The kids and I had an amazing family vacation in Denver, Colorado. We visited the Rocky Mountains, played in the snow, and actualized our dream of having a white Christmas. After five days of enjoying the winter wonderland, we returned to home only to be welcomed by alerts from the national weather service. On December 26, tornadoes suddenly swept through the Dallas area and left disastrous effects. They damaged several homes, businesses, churches, and even resulted in the loss of lives. My prayers and condolences to the families who were devastated by the storm.
I was on the phone casually discussing my fear of thunder when I heard the tornado sirens sound. The voice on the other end, while watching the news, calmly told me to take shelter because the tornado was approaching my community. I quickly gathered the kids and the kitten to secure ourselves in my bedroom closet. They were scared, as was I, because we didn’t fully know what was happening. At that moment, I wasn’t worried about the Christmas presents we had just opened. All I cared about was our probability of surviving. Only one question came to mind, “are we going to be okay?” The voice responded, “Yes. Stay in the closet, the storm is closing in, but nothing’s going to happen to you.” I followed the instructions and stayed put. The tornado touched down a few minutes from my house but I felt secure nonetheless. Why? Because the confidence in the voice on the phone resonated within me. You see, all of my faith was tied to my hearing. I couldn’t see the storm from being in it, I couldn’t watch the news for loss of power, and God knows I couldn’t steer it away. The voice however, could see what I could not. I just had to trust that what I heard was true. My children relaxed a little as I relayed the message to them. I stayed on the phone so the voice could keep me updated and keep me calm, and then I heard the words, all clear.
Last week’s storm resembled my life in so many ways. 2015 presented some major challenges that often times felt like tornadoes. Some of the most amazing experiences were welcomed by a whirlwind of disappointments. For one, my wedding celebration came to a screeching halt due to unexpected relationship issues. I felt like I had no power and couldn’t see where my life was going. While I wondered how I was going to survive this upset, all I could do is find rest in what I heard. I trusted I heard the truth when my parents said everything would be okay. I heard my friends say stay put and take cover in the love we have for you. I heard my church family say that this trial would not overtake me. I believe they could all see beyond my situation. The sound of confidence in their voice gave me the courage I needed to believe that all would be well. I can gladly say, they were right!
Well, 2016 is here. Allow me to brighten your day by saying all clear! Embrace the newness that comes with this fresh start and continue to build on the principles that helped you survive last year. For me, it means knowing that hearing is believing. Alongside that principle, let me stress the importance of evaluating the company you keep. Sounds of negativity can be very convincing; but they leave disastrous effects and can drive you deeper into despair. Surround yourself with people who can see the good without compromising the truth. Honest warnings of imminent danger combined with the wisdom of how to proceed will give you stability when your judgement is clouded. Furthermore, their guidance may provide the strength you need to secure those who look to you for light.
Happy New Year to everyone; believe that the best is yet to come. To all of you who helped me get through 2015, thank you for letting me hear the sound of victory when I couldn’t see it. I totally love your voice! Finally, to the one who comforted me during last week’s tornadoes, I love your voice too, and thank you for the roses ;-).
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