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Humbled, Heartbroken but Hopeful

April 29, 2011

In case you weren’t aware, Alabama was hit hard by a series of tornadoes earlier this week. I spent the biggest part of two days without electrical service so I am only just becoming aware at the degree of devastation but what I have seen so far is heart wrenching. Last count, over two hundred people lost their lives and thousands have lost their homes. At least 3 tornadoes have been confirmed. A number of neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. So much destruction. My heart breaks for the families who have lost so much.

The experience has humbled me greatly. I feel so insignificant in the face of a force as great as a tornado. I feel immensely blessed by God to have survived the storms with little more than few minor inconveniences. And I feel a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for me and my family.

The brief times that I had access to the outside world, I found my e-mail inbox overflowing with well-wishes and prayers from friends all over the world. My phone has been constantly ringing with people checking on me. People I have never even met have offered to send me supplies and come help with the clean up. Others have frantically tried to get updates about my family as the news reports started rolling in. Friends offered to come help me rebuild a roof on a hen house, help me empty my refrigerator and freezer, provide me a place to take a hot shower seriously rethinking the whole electric water heater thing now and bring me coffee or other essential supplies. The church let me use their freezer and gave me coolers to store my food until we had power. You just don’t realize how many things you depend on, and take for granted, until they are taken away from you.

Electricity, internet access, phone service and the like have become necessities in our modern times. It is only when they don’t work, that you realize how much you depend on them. You also don’t realize how much local television and radio stations do to keep people safe and informed until that friendly voice is telling you the path of the storms and when to seek cover. My heartfelt thanks to all the utility workers who are working relentlessly in terrible conditions so to restore electrical, phone and internet service. And thank you to the radio and television crews who gave up sleep and personal comfort to keep us provided with essential information for our safety. Finally, thank you to all those people who have offered help, support, prayers and comfort to my family as we have lived through the wild ride. I am humbled by your outpouring of love.

It’s going to take me a day or two to get caught up with all the things that stacked up while the utilities were out and to get back into the groove so don’t be alarmed if I still appear to be a bit MIA. We are all happy and healthy and feeling richly blessed in the Heart household. I am enjoying a freshly brewed cup of my favorite coffee made from freshly ground coffee beans and delivered by my darling husband. It is a glorious spring day. My children are sleeping safely and soundly in their own beds and I know that life will soon return to some level of normality. There are a lot of people that are hurting but there are so many people willing to offer a helping hand. So while my heart bleeds for the families who have lost so much, the willingness of people to offer help to strangers renews a spirit of hope within me.

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