Wednesday, while we were driving around the block where my family lived, my sister saw a neighbor, (Stacy), standing in her yard. She wanted to stop and check on her. Along with her home, Stacy had lost her dog in the tornado and Diane wanted to see if they had found it.
There was so much devastation on the street in front of Stacy's house, and I walked around taking pictures while Diane talked to her friend.
After I finished taking a few pictures, I joined them in their conversation. I am so glad I did! Stacy had an incredible story to tell!
Stacy and her family took shelter in the bathroom during the storm. As the tornado passed over, peeling the roof from their home, she felt the house lift off of the foundation. She asked God to please put it back down. Immediately, it went back down. (All around her, homes are gone from their foundations, and her late aunt's mobile home that was in her back yard, a few feet from her home, completely disappeared.)
She took us in to what was left of her home. The floor was squishy from the rain and covered with debris. I was afraid to walk on it because I wasn't sure it would hold us up. Stacy wanted to show us her bathroom while she recalled what happened during the storm.
While her family was huddled in the bathroom, a 2x4 shot through the roof. Stacy was praying her heart out, the louder the storm got the louder she got. Her Bible had been in another room in her house, as the tornado passed over, it picked up her Bible and tossed it through the opening in the roof. It landed undamaged on the bathroom counter!
After the storm passed, (I'm not exactly sure of the time frame), a neighbor that had never spoken to her came over and told her that he had heard her praying during the storm. He apologized for being a bad neighbor and told her that God wanted him to give her some money. He gave her $100!
Stacy's husband has cancer and is going through treatments. Their home was not insured and they pretty much lost everything. The one material possession that Stacy cherished was a trunk that held treasured memories of her child that had died. There was no damage to the trunk or the treasured contents!
As we stood there and listened to Stacy recount her harrowing story, she told us that none of the material possessions mattered to her, she was just thankful they were all alive. She teared up and said the one thing she grieved over was her beloved boxer that they had found dead and had buried that day.
We walked back outside to listen to Stacy play herself singing Amazing Grace, (my sister had asked to listen to it). She has a gorgeous voice! As the song was playing she told us that she was singing Amazing Grace in her hotel room when another tornado victim knocked on her door and asked if she could come in and sit on her bed and listen to her sing. She told Stacy that people were coming out of their rooms and were just standing silently in the hall listening to her sing.
After losing everything and seeing the devastating destruction and death all around her, Stacy could still sing Amazing Grace! I was so blessed hearing that.
While we were standing there talking, a fire truck pulled up. The firemen got out and walked over to Stacy's husband. They had been doing medical checks in the neighborhood, so I figured that was what they wanted. A few seconds later Stacy's son came running over and very excitedly said that they had a one year old boxer that needed a home. They asked them if they wanted it! We took that opportunity to leave so she could talk to the firemen to let them know that she indeed wanted the dog.
I would love to know if they already knew that she had lost her boxer, or if they were just asking families that they saw. Either way, it was a blessing to know that the one thing she was grieving over, God had provided. I am so thankful to have witnessed that special moment for Stacy and her family!
Please pray for them. I can't imagine losing a child, dealing with my husbands cancer, losing my home and all of my possessions and not having insurance. It seems almost too much to bear, but not to Stacy. She had such peace; I know it is only because of God's Amazing Grace!