The closer I got to home the more eerie and surreal the scene appeared. A possible tornado had just ripped through our little part of town and neighborhood. Not 15 minutes away while this ugly stormed devastated a home, a few businesses and our quiet neighborhood I sat out on our friends porch enjoying the cool breezes that this storm had brought with it. They were such a relief to the horrendous heat wave of the last two weeks, little did we know.
Our neighbor had called during dinner to report that part of our tree had fallen and perhaps we should make our way home to clean it up. We didn't think too much of it, large branches fall out every time the wind blows, but as Chris is getting closer to home and sees rescue crews all over, he called me to say it was way more than just our tree. This was a storm that rattled people, that caught them by surprise and eventually led to our unexpected visitors. You see we don't get tornadoes in this part of the country, not usually anyway! No one was ready, no one was prepared for this.
I was talking to my dad today about understanding God's plans and the paths that he takes us on when I realized that what God has been trying to say to me for a little while is that he just wants us to walk with him. We don't always need to know the plan, understand the plan, be prepared for the plan. We just have to walk with the one who does!
Fast forward to this evening, the damaged tree now carefully cut and safely down waits to be carried off. Our family piece by piece is cleaning it up, sorting some for firewood, some for scrap and some to make really cool seats out of. Down the street we see some young people loading up other fallen trees from the neighbors yard. They eventually make their way to our house and offer a hand, several hands actually and a chainsaw! We made quick work of the bit that was left leaving only the stump and reminder of a fallen tree.
They were admiring our boys and I happened to mention that we are actually in the process of adopting another boy. I had no idea the flood gates were going to open, but as with women and their emotions, just like storms, they are unpredictable. I began to cry, a sudden wave of all the emotions I had been feeling the last 2 days. God had protected us and so many! God protected our home. God provided for us to be able to have the tree taken down, but was it at the expense of delaying our adoption paperwork. You see we finally received our court documents late last week. Yesterday they were notarized and God willing next week they will be state authenticated and then delivered to our country's office in Washington DC before their final destination to court. These documents must be submitted with our foreign source fee, most of which we had until the storm and the tree. It isn't that I don't trust God's provision or timing, it is simply overwhelming and humbling.
These unexpected visitors from a church down the street had come to show love and to show Christ. Not only did they help us finish cleaning up our tree, but they prayed for us! The prayed for blessings over our adoption and our family! We stood in our driveway shoulder to shoulder united as the body of Christ, a community of believers through the grace of God. That is what I picture when I see the CHURCH. Until today we had never met and yet they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I promise you friends I will never forget them.