22 and 19 are the ages of my kids. Adults yes but in my heart they are still my babies. Just recently my daughter and I headed to Texas to work a Young Lives camp for teen moms. We were on the childcare crew and assigned to the 6-7 month old babies. Watching my 19-year-old daughter take care of those babies made me so proud and it filled me excitement as I thought of her being a mom herself someday.
As the week came to an end a storm rolled in and we found ourselves under a tornado watch that would soon turn into a warning. The camp where we were staying at did not have underground shelter. As the storm grew we were moved to an interior room of the building with the babies that were in our care. Others found themselves in bathrooms of the buildings where they were caring for the babies. One large bathroom held about 20 people.
This Washington state girl is not accustomed to tornadoes and to be honest it is one of my biggest fears. As we I stood in that little room with a sweet baby girl in a front pack I became a mess of emotions. Across the room was my daughter holding a baby in her arms. The “what if’s” were screaming in my head…What if a tornado actually touches down, should I tell her I love her just in case? What if it touches down do I protect the baby in my arms or my baby? She may be an adult but she was still my baby girl.
Tears began to well up in my eyes and as I moved across the room to stand by my daughter. I wanted desperately to reach out and hug her tight, to protect her from whatever was going on outside that little room we found ourselves in. She is not one to be afraid of a lot things and she started to tease me for being scared. What she did not understand was I was not scared in the way she thought. I was scared because it hit me that my little girl was an adult and she would lay down her life to protect the baby in her arms if needed. I to would lay down my life to protect the baby in my arms also and it was tearing into my heart that I felt that I had to choose the baby in my arms over my own baby.
I started to feel my legs shake as I held in my tears and the resisted the desire to try to hold her like she was a little girl again. Momma bear was a mess. Fear was winning and I to get a grip. I said out loud, “There is not fear in God”. Than, I simply said, “Jesus” a few times and peace began to come to me. I followed that up with “God I trust you in this”. Fear loosened its grip and peace took over. In a silent prayer I asked God to protect my baby. I told him I trusted him to take care of my baby so that I could be ready to take care of the baby in my arms if needed.
I grabbed my phone to listen to worship music but the room was too loud to hear it so we began to sing worship music ourselves. They say the center of the storm is the calmest place to be. As we waited that storm out I can say without a doubt that when you let God be the center of your storm you to will find yourself in the most peaceful place. We were off-key when we sang but I know that to God we made a beautiful noise as we worshiped him and trusted him. A tornado did touch down about 25 miles from us and a home was ripped off its foundation with the family in it.
I have always been one to pray and trust God but in that moment I saw the importance of it in one of the most concrete ways ever. If you are a parent I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer for you child no matter how old they are. They will always be your babies so never stop praying for them. If you are going through your own storm as a parent trust that God will be the calmness in the storm. Praise him in your storm and trust him with your babies no matter how old they are.
To see the story of the family who gives God the credit for keeping them safe in that real life Wizard of OZ moment so close to where we were the night of June 12, 2014 click here. http://www.kvue.com/story/news/local/2014/06/13/tornado-carries-home-with-family-inside/10499773/