BUT GOD . . .
He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise!
This year makes 17 years since my mom, sisters, and I were in an EF-3 tornado (170-200 mph winds).
On March 30, 2002, the night before Easter, the tornado hit our home in Huntington, TX. At the time, I was 17 years old, a junior in high school.
My stepdad was in town, and he actually called and told us a tornado had been spotted. He said the wind had already blown his truck four feet from where it originally was. We could hear the sirens going off over the phone.
My mom, sisters, and I gathered in my mom’s closet and started praying. Right before the tornado hit, I remember hail hitting the roof. The wind was SO loud. Not long after we gathered in the closet, the trailer started shaking, and we could hear glass shattering. Then all of a sudden, the closet door slammed shut from the pressure of the wind.
It was like a bomb had exploded. We were no longer inside our home. We were literally flying in the air. We could not scream or move.
I remember thinking, Where am I going to land? Is my family going to be okay? Am I going to die?
I never opened my eyes. . . . I did not want to see myself die.
I don’t remember landing, but I do remember objects hitting me. We all landed about 100 feet from where we originally were. I remember waking up in a puddle of water and mud and realizing I was no longer in my home. It was dark and still raining outside. Lightning was continuously flashing across the sky. I knew the Lord was with us!
I kept asking myself, Is this a dream? Is this a dream? I called out for my mom and sisters, and thank the Lord, I heard their voices! My mom and youngest sister had landed a few feet from where I was, and Crystal, my twin sister, landed about 10 feet from where we were. Crystal was the only one who could actually walk.
In the meantime, my stepdad had made his way back from town. He passed our house up. He turned around, pulled up into our driveway, and realized our home was gone. All he could do was kneel down and pray and ask God to lead him to where we were. That’s exactly what God did!
While lying in a puddle of mud, I remember seeing my stepdad walk up and asking him the same question I asked myself: “Is this is a dream?” Of course, he said no.
He placed me on a piece of board that was left over from my mom’s dresser. Out of all of us, my mom was hurt the worst. She had no idea what had taken place that night. It was a few days before she realized where she was and what had happened. She had a broken collar, ankle, and jaw bone and had to have her mouth wired.
Crystal had a crushed vertebra, Haley had to have stitches under her chin, and I have a scar on my side from scraping up against a tree.
It could have been worse.
While riding in the ambulance, the paramedic told me there was an angel piece in my hair. That angel piece was in my bedroom on the opposite end of the house. You can’t tell me there isn’t a God!
I remember arriving at the hospital. My grandpa climbed up into the ambulance and said, “After all of this, you are still smiling.” And I said, “Yes, because my family is okay and we are still alive.”
God took care of us!
Hospital staff, firefighters, paramedics, police dept., family, friends, churches, classmates, and even strangers donated, prayed, and helped in so many ways. I’m so thankful for all of the love and support that was shown and given during that time of our lives.
We could have died that night, but for some reason God wasn’t through with us. He allowed us to live to share our testimony. If our testimony helps to win one soul to the Lord, then it was worth it all. If you are facing a spiritual or physical storm in your life, just know that God knows what He is doing. He’s in control! It’s all for HIS glory!
Lessons I learned from “the storm” . . . These are only a select few:
- Family is more important than material things.
- Live every day like it is your last.
- No matter how big the storm may look, God is still in control.
- Nothing is impossible with God
Ashley Porter is a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom, housewife, and Pharmacy Technician by trade. Ashley lives in East Texas near Lake Nacogdoches with her husband of 12 years and two sons, ages 8 and 4. She attends Calvary Tabernacle U.P.C. in Alto, TX. She and her husband are both actively involved in youth and children’s ministry, praise team, and Bible Quizzing.