Monday, January 22, 2018

What a Weekend

The weekend of January 21st will be unforgettable to our family forever. Its unforgettable fate was set in stone last year when Jax asked Jesus to be Lord of his life and we planned his baptism on the weekend our family could come celebrate with us (January 22). We had no idea what else that weekend held. In the wee hours of the morning on January 21st, a tornado ripped through our safe sweet City of Petal. Little did we know what a blessing it would be to have family here with me and the boys so that #PreacherHubs could spend the day serving, loving, & ministering to countless families who had just lost their home. Our church was opened up as a headquarters for first responders, a shelter to the suddenly homeless, & the very next week it also became Petal Upper Elementary School (during that time I took great pleasure in calling Dustie, "Headmaster Dumbledore").
Later that Saturday, #PreacherHubs & the ministerial staff had to make a decision on what to do for church the next day. They all decided that we would have church. If there was ever a time to worship and praise God, it was then! In the midst of the destruction and devastation, not one life was lost. D & I also decided to go ahead & proceed with Jax’s baptism. On Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 our son was able to preach his first sermon & tell our church family & many visitors from the city that the God we were all worshiping & praising & thanking for His mighty hand of protection; THAT GOD was the Lord of His life!
It has been beautiful to see my Heavenly Father love on and reveal Himself to my child. One day, months later, our contemplative Jax asked me a hard question. He said, “Why did God let the tornado come through Petal?”
I thought, “Help me, Jesus.” so, of course, He did. I told Jax that that was something even adults struggled with understanding. For ages, the question has been around, “Why do bad things happen?” I explained that we don’t have the same perspective that God does, so there are some things that we may never fully understand. But then I told him to look at the situation with me through our earthly eyes: no lives were lost, we met many new people and made new friends, we were able to tell our new friends about Jesus, many were saved, many who did not have a church home now call our church their home, we get to see the beauty in each home that is rebuilt or restored, our entire city got a healthy reminder that we are not in control of things (especially me!)& so many other great things have come from this tornado that we saw as a really bad thing.
One year later, we continue to see God’s mighty hand making all things new. Yesterday (on the anniversary weekend) we broke ground at our church to begin a rebuilding & renovation process to prepare for “those yet to come.” This is something that began as a vision from God & continued to grow through years of prayer, research, and planning. I love that the ground breaking fell on this weekend - I know it was not a coincidence. Year after year it will be a reminder that God redeems all things!
2 Corinthians 5
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” v 17