A couple of nights ago, I was awakened at 2:30 a.m. to the shrill whine of tornado sirens outside my window.  Ah, springtime in Oklahoma.

Giant chunks of hail hit my window, and my daughter came careening down my hall in a fit of fear before I could even sit upright in my bed.  (My boys, incidentally, did not wake up.  I suspect that if the roof lifted off our house and some tree branches reached in and picked the boys up and shook them upside down, they might wake up.  Might.)

As I held my daughter and tried to awaken, I noticed the room was illuminated by the soft glow of our tiny television, and my husband was silhouetted, sitting at the foot of our bed.  His eyes were honed in to a scary-looking radar screen. 

"Shhhh," he whispered.  "Go back to sleep.  I’ll keep an eye on things, and I’ll wake you up if we need to go to the shelter."

For about 2.4 seconds I considered arguing with him.  Then I looked at my daughter, who had already fallen back asleep in my cushy bed, and I just nodded.  I was horizontal and sound asleep before I could think another thought.

The night dragged on, storms ravaging our city.  I awakened several more times to thunderous, howling noise, but my sleepy eyes always saw, first of all, my husband at the television.  And every time, I relaxed instantly, dropping back to sleep.

The visual image is staying with me powerfully:  my strong husband, quietly yet sharply keeping watch over his family, while the rest of us were sleeping too soundly to know to be thankful.  We just slept, because it’s what you do at nighttime, and we left all the safety issues to him. 

And I wonder, as I navigate other kinds of "storms"–will the day ever come when I rest quite as easily in God’s watchful care?  His silhouette may not be as visible–to my eyes, anyway–as that of my husband’s, but He is surely perched just as soundly at the foot of my bed, on the hood of my car, on the shoulder of my children, on a dusty road in Uganda.  May I trust, and rest.

124 thoughts on “Stormy

  1. Bethany says:

    What a great man you have. Like the young woman above me, I too am praying for a husband that will someday watch over me and our children.

  2. Deidra says:

    I simply love this post. What a wonderful picture of love…resting in the knowledge that you are being watched over.

  3. Minnesotamom says:

    Great analogy–I was thinking, “Man, I wish I would trust God that much” before you even got to your point.
    Also, kudos to your husband for giving up his sleep to be his family’s protector. You’re a blessed woman.

  4. Georgia Mom says:

    I’m so thankful I have the Lord to protect and guide my family as well. But, I have to admit that I’m the offical weather girl in my house. I’m always the first one up to watch the weather and make sure we don’t need to run to shelter. My sweet, wonderful, God-loving husband could sleep right through a tornado. At least we all have the Master Weather Man, keeping watch over us at night!

  5. Mary says:

    God is even more trustworthy than our human husbands. How marvelous to know it is His hand that sends our men to protect us. Ladies without husbands, when you look for your husband to be, be wise. Look for a man who believes what you believe and will have the same commitment you have to God and to marriage, not necessarily one who momentarily “turns you on.” Hearts are deceitful as God’s word says. Feelings change. Shannon, you and your family were in my thoughts and prayers as I listened to the weather reports. I also thought of my sis in Arkansas in the same path.

  6. TZ says:

    Oh and I was looking at your reading list…I loved My Antonia, just the way she described the fields of wheat was poetic.

  7. Jennifer (Et Tu?) says:

    What a beautiful post. Wow.
    I was actually praying for you Oklahoma folks last night. A big storm passed through here sometime in the middle of the night (don’t know what time since the clocks went out). I used to love thunderstorms but now that I’m a mother I hate them — they remind me how powerless I am against larger forces. I was actually thinking something similar (although less eloquent) to what you posted here, that I needed to turn to God and rest, but instead I went down to my computer to obsess about the radar and try to figure out when it would end.
    I saw that we were only exposed to the tail end of the system, but that Tulsa and Oklahoma city were getting pounded. So, if you’re near either of those areas, I was sitting at my computer praying for you in the middle of the night last night. 🙂

  8. Cassidy says:

    Thank you for giving me the images and thoughts that came from this post. It was exactly what I needed today.

  9. Lois says:

    What an awesome post! You built such
    a wonderful word picture of a biblical
    truth and promise. Yes…He is always there, ever-watching and ever-protecting.
    May we continue to learn to rest securely
    under His loving care, in the midst of life’s storms. Thanks for this reminder!
    I needed it today!

  10. A&EMom says:

    That’s such a beautiful story. In my family, I’m the light sleeper that keeps watch through the night. Last night was the 2nd time this week weather kept me awake. You know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking I’m exhausted – and that God isn’t is an even greater testament to his mighty strength!

  11. Marie says:

    That is wonderful and strange that I had the same experience this morning. It is nice to know that we have a protector in our home and from the one that made the storm.

  12. disty says:

    Lovely post. I suppose we all have to work on resting in Him. It’s not second nature. But we’ll get there with His help!

  13. Anne says:

    We’re in the Tulsa area and I slept through it all! Our electricity went out a while and I woke enough to notice but that was it. Dh woke up, though I think he was up worring about hail claims since he works in the auto insurance field!

  14. Shanna says:

    That was beautiful, and exactly the way my husband is with our family. I’m sure, when I tell him about this, he’ll be honored at the comparison of his vigilance to that of God’s protective hand over us.
    Thank you.

  15. Heather Crawley says:

    I was awake too that night..we are north of you and we didn’t get the tornadoes, but the wind, hail and rain woke me up. I got up and watched the radar worrying about my family’s safety. I could have used that time to pray, but didn’t. Thanks for the little wake up call.

  16. Purvi says:

    Wow. I had to de-lurk. What an amazing post! You are so eloquent. Thank you for taking the time to post on this blog. I read your blog everyday. Your stories always move me and inspire me. Thank you.

  17. LeeAnn (AKA FrazzMom) says:

    I was just thinking that I haven’t done my devotions yet today (I usually do them after I get all the kiddos off to school)… But I realize that I HAVE thanks to the beautiful image you painted of our heavenly Father… Thank you.

  18. lovedandamazed says:

    I remember those Oklahoma nights. Now that I am one state over they do occasionally still come, but I do not miss them. Going to the basement in the middle of the night makes for the strangest memories when you get up in the morning.
    This was a beautiful analogy. Thank you for sharing!!

  19. Susanne says:

    Shannon, this made me cry. What a beautiful post from your hubby taking care of his family to resting in the watchful care of the Lord.

  20. Ginny says:

    I live in California and we don’t have tornados, but we have earthquakes. For those there are no warning sirens or radar screens. But, I am sure that God is sitting at the end of the bed in the midst of earthquakes. What a great analogy you gave of your husband. What a great guy.

  21. Melanie says:

    Can I just say that your husband is pretty awesome?
    Seriously, though. I am kind of waiting for a storm right now. This post is what I needed today.

  22. Shalee says:

    What a gorgeous analogy, Shannon. You’re right. He is watching over every single minute of the day.
    (Your Hubs… he sure knows how to make his wife feel safe an secure as well. Huge kudos to him. I suggest that you make his favorite dinner tonight, Shannon. With care like that, he certainly deserves it!)

  23. Cherissa says:

    Great post. I really appreciate the way you honor your husband here for how he cares for your family. In a society where husband-bashing has become the norm, your post is breath of fresh air.

  24. Kris says:

    Great post! God’s been speaking to me in so many ways lately, drawing near to me as I draw near to him. It’s such a blessing to know that we serve a God who loves us more than we can think or imagine.

  25. Beth says:

    Thanks for this analogy. I often wonder what storms in life will come in this crazy world. I’m also thankful for faith in God and the wonderful, strong husband I have.

  26. chilihead says:

    That is exactly what happened in our house. Husband at the TV, me in bed with the kids sleeping–knowing that he would never let anything happen to us. Very well put.

  27. Mrs. Pharris says:

    What a wonderful illustration of God’s love! And how some wonderful husbands take to heart His imperative to love us as Christ loves the church. Absolutely lovely. We are truly blessed!
    PS: I started a giveaway yesterday, and plan to participate in the Bloggy Giveaway later in the month! I’m a long-time reader of your posts, and have loved them all.

  28. Simply Sandy says:

    Lovely post! I’ve often thought the same thing when my husband travels. I have become totally neurotic about going to sleep at night without him in the house- I wake up at every little sound, double check all the doors, leave lights on that normally don’t stay on, shut the cat in the laundry room so she won’t scare the patootie out of me during her nocturnal adventures. But my kids? They’re perfectly content because MOM’S in the house, and go to bed with nary a care. So why can’t I be as peaceful, knowing that my Heavenly Father is standing watch over us all?

  29. diXymiss says:

    After reading this post, here’s a shot of my radar screen…
    eyes: misty
    throat: big lump
    thick head: trying to absorb
    How great, how wide, how deep, how strong is His awesome love for us. I, too, need to learn to relaX and trust. ThanX for making me pause and reflect. Enjoy the blessing of that wonderful man you call husband.

  30. franticallysimple says:

    Thanks, I totally needed that today. Both for the reminder of God’s watchful care and my husband’s. They were each getting a mental “Where are you?” from me. And yet, they have remained constant. The real question should be, “Where am I?”

  31. Ashleigh (Heart and Home) says:

    This was a wonderful reminder to one whose husband isn’t home this year to watch over his family… it is easy for my heart to be anxious as I’m home alone night after night after night with two littles. Thank you, Shannon.

  32. Terry says:

    That is a beautiful post. I too have a godly husband who shows me pictures of my Father in how he cares for me. We are blessed indeed!

  33. Pam says:

    What a sweet post….a sweet man…..for a thankful woman…..precious….God Bless, Pam, South Bend

  34. Leanne from Canada says:

    …He who watches over you will not slumber…Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep……Ps.121 Our Comfort in times of storm (physical or other!!)

  35. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Does your husband monitor snow storms, too? Because there’s a whopper headed our way.
    (Oh, who am I kidding? I a weather NUT! I’m the one who monitors the radar in our family. But it doesn’t work as well for the analogy.)

  36. Jenny says:

    I am blessed by the watchfulness and care your husband showed over your family. I believe the reason that is so beautiful is because it shows the father heart of God for a husband and father to watch over his family as He watches over us.
    I am reminded of many a mother who also keeps a silent, watchful vigilance over sick loved ones through the night. I’m glad God gave us families to go through life with!

  37. Nic says:

    Nicely put, Shannon.
    Being from a country where we don’t have tornadoes, I’d like to ask: do you have a shelter in your house? (Basement?) Or do you have to go somewhere?

  38. sara m. says:

    What a great statement you made in that final paragraph. I can just feel everyone exhale as they read that.
    We all could stand to trust in Him more.

  39. Kirstin says:

    WOW! I don’t know that I’d fall back to sleep. I grew up in Ohio until I was in 4th grade and I do remember the tornado warnings. I don’t miss them.
    Glad you didn’t have to retreat to the shelter. And I love the visual of your hubby standing guard for his family. What security that brings. You are blessed.

  40. richelle says:

    I grew up in Okla – I have similar memories of my Daddy doing the same so that we could sleep.
    Thanks for sharing this morsel of truth the Holy Spirit gave you.

  41. Kristy says:

    GREAT post.
    And the timing is really interesting. Last night, we too, were having horrible storms all over Arkansas. Tornadoes popping up here and there. Baseball sized hail knocking out windows and pummeling cars. As usual, I was freaked out. I just felt anxious all evening – glued to the television, listening for weird howls and sirens. I felt so tense – like every nerve in my body was ON ALERT.
    When we were getting ready to go to bed (finally, at around one-ish), I asked my husband, “Are you gonna watch the weather for awhile longer?” (Not that he had been the one watching in the first place. I was the neurotic one.”)
    He said, “Nope. I’m going to bed. God is taking care of us.”
    Am I ever going to get to that worry-less place of rest? I say I trust, but when things get scary, I start relying on myself…or my husband…or someone to fix it. I need to just trust. And rest.

  42. Amber (Proverbs31) says:

    Wonderfully written!
    “He is surely perched just as soundly at the foot of my bed, on the hood of my car, on the shoulder of my children,…”
    Much better than my own attempt. I posted today about our own experiences with tornadoes and storms last night. We had a very similar experience.
    I’m glad you’re all safe and didn’t have to take shelter.

  43. Jenny says:

    Just what I needed to hear today.
    I need to remember God is there in the storms and in the sunshine. Leaning on his no matter what the weather.
    I am weary..I am sad…I am in a season of reflections and in the midst of tears – yes – my God is always there watching out for me…I need to just look His way instead of my own.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  44. Courtney says:

    That was a great word picture/visual. I like that a lot! Thanks for sharing. My heart and mind will continue to ponder there for a while:)

  45. Rose says:

    Beautiful post, I could feel your faith and love as I read it.
    I live in North Central Texas. We have storms like yours only not as severe or often. They come through here and pick up steam on the way to your house. We had 7 touch down in our area last night.

  46. tas says:

    I made my husband read this entry…….when he was done, I kissed him and said that is how you make me feel when you are home. Safe. Secure. I know that no monsters will get me then. Which caused him to look at me funny…..
    “ok fine, I know that no monster will get me, but you know what I am saying”
    To which he replied, “I’m glad you feel that way” I was melting butter in his arms.
    Thank you for putting into words what I couldn’t.

  47. Anna says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I am at such a scary, stormy part of life right now, even though it is exciting as well. That image will stay with me. Thank you.

  48. jen says:

    This is actually one of my favorite posts that you have written lately! I just love it, and I love that your husband did that without you asking. What a great example of God’s love for us!

  49. Shannon C. says:

    Thanks for this story, just what I needed to hear. I’ve had one heck of a week and was very down on myself. This reminded me that I can sleep easy tonight knowing that god will do the work like I rest, and that there will be a new tomorrow that he will help me through. Thanks so much again.

  50. Liz says:

    I love your comparison in the last paragraph. I think I too often would be ‘staying awake’ to make sure that God can handle the situation. Which is really kind of stupid on my part because God can handle things so much better than any of us can.

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