Relief in the Midst of the Storm

There’s a saying, “Ignorance is bliss”.  Sometimes that’s true.  Sometimes it’s easier to know what happened, what could have happened, after the fact. 

The Nashville Tornado

I went to bed shortly after one of my favorite television shows Monday night.  I didn’t stay up long enough to watch the news, I was too sleepy.  I didn’t see the weather report about the severe storm heading towards Nashville, Tennessee, where my son lives.  If I had, I can assure you, it would have been a sleepless night.

A text message from my son was the first thing I noticed when I woke up the next morning.  It was sent at 2:00 in the morning, which immediately caught my attention.

The next text message was from my good friend asking if my son and his wife were ok.

My husband and I turned on the Weather Channel to see what had happened during the night and it was devastating.  A large tornado had barreled through Nashville during the wee hours of the morning.   My heart raced as I imagined how close the tornado had come to my son and his wife — they live between Germantown and East Nashville, two of the areas that had extensive damage. 

Why Germantown and East Nashville are Special

Until his marriage in December, my son lived in a condominium in Germantown.  We visited him  many times, including several Thanksgivings.  We have walked up and down the streets of Germantown dozens of times and enjoyed most of the restaurants.  It was so strange to see the correspondent from the Weather Channel reporting in such a familiar locale.

My family spent a week in a beautiful old home in East Nashville last December, when we were in town for my son’s wedding.  We arrived on Christmas Eve and left before the new year.  That week, Christmas and wedding blended together and the home and neighborhood were the perfect setting.  We traveled up and down the streets, driving by businesses that are now flattened.  Some of the homes that were destroyed in the recent tornado are just a couple of blocks from our Christmas/Wedding house.  Restaurants we love were damaged.

I’ve been following several of the restaurants in Germantown and East Nashville.  My husband and I were so touched to see one of our favorite BBQ restaurants, Edley’s, serving free BBQ sandwiches to the community, even though they sustained some damage to their building.  There are many other businesses and people reaching out to help those who need help after the storm.  For a big city, there’s definitely a feeling of community. 

Déjà Vu

All of this gave me a sense of déjà vu.  You see, my son was a student at the University of Alabama in 2011 when a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, leaving a wide path of death and destruction.  I knew that one was coming.  It was in the afternoon and I was going back and forth between the Weather Channel and a show based in Birmingham.  The mood was somber as they reported on the approaching storm.  I can honestly say, I have never felt more helpless in my life.  I knew that both of my children were in the path of that terrifying storm.  You can read about that day here.

I’m thankful I didn’t know about the tornado Monday night.  If I had known, I would have been on my knees praying (and probably texting my boy every five minutes).  I am thankful that I found out he was safe after the worst was over.

This made me think about the storms in life, not just the weather events but other, more personal, storms.  Maybe it’s a relationship gone awry, maybe it’s an injury or serious illness, maybe it’s a job loss.  There are any number of storms that we face at various times in our lives.

Storms In Life

These life storms can be compared to the tornado that hit Nashville this week.

  • Storms are often sudden and unexpected — even though you may have warning signs.
  • Storms don’t come at opportune times.
  • Storms are random.
  • Storms are destructive.
  • We fare best when we are prepared for possible storms.
  • We may or may not come out of a storm with the outcome we hope for.
  • In the storms, we learn what is most important in our lives .
  • God promises to be with us through the storms.
  • There is always something to be thankful for.

It is difficult to see the pictures of utter devastation in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.  Our hearts break for the loss of life, and prayers go up for families left behind.  But, it is so encouraging to see people reaching out to one another, neighbor lending a hand to neighbor.  It is heartwarming to hear people praising God that they were safe, even though they may have lost their material possessions.  

How Can I Help?

Join me in lifting up prayers for the people of Nashville. It really is a great city.  My son has lived there for nearly a decade and we have grown to love it almost as much as he does.  If you can, make a contribution to one of the organizations already at work helping the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.  You can find out how to help hereSamaritan’s Purse is also providing relief.  

17 thoughts on “Relief in the Midst of the Storm

  1. Kim, our hearts and prayers go out to everyone in Nashville! It’s been amazing to watch the precious people of Nashville and the surrounding areas come together in unity to help one another. We continue to pray!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in Nashville and now live in Mt.Juliet, just east of Nashville, and I was in that tornado and it was a scary, scary night. Mt.Juliet was another area hit very hard and I saw neighborhoods decimated just right down the road from where I live. It has been hard to process (I finally was able to blog about that night which helped me a little). As I said in my blog, I now finally understand Survivor’s guilt because I’m living it.

    Thank you for your prayers. I am so glad your son is okay. Nashville is strong with some of the most amazing people on the planet. They WILL survive!


    1. Oh, wow. I thought you lived somewhere around Nashville. My son-in-law’s brother and sister-in-law live in Mt. Juliet. The photos were just devastating. I follow some of the businesses on Instagram and it’s so encouraging to see how they have been helping the community, in spite of their own damages. We have some friends in town who are related to the owner of Edley’s so we have a place in our heart for them. The people in Nashville are amazing. My son texted me a message he received asking the volunteers to take a day off because they had so much help! Amazing! I would be persuaded to move up there if it weren’t so far from the beach! Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went on Mt. Juliet’s police department’s site the morning after the tornado to sign up on their portal to volunteer and they had already shut it down saying they had been overwhelmed with over 3,000 volunteers. My sister has a friend in Donelson who lives right behind DCA, a private school that was destroyed. She went over to his house today to help him and she said pastors and churches just came from everywhere, offering barbecue sandwiches, and offering to help. My sister commented that Nashville is the buckle of the bible belt and it made her proud to be a seventh generation Nashvillian! She said she witnessed first hand why Tennessee is called the Volunteer State. One couple who were there helping were from Dayton, Ohio, and had been hit by a tornado 8 months ago. They said they were paying it forward because so many people had volunteered to help them. There have been so many wonderful stories since the tornadoes and it has done my heart good because it seems we get bombarded with the “ugly” in the world. I do so love Nashville AND Mt. Juliet.


      2. Wow! That’s amazing! Amen to Nashville being the buckle of the Bible Belt. When we visit our son, we have to leave early in order to get a seat at his church and it is full of young professionals and college students. You can always pick out the parents who are visiting. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I grew up in Donelson, another area hard hit by the tornado. When I married, we moved to Mt. Juliet and it is a wonderful place to live! How did your son end up in Nashville???


      4. He graduated from University of Alabama then went to graduate school at Vanderbilt. He got a job there and stayed. He just married a girl from Goodlettsville. Her parents and grandparents are also from there so I’m guessing he’ll be in Nashville a very long time.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I was guessing it was job related. Nashville has grown so much. Sometimes I just want it to stop growing and stay the way it was! My mother-in-law is 90 and she does not like all this growth. She is always saying, This is just not MY Nashville anymore. She doesn’t like change though.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. When my sons were younger, we spent a week in Lakeland, FL while they were attending karate camp. I loved it there (but I did not like their mosquitoes). LOL! I was also amazed at how many armadillos there were there. They were everywhere!!! Now of course, they’ve migrated north and we see them from time to time on the side of the road here. My sons live in Alabama and we see lots when we drive there to see them.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. My two sons are in Huntsville. My oldest son was in a tornado when he was going to school at UAH. That, and the campus shooting they had while he was there, were two of the scariest moments of my life!


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