We had quite an evening last night with a 70 mile-per-hour wind come through our apartment complex tearing things apart as it went. At the front of our complex, the wall was torn off of the side of one building. Then I guess the walkways through the buildings diffused the force until it met up again at the back of the complex right on top of our building. The big tree next to our apartment (that provides great shade) was thinned out greatly by the wind. The chimneys were ripped off the top of our buildings. But here's the thing..... of the four chimneys on top of our building, ours was the only one that remained. It had only minor damage, but caused no leakage at all into our attic. God really provided protection for us that is unbelievable. I really can't explain it any other way. We had things on our back porch that included light canvas chairs and potted plants that were barely moved more than a few inches. Although, one of the plants was knocked on its side.
The other cool part was that we weren't even there when it all happened. We decided (rather quickly in fact) yesterday evening that we would run out to Walmart and take care of some errands before our trip to my sister-in-laws wedding in Longview. So while we are there we hear the big wind and the rain begin. I could tell it was rather violent, so we stayed for a little while in the safety of the Walmart until the rain passed. After it died down, we left and drove home. On our way, a friend from our apartments called to see if we were okay. We said, "Why would we not be?" They then told us that the apartments were hit pretty badly. So we then began to notice all of the trees down and debris laying on the road. On our arrival to apartments, it feels sort of like entering a war zone. (That seems a bit dramatic, but this is the first time we have really had such a thing happen to us. Usually, big storms pass us by to the north or south. This time it came right on top of our world.)
So, then begins the being cautious where you walk, the looking around in the rain at what was damaged and what was not, the checking on neighbors to make sure everyone is alright and the checking on my truck to see if I get to claim insurance. (I can't get rid of it yet) And we had those who checked on us to make sure we were okay after they saw our complex on the local news. Glad to know that God has given us such great friends! In the end we find that our world is fine and that God truly did spare us from the worst. It feels that the Isrealites with the blood on the door when the Angel came by (and knocked down chimneys?). We were spared. It serves as a reminder that God still watches over His children. Prasie be the Lord!
The last interesting element is that James and Peter were really kind of freaked out by the whole thing since there was debris all over the area around our apartment. A place that is usually safe for the them to play in. Then we had more storms throughout the night and morning with loud thunder and lightning. (James ended up on the floor of our bedroom during the night and Peter woke up crying after a loud crack.) James' whole world came crashing down it seems and we have talked alot about how God really did take care of us and will keep on taking care of us. Then, it really hit me this morning: If James was freaked out this much and we weren't even there when it happened, what would he be like if we had not needed to go run errands and we were there huddled in the closet of our upstairs apartment not knowing what was actually happening on top of us at that moment?
Again, "Thanks be to God our Father above who watches over His children!!"