The song is Kolby singing and he wrote this for me.
The house with only a closet standing is ours. The others are neighbors. I talk about this below.
Jehovah has Given – 6 years today, since Tornado No. 5 On this 6th year anniversary, of that 800 yard wide, 150 mph, monster that plowed through our home at 4:00 a.m. on January 23, 2012, I will talk about the 13 months we called Jonathan’s Way our home. Jonathan – which means Jehovah has given.
Tonight as I walked through the house I live in now, it was not this house I saw. It was the home on Jonathan’s Way. I saw it, I smelled it, I heard it, and memories flooded my mind and heart. What was it Jehovah gave us in 13 months on Jonathan’s Way? It was on our way for certain. A part of our journey. Our physical, relational, emotional, mental, and spiritual journey.
Jehovah gave us a beautiful home for Christmas.
6245 Jonathan’s Way was the first house we looked at in our search for a home. We loved it and made an offer which was not accepted. We looked at many more houses and eventually got a call that the seller changed his mind. Our goal had been to get in a house by Christmas. We closed on December 22nd and had everything unpacked before Christmas.
Jehovah gave us Christmas.
I worked in super sonic speed one day to surprise everyone with the tree up and decorated by the time they got home. Home for Christmas. We were home.
Jehovah gave us snow day fun.
Soon after Christmas, in January we had the first big snow in many years. We loved sledding down the steep drive by our house and playing with the neighbors.
Jehovah gave us laughter.
I remember the night we laughed until we cried at Brooks’ discovery that you can’t put too many bubbles in a Jacuzzi tub. Oops!
Jehovah gave us deck furniture. Jehovah gave me willpower, determination, and a stubborn head when I put my mind on something.
That summer I decided I would buy new deck furniture. I couldn’t simply buy it though. No. I had to buy it, pick it up at the store, open the huge box, and carry each enormous piece up the steep steps to our back deck. The only option in my mind was to get everything in place to surprise everyone. I almost fell backward down the stairs so many times, but I accomplished my goal. Surprise!
Jehovah gave me creative outlet and expression.
As I decorated the home, I started this game where I would say, “Find what I did today!” It was the most beautiful home I had ever lived in. It may not have been that impressive to some, but it was amazing to me. I grew up in a house made of block and some board that was very cold with only 1 wall heater in 1 room. The roof leaked a lot. I loved the extra wide staircase, the soft close drawers in the kitchen, the formal dining room and breakfast area in the kitchen (that was certainly a first for me), my reading area in my bedroom, my study upstairs where I completed the bulk of my seminary degree. I enjoyed every moment of making it our home. I hosted the bridal tea for my sweet friend, Kristi Monroe and was so excited to give her this gift in my new home.
Jehovah gave us a new roof and protection.
Labor Day of 2011, a storm came with straight line winds. I heard something upstairs and everyone followed me to the study. I looked out the window and screamed, “There are trees on the house!” You’ve never seen people fly down a staircase so fast. I’m quite sure their feet never touched the floor. The next day we discovered there were 6 oaks down. They were in the yard and on the roof of the covered deck. Ugh. We got the roof replaced and all the repairs completed before the holidays. We were protected from what could have destroyed our home.
Jehovah gave me sacred moments with my Sweet Granny.
Halloween 2011 was one that I will never forget. My 90 something year old Granny came over to help me pass out candy. Growing up in the country, I had never lived in a neighborhood with so many children. It was a blast! Sweet Granny was in the spirit of things and had no objection to allowing me to dress her like Cowgirl Barbie. She wore her hot pink wig and pink cowgirl hat proudly and would get tickled at herself every once in a while.
Jehovah gave us Thanksgiving.
I hosted Thanksgiving for both sides of the family that year. I had extra tables put up and everything decorated to the degree I’m quite sure Martha Stewart would have approved. We played games and ate amazing food and had a blessed Thanksgiving. Sweet Granny spent Thanksgiving with me that year also.
Jehovah gave us another Christmas.
Christmas came soon, and I had the blue lit tree from my tradition with Makenzi, and a multi-colored in the dining room.
Jehovah gave us protection January 23.
My car was brought in, even though I was leaving it out. This gave Brady shelter as the house fell in on him as he tried to get to us.
Jehovah gave us warning.
Ellen texted at 3:15 a.m. This gave us warning to watch James Spann. To get everyone up to the basement. To call loved ones.
James Spann said, “There is unconfirmed damage and a roof off somewhere.” He says that a lot and that is not saying a whole lot, but that night it was God talking through him to me. God said, “Kim, listen and take warning.”
Jehovah gave us electricity.
We had to plug a radio in because we didn’t have batteries. The announcer said, “There is a tornado on the ground in Pinson and it is headed to Springville.” I knew we were in it’s path and said, “Get in the stairwell. They aren’t even mentioning us. It is coming like a freight train.”
Jehovah gave us the stairwell.
As the tornado ripped into our home it imploded, exploded, crumbled, splintered and moved back and forth. Being in the stairwell provided us protection.
Jehovah gave us Holy Spirit.
My hands went over the kids and I prayed, “Lord, I believe you will protect us no matter what.” We felt His presence like never before.
Jehovah gave us a way out.
While on broken glass with bare feet and covered in gas we were able to weave through and get out. Remember my car was in the garage. Makenzi’s was also. They were squished, but with the first floor caved in, those cars held up the floor for us some room to get out.
Jehovah gave us a vision.
I heard Makenzi say, “I remember us coming through a white door.” I said, “So, do I.” There was no white door. That memory was the Holy Spirit providing a way out and a memory we could accept in the midst of the horror.
Jehovah gave us praise.
As we stood out in the darkness and rain after leaving the rubble that was our beautiful home, I heard Makenzi tell my mother, “Nana, we’ve lost everything. It’s gone.” I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I raised my hands and sang songs of praise.
Jehovah gave us people to love us.
Our precious friend, Stan, heard on the scanner what happened and came to rescue us. He didn’t know we were down the hill at a neighbors who took us in because they “only” had trees on their house. He risked his life and crawled in that 3500 square feet of rubble to see if we were trapped. Many of our neighbors were trapped for 4 and 5 hours.
Hundreds of people came for the next 3 days to help us. Children from other states sent cards which blessed my heart.
Jehovah gave us a Bible and a verse.
I found my dad’s Bible I had given him on a stump 2 weeks after the storm. A nail from the house held the page of the verse I had spray painted and stuck in the front lawn, Psalm 23:4. My cousins Jimbo and Johnny Crawford came up from Mobile to help us. I said to Jimbo that I needed my verse on the front lawn. He said we’ve already done it. It became the cover of the yearbook that year. Pastors told me they didn’t know what to preach that Sunday, but saw Psalm 23:4 on the front lawn and preached that verse. Look it up…a blessing and truth I’ve lived.
Jehovah gave us the worst damage.
Many of our neighbors’ homes had the roof intact, yet the house caved in. Their roofs were on top of their rubble and weighing it down. This caused them to be trapped for hours. It was horrible. Heartbreaking. Our roof was blasted, therefore we didn’t have that weight. With the stairwell on my back, I don’t think I would have survived if the roof weight had been on top of us. It would have crushed me. Probably all of us.
Jehovah gave us an egg.
3 days into the clean up, Sandy showed me an egg. It was under my rosebushes and unbroken. I found our fridge with all 12 of our eggs in the carton. This egg came in this tornado that was 800 yards wide and destroyed 500 houses and rested in our yard…uncracked. God’s symbol that while we are fragile like the egg, we are also strong in the hands of God.
Jehovah gave us a voice.
Due to this destruction we were interviewed and the news reporter said, a family gives credit to a higher power…I’ve been given hundreds of opportunities to share what Jehovah gave that night.
Jehovah gave us new life.
When you go through a trauma, a total loss, a destruction to this degree – you change. You change for the better and for the worse. You change in emotion and belief. You change in sensation and idea. You change in strength and weakness. You change in appreciation and gratitude. You change in grief and loss. You change in dying to self. You change in living your purpose. You change. You are a new person. There are no words. There is no script. There is no pretty picture. There is a pretty picture. Horror and blessing all rolled and literally twisted together.
Jehovah gave us His touch, by His hand, in our darkest hour.
Kim Crawford January 23, 2018