Sunday, January 22, 2012

Everything Changes

I've never concerned myself with the weather.  I've never lost sleep over bad weather conditions.  I've survived "hurricanes" in NC and it never seemed much more than a little wind.  I weathered severe thunderstorms alone in our house while Jason was deployed and never gave it more thought than I wish it would pass and I hoped we wouldn't loose power.  That changed in April of 2011.
We were moving out of our house in NC and made a trip to Walmart to get Carbon Monoxide detectors for our house to rent.  It was raining  and seriously dark and I knew if I got out, I'd certainly melt so I stayed in the car to peruse the latest facebook gossip.  Jason called and said some people inside said there was a tornado and suggested I come inside with him.  The power was already out in there and after we stayed in the dark store for several minutes, we ditched the effort and headed home the back way.  We knew something seemed amiss as the emergency workers drove toward us and the traffic was significant and many were turning around. We could see some debris in the road and we found an alternate route home.  When we got there, we discovered that the Lowe's (across the street from the Walmart) had been severely damaged by a tornado along with several other buildings in it's path.  I'm still not sure how we not only escaped that severe weather but didn't even know what had happened until we got back to our no power empty house.  And if that wasn't a close enough call, we drove (moved) to Alabama on April 27th.  That was the day before tornadoes destroyed large portions of middle Alabama including a significant portion of the city of Tuscaloosa, Phil Campbell and Hackleburg.  The damage and coverage was consuming.  It was like nothing I'd ever seen before.  It had the power to instill fear in someone who had never before been afraid of weather.  It was powerful.

Today we have been made aware of a severe weather cell headed for much of the south including Middle Tennessee.  It's been on everyone's mind today.  We have the luxury of fair warning but it can't help the fear subside.  It also doesn't help that the storms are rolling though in the middle of the night when one is supposed to be sleeping.  So I, the one who's never been afraid of the weather, is feeling much anexiety.  I can't help but loose my breath a little when I hear the heavy rain or the strong winds hit the side of our house.  A moment ago, my heart skipped a beat because I heard the sound of a train.  It is the same train that runs though our neighborhood every single night at 9pm. The normal night time sounds are spooky and eerie.  How do you sleep well with that kind of fear?  Yes, many things changed last April, including a new found respect (translate:PANIC)  for the "possibility" of severe weather and all that it entails.  

On a much happier note, another experience changed the way I think this morning.  Growing up in church, I've always seen Baptism services.  As an adult, the baptisteries that I grew up seeing have changed a bit.  In the churches I've attended lately, the baptisteries have been temporary pools set up on a day set aside for baptisms. They are pseudo pools that are set up in the sanctuary to serve as the baptismal waters.  It works and it's definitely all the same action but today, it took on a whole new meaning to me.  At the end of our Sunday sermon and before the baptismal candidates entered the pool, the children k-5 that usually have their own service filed into the front of the church and sat on the floor to watch the baptisms.  Several of them were children and they wanted the kids to be a part of it.  That's when I realized that my 6 year old was among the ones watching this life changing event in their friends.  Kids slightly older than him making THE most important decision of their lives and professing it with their friends there to witness.  I was crying before the first one even hit the water and I wasn't alone.  I look around to see hardly a dry eye in the house.  Like I said, I've seem my share of Baptisms in my 30 years but as our praise team sang "I believe that Your my Hero, I believe You're more than enough for me, Jesus you're all I need."  I cried happy tears for the new brothers and sisters I have in Christ.  I cried for the friends they were reaching by making that step, I cried for the wisdom I'm going to need God to provide me to lead my 6 year old and 2 year old to make THE most important decision of their lives sooner than later.  I placed my heart in that pool with every person that was Baptisted today.  I rejoiced with them more than ever before.  Later this evening, I had the opportunity to serve at church helping the Baptismal candidates.  It was my honor to stand behind the screen and hand out towels to the newest members of my family!  Again, I cried tears of utter joy that Hell no longer has a hold on them.  I praise God for the new Christians and I praise God for leading us to CrossPoint where I feel like I can really place my heart into serving God's people.

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