enjoyed a nice dinner and hit the sack for a restful night before driving onward.
We got Pop, my Dad, to the airport in Dallas in just enough time for him to catch his flight home.  Then we set off to visit with Dad's parents who live in North Dallas.  It's really nice to be able to visit family knowing we aren't on a strict timeline.  
Nana and Papa recently lost their home in a tornado, as Jon mentioned in a previous post, and they have made it a goal to help other victims who may not have the means to help themselves.  Papa heard of a young man, a veteran and college student, that was fortunate to survive while losing his apartment and every material item he owned.  He was now living in a Motel 6 with no amenities.  The motel wanted a ridiculous amount of money to rent him a fridge so he would be able to have some food in his room.  Instead Papa asked us to pick up a fridge for him and deliver it.  We were more than happy to, but we weren't quite prepared for what that would entail.  We had the kids loaded in the car navigating our way to drop the fridge off when we turned into a neighborhood that we weren't prepared to see.  The devastation immediately brought tears to my eyes.  I remember the devastation after hurricane Andrew when I was a child, but I wasn't ready for this.  AJ asked why the houses were broken, which we had previously explained to him in reference to why Nana and Papa lived somewhere different than he remembered, but now he was seeing it with his own eyes.  He seemed to understand a bit but I'm not sure if he understands that these people no longer have their homes to live in, which is fine with me if he doesn't.
The destruction is astounding.  We saw a home that used to be lined with trees.  The trees were now destroyed but the house was untouched.  There were other homes where the structure was diminished to a pile of rubble and their neighbors home was livable.  It is like bombs were dropped on select homes, leaving their surroundings pristine.  It's actually amazing so few people were hurt or killed.  
Some people believe natural disasters are the hands of God.  But God, my God, the one who has blessed me over and again with health, a Godly husband and 3 incredible children, that God wouldn't do this.  He is the rainbow after the storm.  He is what picks people up and carries them through this.  God is the one that gives strength to us to endure such things, he gives us perseverance to rebuild, whether it's a physical structure or something else in our lives.  God is here on these streets that look horrifying.  He is here with his arms wide open for those that need Him now more than ever.  

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