As I went to school a few weeks ago, the clouds in the sky churned ominously above as my school bus traveled the 12 miles between my house and my high school. The bumble-bee yellow of the bus stood out against the grape-flavored snowcone colored clouds, the gray air, and the budding leaves on all the trees. The wind was whistling, the leaves turned upside down, and the rain was coming down in torrents. Lighting flashed above me, and I could hear the rumbles of the thunder above the groans and shakes of the school bus. I was talking with the girl next to me about how glad we were that neither of us got scared in thunder storms, when my phone vibrated. It was from my mom.

“A tornado warning has been issued. Txt me when you get to school”

Gulp. Hoping that I remembered wrong, and Tornado warning simply meant that the conditions were right for one to develop, Emily and I texted ChaCha. This was one moment when I wouldn’t have minded being wrong.

When we got to school, everyone was sent to the gym to wait out the warning. Emily pulled up weather bug on her phone, and a tornado had toucehd down in Mt. Airy, the town we both live in, 12 miles from our school. And the storm was moving fast, in our direction.

I wore a white skirt and black sweatshirt that day. Waking up to thunder storms, I didnt feel like putting much effort into my look. The sweatshirt, not such a good idea. With the entire school congregated in the gymnasium, the temperatures quickly rose and the humidty followed us inside. And the skirt. . . lets just say, that in addition to my prayers for safty, I started praying that we wouldnt have to crouch in front of the lockers with out heads between our knees and hands covering the exposed, back part of our neck.

I ended up standing in the gym for 35 minutes. The schools spring musical “Fame”, a rendition of the popular TV show, was opening the next day. Soon, preparations for a Flash Mob were under way. Thank goodness that never came to fruition.

Once we were released to class, the warning was extended. Students in classrooms with windows were sent to the halls. Luckily, mine was not one of them.

All throughout first mod, the rain came down, and thunder shook the 50 year old building. But then, it stopped. The winds that had formed a tornado pushed the storm westward, away from us.

6 hours later, the world outside my bus window was an entirely different one. The new spring leaves were greener, the air cleaner, the sky bluer. While driving on a back road, I saw 5 deer: a doe, a buck, and 3 spotted babies. Everything had been reborn. The winds and dark skies and flood waters had been replaced by nothing short of beauty. The birds sang out praises to the Living God, the flowers lifted their faces basking in the Son, their sustainer of life, and the brooks flowed with a melody given to them by involved Creator.

For as spectacular as the storm was, the beauty it brought with it was even greater.

As I was riding home on the bus that day, the parallels that hit me were almost paralyzing.

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.
~Peter Marshall

I can’t count how many times I’ve stood and cried out “why?”, only to come out stronger.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8

Sometimes, in order for growth, we need a storm. Not to break us down, but to build us up. We need a reason to cower in God’s arms, and listen to Him speak.

Scott Krippayne
All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

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