Monday, May 23, 2011

I Don't Really Know What To Say

This is my home -- the streets I drive on every day to go to the places we inhabit.


Both of the churches we belong to and worship in are damaged -- one completely destroyed, the other being flooded with unstoppable rain through a roof that's been torn away. 




My daughters' preschool and the church it belongs to -- there is only open air between crushed walls.  Between walls that saw Mia's preschool graduation last Thursday evening.  Walls that held happy parents and proud children.


Streets full of homes that were landmarks as we made our way through our days -- crumbled.  We don't even know where we are sometimes.


Trees are naked.  Bare bones reaching to a sky that's been filled with lightning for the past 30 hours.


The hospital where my daughters were born into a beautiful, terrifying world -- directly hit...unspeakably harmed.  Irreparably harmed?  It's a beacon over our city, standing defenseless, once hidden by neighborhoods and view-blocking trees, now starkly visible.


My aunt Sherry, my aunt Susie, my cousin Julie, my dear friends Annie and Jason -- have lost their homes and possessions.  The tornado ripped through a heavily populated part of our city, and those four homes were in a place that wasn't completely leveled.  Merely ruined.  There are so many more.  Friends of family, church family, friends I only hear from through Facebook...homeless and scared.


But all of this -- terrifying and devastating enough -- is small when I consider: there are lives lost here, where I've grown up, blocks away from where we sat hiding in our closet during the storm.  While we hid and made shadow shapes on the wall with our flashlight, lives were being ripped apart. 

Our home is unharmed and we are safe.  We emerged to the dinner table before we realized how badly our city was hurt.


People are still being uncovered, but the storms and rain and lightning won't cease.  It seems our hometown will be flooded soon. 


Maybe with tears.



If you'd like to help Joplin recover, my dear friends at Bigger Picture Blogs are organizing a fundraiser.  If you feel so compelled, your help would be greatly appreciated.  And your prayers -- continuing prayers as we dig out of this disaster -- would be greatly coveted. 

47 comments:

  1. Oh, sweetie. That's absolutely heartbreaking. I'm so, so sorry. But also so, so grateful that you and your sweet family are safe. My prayers are with you all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have no words, either, only prayers for all concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What devastation! So sorry for all the people who have been impacted, and very thankful to hear that your family is safe.

    Praying,
    Leigh-ann

    ReplyDelete
  4. My heart breaks for all my friends in Joplin. I'm in Texas this week but plan on visiting Saturday. I want to hug so many. Praying...

    Greg Stone

    ReplyDelete
  5. Words fail.

    Hugs and prayers for healing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You have been in my heart since I started hearing and reading about this. My family continues to pray for yours. My heart breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A lady in church Sunday night requested prayer for the people of Joplin as we heard a tornado touched down. We prayed for you among other requests but we HAD NO EARTHLY IDEA what devastation occurred! I am so very sorry! I will be there soon, tomorrow possibly for lend a hand. God bless you all! Please tell me what churches you are talking about. Love to all !!

    ReplyDelete
  8. you and the good people of joplin are in my prayers . . .
    dana

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wish I knew what to say too. Please know our thoughts are with you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have been wondering if you are safe. We are a few hours away, but it's heartbreaking. One of our friends is still missing her brother and 2 nieces. They were at the Home Depot and have not been found.
    It's unthinkable.
    Take care...
    Best,
    Tina

    ReplyDelete
  11. My heart is heavy for all of your loss. Your town, your family, your friends, and you- all in my deepest prayers.

    If you need anything at all from me, if there is any way I can help- just let me know.

    xo! Alita

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sending prayers for you and your family, and your community. I'm so glad you are safe.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Coming from Corinne's blog.
    You are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. How are you doing this morning? I know how disorienting it can be when your whole world changes in an instant like that --- just some momentary freak of the weather and everything --- your landscape and your rhythms, all your routines and all your plans --- is suddenly different. I remember feeling lost for words when we were evacuating Japan. There was just this terrible internal quiet, and this confusion, that overwhelmed me; I hate watching those same feelings come over you. I'm glad no one in your family was hurt, but I'm so, so sorry honey. I'm here if you want to talk. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm so sorry! SO sorry. You are all in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sarah, we are PRAYING. Praying for relief and peace, friend. Love you so much. I'm glad you are safe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sarah, I am so sorry. I had no idea you were in the vicinity of the storm. How heart breaking. We will be praying for your family and friends. I am so so glad you are all okay!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a beautifully written post about a horrifyingly ugly situation! Our prayers are with you and all the people of this area. I have shared on my blog about Help for Joplin and also about a boy we know who is making efforts to help as he too has family in Joplin.

    ReplyDelete
  19. After I tucked in my girls last night I was able to see the devastation on CNN. I am praying. This morning I had time to check in on your blog and I'm so sorry that I had no idea you lived there.Thank God you're family are safe. I've never seen anything like what I'm seeing on the news. A very big hug to you and your family and all of those in Joplin.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My thoughts are with Joplin... :(

    I'm glad you and your family are ok.

    ReplyDelete
  21. My heart has broken over and over with the images and videos of Joplin's tragedy. The relief mission we established here (Sanford NC) will be meeting a larger relief mission in TN to bring you supplies and we've donated money. All I can do now is pray -- and I am, hard.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am so sorry for the losses in your home- your city, the losses of lives, the losses of places that meant so much to you.

    I am so glad that you are ok.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I just moved from Joplin last year and still have several friends there, many who lost their homes. You are all in my heart and prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I don't know what to say either, except that I am sending lots of prayers your way.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Glad that you and yours are safe, and sending many prayers your way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so sorry for you and your town. Tornadoes terrify me. And they terrify me precisely because one house is unharmed while another is leveled and no one can predict which house will be hit. I think the most haunting part of all the picture I have seen is the trees. Something about those trees with no tops just stuns me. I'm so relieved you and your family are okay.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I only know of you via Emily at Keeping Time as she has mentioned you on her blog in the past. However after reading her post today and realising where you live I just had to call by and say how sorry I am for your city. Thank goodness you and yours are all safe.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh, Sarah, I wish there was something I could do besides send you my deepest, deepest comfort and sympathy. You, Justin, the girls, that sweet, sweet soon-to-be-born boy, your family, and your town are in my thoughts and my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am so sorry. We were in the same place as you a few weeks ago, here in TN. Safe. While others were so devastated. My parents aren't far from there either and recieved much rain and terror during the night. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to live in that city where such mass destruction took place.
    Our prayers are with you and the people of Joplin.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh, Sarah... I don't even have words to express my sorrow for you and your town. I am so so sorry. Be assured that we are praying.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just stopping by to say hi from my friend Stephanie via Hyacinth. Stephanie linked to your blog on her FB and that's how I found you. Your town is in my prayers. Seeing video footage made it all so real to me. Praying for you all and I will work on figuring out how I can help. I crochet and used to have my own online biz and closed it several months ago after being to busy for the business with three small kiddos. Would love to help in any way I can. Big hugs being sent your way.

    P.S. A random question for you. My mom's former pastor and his entire family moved to Joplin last year from her (CA) to pastor a church there. It's called Church of God of Prophesy. Do you know if that church has been affected? I know it's a long shot to ask, but just thought I'd throw it out there. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  33. So glad you're safe. I'm sending many prayers your way.

    ReplyDelete
  34. found you through a comment left on relyn's blog & just wanted to say prayers are being sent your way. i'm headed now to the link you provided to see what else i can do.

    ReplyDelete
  35. glad to hear you and your family are safe. Praying for your city.

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a miracle that you are safe! We're praying for all those who lost their homes and loved ones. What a tough road ahead! A sweet friend and nurse from our church is headed down to help in any way she can. Let us know how else we can help!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I seriously cried when my Dad called me after talking to Susie that night. I am SO grateful you are all ok. I wish I could help more. I was just having lunch with Susie, and the next day this. My prayers go out to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Praying heartffelt prayers for you and all those affected in Joplin. I found your blog via Spontaneous Clapping's blog. I'm praising God you and your family are okay. My heart goes out to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  39. i'm so sorry. it is such a horrifying thing to witness first hand. our town was hit by tornadoes two nights in a row when i was younger. to see those familiar places in shambles just breaks your heart. so glad you were okay. sending prayers to your town that God will restore and comfort those with loss.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sending prayers from mid-MO. I just packed up my box of donations to load on the semi headed out of our local town for yours. It doesn't seem adequate. We want to help, but nothing seems like enough. Just know you are all in our hearts and prayers right now, and in the days to come. Hugs, Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  41. There are no words except terrifying and sad. You're all in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm so sorry! I lived in Joplin for a season and still hold it near and dear. My prayers are lifted as you and so many you love and care for are enduring this season. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your story.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Is that really St. Pauls UMC??? My husband and I have both spent a lot of time at that church through Camino and it crushes me to see it - and so many other parts of the city - in ruins. And worse yet it hurts my heart to hear personal stories like yours. We are praying for all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Wow. The devasation is incredible. I've been super busy at my crazy house, but you've been in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  45. i live in pittsburg. i have been numb since all of this. i can't even imagine what you are feeling. i am so glad you and your family are alive and well!
    god bless.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sarah, I just found this blog post and I am so touched that you wrote of Jason and me. It has moved me to tears... You wrote this at a time when I didn't even think that things would ever be ok. But as I read these words tonight, just over a year later. I cant help but feel happy that things are ok! Ok, because of friendships like yours and the love of an incredible God!
    Your words are beautiful and truly a gift!
    Hugs!
    Annie~

    ReplyDelete

Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?