Processing a Disaster: restoration

One of the problems I keep encountering in my personal blogging is knowing where to write certain things. I’ve mentioned this dilemma before, and it frustrates me to admit that I am not one step closer to sorting it out than I was 5 months ago. (I’m still open to ideas, so feel free to weigh in)

Therefore, here I sit, attempting to write about my visit to Pleasant Grove, Alabama, three weeks after the fact.

Its taken about that long to begin to process what I saw.

As I’m sifting through it and trying to process it,  I am all over the board. On one level, I find myself racing to help. On another, I want to sit quietly and just pray. I recognize that people can only take so much before they shut it out completely, yet  I struggle with the desire to post every single article, photo and video I come across that pertains to the destruction and recovery.

Because in every way, this strikes something deep that ignites a fear. We long for control. For a sense of order. And nothing about this feels orderly.

While the entire state of Alabama and other parts of the Southeast continue to process this record-setting devastation and destruction, a fear that creeps in to our minds is that others will quickly forget and move on.

And there lies the trigger for my struggle for control.

What many are faced with every single day now is this:

Their lives and spirit broken and scattered in every direction.

From the outside, it has the appearance of  hopelessness. It’s scary; overwhelming.

I hear it so loudly in my head: How in the world can we pick up the pieces?

Until I find myself back in that spot where I recognize and acknowledge that I am not in control. I still have no answers for my children who ask why some were spared on one side of the street while the other side is gone. Who try to wrap their heads around whether or not God caused this…

I believe in a God who doesn’t cause the storms, but Who is with us through them.

(image credit: Church of the Highlands)

So even though I can’t hold and comfort every victim of this storm, nor wipe every tear that falls, I am seeing Him all around in the recovery and relief efforts. He is still here in the midst of it. And once again, I am reminded of how restoration works.

As love pours in…

Restoration takes place.

And pinned to the sleeve of a child’s shirt, I am spoken to:

Restoration will take place across the state and in our hearts.

To help those affected visit Magic City Post’s “Now It’s Time to Help” – many volunteer opportunities and lists of needs. Also included are ways that those not in the region can help directly.

For more related links, see my prior post “Pray for Alabama” and scroll to the bottom


  1. Karla, thanks for the link and for the perspective on our post-tornado world. I too have been challenged with finding the right outlet for the latest post, but somehow, it always gets out there.

    • Thanks, Wade. I’m grateful for the list that you are keeping up to date. It’s been such a challenge to keep up with it all, and you’ve made it easier. I have people ask me daily where they can help or send donations, and your list is where I send them.

      And regarding finding the words… I spent hours writing… rewriting… editing… tweaking… writing… Words didn’t come easily.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I’m from Joplin and it is entirely heartbreaking to see a town you love, that formed you, all in pieces. There is hope though, and to see the good people are doing, that people are loving when it’s hard is encouraging.

    • Thank you, for commenting, Court. You are exactly right: it is comforting to know all that continues be done across the regions affected. I think everyone is afraid it will stop to soon. Thankful that so many are making an effort to keep it in the minds and hearts of others.

  3. I think the hard part might come when the help stops, I’m praying folks remember y’all and Joplin folks and all others affected by this years storms!

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