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Peace Be Still

After being hit by a car on the highway and almost dying, and then having a few other close brushes with death, my panic button was stuck on. Everything terrified me, especially bad storms. I lived in the Northeast and had no real reason to fear a thunder and lightning storm. They rarely did any serious damage. Tornadoes were extremely rare where I lived, and those that developed were small and short-lived, but it didn’t matter, all storms terrified me.

Then, I moved to the south where there was serious potential for deadly storms. Those storms scared me out of my wits and earned me the nickname Chicken Little.

From my dream journal: A hurricane is coming. August 19, 2008

I have been super anxious about this storm coming.

I can’t seem to get anything done because I’ve been glued to the weather channel.

“God, help us,” I whispered under my breath.

Although I was miles away from where I was in terms of struggling with PTSD, storms still scared me. Especially, hurricanes. As I listened, glued to the news, I couldn’t help but imagine how bad a direct hit from a hurricane would be. I had come a long way in the few years that I had been hearing from God but hurricanes still scared me.

From the day that I began hearing from God, each and every time that I had a concern, God showed me the outcome so that I didn’t worry. So by the time I had to face Hurricane Fay, I had gained a ton of experience hearing from God and I was very accustomed to asking and getting direct answers from Him whenever I needed comfort. He truly is my Comforter.

As I got into bed that night, I prayed, “Lord, please give me a heads up about this storm. I don’t like being anxious and one word from You would make all the difference.”

He answered with a very short dream and revealed that it meant that I was going to be okay.

When I woke up, I posted the dream at my Forumotion group and shared the prophecy that God was giving me comfort in advance.

All the next day, the news was going on about how flooding is the most dangerous part of the storm so, later that night, when I went to bed, it was on my mind. That same night, I had another dream. In the dream, I saw water in our yard but it did not come near our house.

As soon as I woke up and had a moment to think about the dream, I knew that God was letting me know that I had nothing to fear from flooding.

After getting out of bed and on my way to the coffee pot, I stuck my head into the office and saw my husband reading the news online.

“What are you going to do about work?” I asked from the kitchen while pouring a cup of coffee.

“Bruce and I decided if the bridges are closed we will close the plants,” he replied.

“So, you’re not going in?” I asked.

“No. I am going in. Bruce decided to keep his plant open anyway, so I’m going in too.”

This was not good. I believe free will leads to bad outcomes when people make bad choices and I didn’t think this plan was a good idea.

“I don’t think being supportive of his bad decision is the right thing to do,” I said, certain that he would be safer at home and trying my best to convince him.

Hearing no response, I continued, slightly panicked, “The WORST part of the storm is forecast to hit today!!”

He wasn’t moved. Seeing that his mind was set, I knew from past experience that it was pointless to argue. NOTHING would change his mind. At least nothing I said, but all was not lost.

I prayed, “God. Please stop him from getting there. Put a truck blocking the street, a policeman at the corner, SOMETHING to prevent him from going downtown, PLEASE. I just don’t feel good about it and I DON’T want him there.”

Less than an hour later, he called.

“He babe. A tire blew so I’m getting them fixed and then I’m going to turn around and come home instead of going in.”

My eyes bugged out of my head, and inside I was screaming my thanks to God, all while trying to play it cool on the phone as I listened to him go into detail about his plans for coming home.

As the day wore on, the winds picked up. When the wind gusts exceeded 50 mph winds, the bridges throughout the city were closed. We sat glued to the news channel while keeping an eye on the wind outside of our patio doors. While the news was reporting storm-force winds throughout the area, the hedge of pine trees in our backyard was completely undisturbed. They weren’t moving at all. Which prompted my husband to ask, “Do you think that maybe the trees are protecting us? Because the winds don’t really seem that bad here.”

I said, “No. I think God is protecting us.”

Throughout the day, we stayed glued to the tv and listening to reports of one tornado warning after another. We were still glued to the Weather Channel when our doorbell rang. It was a friend of our’s from Texas. He had moved to Atlanta and decided to take the four-hour drive to Jacksonville to surprise us. He sure did.

My husband was stunned and said, “What the heck are you doing here?”

It didn’t sound like the warmest greeting ever, so Keith asked, “I’m sorry did I come at a bad time?”

My husband laughed and said, “Uh, yeah. Don’t you listen to the news? There’s a hurricane heading straight for us.”

Keith replied, “Are you serious? No wonder I was the only car on the road.”

We decided to make the best of it and broke out some board games and were knee-deep in a game of Uno, when a seriously close tornado warning suddenly came on the news.

To our shock and amazement, there was a blown-up map of our neighborhood on the Weather Channel. Our street was the tornado bullseye that the Weather Channel was showing on the screen. And we heard the meteorologist say, ‘A fast-moving storm, with an embedded tornado, is heading quickly for Orange Park. Take cover now.”

The tornado was headed straight for us and was about ten miles away. The only thing between that tornado and my house was Orange Park.

Under normal circumstances, I would have been in the bathtub already. But in the moments that I would have been scurrying away in fear, I suddenly felt God’s powerful presence blowing up inside me. I knew what it was because I had felt this incredible feeling once before in a prayer meeting. While in the meeting praying, I suddenly had the still-small-voice speaking crystal clear words in my heart and, at the same time, I felt something that can only be described as very intense power on the inside of me. When I opened my mouth to share what I heard God saying in my heart, the powerful feeling from inside of me came out with the words I spoke and it blew everyone, including me, away. The people in the meeting suddenly began jumping up from their seats, hands in the air, praising God like never before because His presence was tangible. We could feel it!

The feeling that I felt while listening to the meteorologist warn of the coming tornado felt exactly the same. I knew God was fully present and when I pointed at the tv screen and said, “That thing is not coming to my house!!!!”, the same power that I felt inside of me came out of my mouth again.

I looked over to where the guys were sitting to see if they felt the same thing that I felt, but they just stared at me as if I had grown another head. Their instincts were probably telling them to take cover since a tornado was heading straight for us, but how could they run for cover when Chicken Little was not?

A couple of minutes later, right about when the tornado should have hit our street, the Weather Channel meteorologist came back on the screen and said that the tornado warning was canceled because it just faded over Orange Park.

I lived in Argyle Forest, one street away from Orange Park.

This thing was going gangbusters until God showed up. Right before it would have reached my street and it suddenly ‘died‘ over Orange Park.

When I told my friend Laura what happened, she said, “Faded my foot!” We were expecting a miracle, and we got one! God protected us, just like He showed me.

Faithful to God’s second comforting dream-message about the flooding, we didn’t see any flooding despite it being widespread throughout our city and the surrounding areas.

Fay spawned a total of 81 tornadoes across five states and caused widespread flooding along Florida’s east coast, especially in Jacksonville (where I lived) near the storm’s third landfall. Some areas of Duval County reported up to 20 inches of rain, and authorities reported an unknown number of homes and businesses flooded. Floodwaters began receding in some of the hardest-hit areas of South Florida.

‘Fay has been an unusual storm, even by Florida standards. It first made landfall in the Florida Keys on Monday, then headed out over open water again before hitting a second time near Naples on the southwest coast. It limped across the state, popped back out into the Atlantic Ocean and struck again near Flagler Beach on the central coast. It was the first storm in almost 50 years to make three landfalls in the state, as most hit and exit within a day or two.’

I wish I could explain the peace and joy that I felt amid all this mess. I KNEW that I was protected and that God had sent His word. One word from Him turned going through an imminent brush with a tornado into one of the best experiences of my life.

Call it coincidence. Call it whatever you’d like. But unlike most everyone else in Jacksonville that day, we were completely protected from any effects of the storm. Unlike 50,000 others, we didn’t lose power for a second. Unlike much of Jacksonville (and much of Central Florida, which saw severe flooding), we didn’t get wet or flooded. We had ZERO damage to anything, and we didn’t see any storm-force winds. God put his hand over my neighborhood, and the storms didn’t come near us! It was like a storm didn’t even really happen for us.

And the best part of the entire thing is that God sent a dream and revelation of the interpretation to make sure that I knew that God would protect us during a terrifying storm. He was and is my comforter. He goes through everything with me in such a tangible way that I know that My GOD is literally beside me. I know that the protection that my home had wasn’t just luck, God showed me that He was going to protect me and He did.

There was a time in my life that I had PTSD so severely that reading the label of salad dressing was enough to give me a panic attack. But God! Because of stories like this one, because of dozens of times that God sent me a dream and delivered a miracle, God led me out of a living nightmare. By guiding me so personally through all of life’s scary moments, God taught me to trust Him. I had comfort throughout the entire thing. Instead of riding the storm out in the bathtub, petrified, I went through it, standing firm with the power of God inside of me and it was an experience like any other. It is so incredible to live life with God by side.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most-High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”. Psalm 91

God is amazing. He is my refuge and my fortress, my GOD, in whom I trust.

1 thought on “Peace Be Still”

  1. I thank God for the Great and Awesome Miracles. He indeed Speaks to us. Nothing comes to Us by Surprise. Thank you Heavenly Father

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