Years ago I went to visit my good friend in Missouri in the spring. I experienced my first ever tornado warning. I saw it in the distance from the car and as we drove it seemed to follow us. The radio said it was going the other way but I was freaked. That night there were never-ending tornado warnings for our area and my friend did not have a basement. I remember hearing the roaring storm outside and convincing myself that I would be fine and I would wake up in the morning and somehow fell asleep.
That was in 1996 I think. Ever since I’ve been having recurring nightmares that involve tornadoes. They are never in the same place and I’m never with the same people. Usually I’m with people who mean something to me and I’m trying to warn them of impending disaster. I know it’s coming. When I see the tornadoes they are usually through a window and in the distance heading toward or past me. Sometimes I run away or hide, sometimes I stand and watch in fear other times in fascination. Sometimes they hit and I hold on for dear life. Sometimes they are wispy and quick and almost pretty and other times they are thick, slow-moving, ominous monsters. I truly don’t know why they became a theme for me in my dreams but for 13 years they would appear, vividly imprinting my brain.
My last tornado dream to date happened right after my ex moved out. This time I was watching a large, destructive tornado from a high rise building window as it destroyed two buildings in front of me. People and furniture were flying in the distance in that familiar circular motion as it seemed to just chew everything up in its path. I was afraid it would head my direction next but then for the first time the tornado went AWAY from me. As it did it seemed to form big Barney Rubble cloud feet and actually ran away.
I am grateful for the reprieve. It seems that during my most traumatic time they have been silent. Sometimes I wonder if God was trying to warn me of the storm that was coming and since I was in it there was no need for the warning anymore. I was in it. Swirling around and around not knowing which way to turn or what I could grab onto for comfort and safety except for Him.
Sometimes you just have to hang on for dear life until the storm passes. Thankfully the skies are blue again, the birds are tweeting and life goes on. I couldn’t find anything to sing about for a while. My house was spared but everything was out of place and I had a lot of cleaning up to do so I did. And I hugged my kids.
If you are going through a storm right now, all I can say is hold on. Don’t give in to despair and fear. You will definitely feel like its closing in on you but don’t let go. Sooner or later you will realize that you’ve survived.