Peace Be Still
Peace Be Still
I lived in the Northeast for most of my life and had no real reason to fear a thunder and lightning storm. Tornadoes were extremely rare where I lived, and those that did develop were small and short-lived. None of that mattered though, all storms scared me out of my wits and when I moved to the south my anxiety tripled.
From My Journal
A hurricane is coming.
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.
As I listened, glued to the news, I couldn't help but imagine how bad a direct hit from a hurricane would be, but I reminded myself that I was not going through this storm alone. God was going with me.
Whenever anything causes me grave concern, God always sends me a dream of comfort. So, as I got into bed, 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."
Without fail, He answered with a very short dream that night, revealing that I would be okay.
When I woke up, I posted the dream at my Forumotion group and shared the prophecy that God gave me comfort in advance.
I had a very short dream last night. I went to bed praying that The Lord would give me a heads up about the storm, which He usually does anyway but this is my first tropical storm/hurricane experience so I especially wanted a heads-up.
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. I saw water in our yard in the dream, 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 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. 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, confident 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 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 reported 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.
We stayed glued to the television throughout the day and listened to reports of one tornado warning after another.
We were still glued to the Weather Channel when our doorbell rang. Our friend Keith had surprised us with a visit. My husband and Keith worked together when we lived in Texas, and he would stop by often but hadn't seen him since we moved to Florida.
Recently, Keith moved to Atlanta and had 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."
Regardless, we were thrilled to see him and made the best of the circumstances. We 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. The main street to our cul-de-sac was the projected path of the tornado-embedded storm.
The Weather Channel news reported, '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 I suddenly felt God’s powerful presence blowing up on inside me. I had felt this incredible feeling once before in a prayer meeting. While praying, I suddenly had the still small voice speaking clear words in my heart and I felt something that can only be described as power on the inside of me, and when I spoke what I heard him say in my heart, that same power that I felt inside of me came out of my mouth with the words and blew everyone away. The people in the meeting suddenly began jumping up from their seats hands in the air, praising God like never before. It was rare and incredible, and this felt exactly the same. I knew God had shown up with power and next thing I knew, that intense power was coming out of my mouth. As I stood in front of the television, I pointed at the screen and said, "That thing is not coming to my house!!!!"
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, as the news guy said to do, since a tornado was heading straight for us, but how could they run for cover when Chicken Little was not.
Then, right around the time that 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 'The [tornado-embedded] storm faded over Orange Park.'
This thing was going gangbusters until right before it would have reached my street and, just before it did, it suddenly 'died.'
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 He would!
Faithful to God's second comforting dream-message, we didn't see any flooding despite it being widespread throughout our city and all around us.
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 was amazing. He 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.
There was a time in my life that I had PTSD so severely that a salad dressing with too many ingredients would give me a panic attack. But because of stories like this and others like it, things that God held my hand through, God led me out. 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.
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.
I thank God for the Great and Awesome Miracles. He indeed Speaks to us. Nothing comes to Us by Surprise. Thank you Heavenly Father