It’s been two years since the tornado changed our lives. Looking back today, I see there were many blessings that have risen up out of that enormous trial.
Sometimes in life, you make choices that you think are the right ones, but then you start second guessing them, and you can’t find a way to turn those choices around.
We moved to Greeneville three years before the tornado hit in a frenzied decision of independence, a little hurt, and a strong desire to have our own land. Land was easy to come by in that area, and we were looking for something that we could move our single wide trailer on, and also a place that would give us the option of building a home later. Several people tried to talk us out of the move, but we (or rather, I) was dead set on striking out into the unknown. At first, things were great. We had the land we desired. We lived in a beautiful area. The kids loved their school. I loved the homestead life… but all our friends, family and church family lived half an hour away. My kids couldn’t get to birthday parties of friends. I didn’t get invited to many social gatherings. Not many friends would drive “all that way” to visit. I started to get lonely. We started to really feel the stress after the economic collapse of 2009. We could barely afford the gas to get to worship on Sunday. I had to get a full-time job, and family members helped watch the kids. Times were tough. We really started to rethink our decisions. We knew no one would buy the trailer and the land for what we owed on it, in order for us to move closer to where we wanted to be, so we felt stuck. We WERE stuck. The thought, admittedly, crossed my mind to just shut the front door and walk away from it all. My husband admonished this idea, and deep down I did too, but in frustrated moments I would blurt out “..but everyone else is doing it!” There was really nothing we could do about our situation at the time, so we DID nothing.
I truly believe that things happen for a reason, and I believe we lived in Greeneville for some reason. Maybe it was the people who touched our lives; maybe it was the lessons we learned on loneliness or homesteading; or maybe it was OUR lives who touched someone’s there. On this post, I talked about a wonderful neighbor we had that passed away just a few short weeks before our home was destroyed. Maybe we were there just to befriend that ONE person. Who knows…. All I do know is this: We were there, we made the best of it, we left it to God, and He moved. Maybe not how I would have written the script! Definitely NOT how I would have written the script. But now, now we have a lovely home. My kids enjoy their new schools. Their friends can spend the night. I see my friends and family more often. And I’m thankful. Thankful for that horrible night. Thankful to a God that is mindful of not just our needs but sometimes our wants. Thankful that even in the dark times, when I can’t see the good in things, He can see beyond the bad and lead me to better times ahead….with more to come, I’m sure!
Thanks to each and every one of you who stood by us during our hard times. We deeply appreciated all the help, love, and hope you gave us. We could not have made it without you!