This is an entry from my sketchbook turned diary:
April 28, 2011
As I lie here on the breathtaking shore of Orange Beach, I am attempting to relax, but I am finding that to be merely impossible.
I am lying alone on the sand in a patterned swimsuit, floppy beach hat, and gold avaitor sunglasses. Neatly spread across the sand beneath me is a leopard print beach towel. I have an Allure Magazine (Lauren Conrad on the cover) and my Blackberry in front of me. To my right is a burlap leopard print bag filled with magazines, my camera, and Rainbow flip flops. To my left is a hot pink cup of water. My iPod is playing Kenny Chesney in my right ear, and through my left ear, I can hear children playing and the waves rolling into the shore.
Sounds like paradise, right?
Yes, it's gorgeous and I'm so lucky to be here right now.
Yesterday, horrendous storms and tornadoes devastated many parts of Alabama.
Thankfully, my parents and I left Tuscaloosa around 2 yesterday afternoon. The F5 tornado that took many innocent lives and destroyed homes and businesses across the city came through about 5. The original plan was for us to leave at 5; thankfully, plans changed.
Many retail establishments and homes were leveled. It is so upsetting to know that the town is destroyed and so many jobs were lost due to the destruction.
I can't stop thinking of all of the people affected. I know that there are people helping them and that God has placed His hand of healing and protection on each and every one of them.
There is a long road of recovery ahead for Tuscaloosa and others struck by these catastrophic tornadoes.
Buildings can be rebuilt, and jobs can be replaced,
but lives can not.
I am so blessed to be safe and to have to wonderful friends and family who have shown an outpouring of love and concern towards me. I can't wait to personally thank each of them for his/her kindness.
Tuscaloosa is currently on lockdown. Power outages are severe, the water supply is low, debris is everywhere, and gas lines are leaking. Alabama is in a state of emergency, FEMA has been cleared to aid, and the National Guard is helping.
President Obama is on his way to Alabama to see the severity of the damage. The death toll, as of right now, is approaching 200.
Classes, final exams, and graduation have been canceled or postponed. The university's recreation center is housing students in need of shelter.
I am in continuous thought and prayer for those less fortunate. God has the power so I must place my trust in Him.
I pray that the Lord bless all of the people who have dropped what they were doing to help those affected.
Please join me in prayer for those in need. He, and only He, has the power.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
—1 John 5:14-15