You are sad and discouraged, tossed around in a storm. But I, the Lord, will rebuild your city.
So many people have asked me about April 27th and the tornado that came through my town so I figured it'd be easier just to put my thoughts down and take them for what they're worth.
To explain the details of that day is something that I'm honestly kind of tired of so I'll leave at this...it was terrifying and like living a horror movie or what I would imagine a war to be like. This was a picture taken from my apartment complex.
What I really want to share with the world is what happened April 28th and the two months since then.
Less than 24 hours after the storm my two best friends and I walked to our apartments to get stuff to go home for a few days so that the city wasnt so congested and emergency teams could begin their work. On that walk people from all around the state had come bringing water and food. In a time of crisis you honestly dont make a plan...you just do. And people of this amazing state just began helping and serving each other.
The next few days we all went...somewhere. I personally headed to Louisville to see my family where they were attending a business conference...to say I remember much about that next few days would be a lie. It was really more of a blur and my mind and heart was in Tuscaloosa. Monday the Haighs and Lavignes loaded up my car with things to donate to those who had lost everything and I headed home.
After getting back to Tuscaloosa I was informed that my apartment building had been condemned because of roof damage and I needed to move immediately...because I have the best friends in the world with a few phone calls it took 8 girls about 4 hours to pack up and move two years of my life. Valerie graciously let 3 extra girls come and live with her and for the next week Ashley, Amy, Valerie and I lived together, volunteered together and despite a 9:00 curfew around the city had a blast just being together...thanking God that we had all made it and had each other. I pray that I never lose the appreciation for my life and the people in my life that I've gained over the last two months. Volunteering was one of the best things we ever could have done to give us emotional strength. We did it all from loading thousands of cases of water, sorting through clothes, making up bags of hygiene items, ashley and I even did our fair share of grunt work hauling off trees, roofs...and anything else you can think of with the amazing Serve team at our church. I wish I could put into words the feeling of community, togetherness, hope and blessing that held this town together.
"Since this tragedy, we have seen the true character of our state. Alabamians care for one another."
My wonderful family came down with a car full of supplies donated by people all across the LTD team and they will never know how much they blessed me as well as everyone that recieved the donations.
I have volunteered with people from all across the state and the country and they blessed us unconditionally....there really are angels among us. The support of the world was truly incredible and unlike nothing I could explain, people stepped up when they were needed and are still willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild...Nick Saban signed autographs in shelters, pro football players came back to hand out water, even Charlie Sheen came down and offered his support, and love him or hate him we greatly appreciated him lifting spirits and donating his time and money.
"Tough times make us stronger. We will continue to press forward and grow closer as a community as a result of recent tragedies."
For yall that know me, you know how obsessed I am with this town and my school. And watching the people react to this has only made my love for this place grow.
Watching God work in the midst of tragedy and destruction has been the most amazing and beautiful thing I've ever experienced. The tornado of April, 27th has changed my life forever...it's made me realized how precious life is and what a community can accomplish when people join together. My friends and I have really learned to appreciate each other...family dinners once a week, sleepovers, movie nights, little vacations...life has been good. Thank you for your continued prayers and ROLL TIDE!
"You're the God of this city, You're the King of these people, You're the Lord of this nation, you are. You're the light in this darkness, You're the hope to the hopeless, You're the rest to the restless, you are.
There in no one like our God. Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city."