Multi-post/over-post is about to happen. You can expect that from me, so I probably did not need to announce that—but I am. I am giving you fair warning. 😉 I hope you will stick around to read and listen to what I have to say. It is important. It is wisdom born of pain.These past three months have been a mixture of both heaven and hell. Heaven like I have never experienced before and hell like I have never experienced before. But, I can say this, what my family went through in 2015/6 gave us the tools we needed to survive when the unthinkable happened on May 3.……May 3.It is weird, May 3 is also the date when the F5 tornado hit Oklahoma in 1999 and we have never been the same since. I will never forget meteorologist Dan Threlkeld on the radio telling the people in Moore to get in their shelters and to get on their hands and knees and pray to God. I was in college at the time and had lived in Oklahoma since I was in the first grade. I lived through so many tornado warnings, watches, and near misses—never had I heard a meteorologist talk like this on the radio or on TV. I was in the car, so I heard it on the radio. This was the first time I felt actual fear from this gigantic tornado that ended up destroying a lot—including my Nana’s home she had lived in for 27 years and but had moved out of only a year before this tornado. That brought a lot of perspective. Driving home from Stillwater (I am an Oklahoma State grad and fan—just to be clear since most know we are moving to Norman. 🙂) the interstate was bumpy when I hit Moore. It was surreal. Life as I knew it would never be the same again.But you know what else, Oklahoma is still here. Moore is still here. We are a people who recreate and keep trying even though we know there are no more guarantees in life. The stability we once believed would hold was just a break. I also like what PantSuit Politics had to say about stability. We all long for it, but if we are not careful with it—it is also the breeding ground for complacency. Oof! That is a word of truth.Here is what I know is true after experiencing these past three hellish months—what is real holds, and it is stronger than what tries to destroy. Oklahoma shows us this time and time again. It is a state that knows trauma and catastrophe. Oklahoma still has some major problems and it is going to have to deal with a liberal feminist, environmentalist, anti-death penalty, human rights activist, and lover all of things good—oh, and a woman’s right to choose coming back home. But Oklahoma knows pain and it somewhat knows how to grieve. I feel the Oklahoma welcome and it feels heavenly after this turbulent season.I would love to pinpoint a system or a person to blame for what went down so unjustly and so carelessly, but if I did that I would not be able to tell you about the people who work for these same systems or jobs who walked us through the trial. Because of their actions, what was true held. Not perfectly, but it held. Hallelujah. The Bruehl family had built an ark these past five years and it held when the storm came. I get it now. Yes, there was death (not literal—there are other versions of death than physical death) and destruction, but we lived.We know what living communally means in a way that is real—not superficial. In a way that believes in truth, not saving face or protecting the system. Going by the way of truth is the narrow way. Jesus said that and now I see it more clearly.I will say more in another post. This one is already too long. Here are pics of what has happened (to me)—I try to share my story only as best I can because everyone else has experienced this differently; their story is not mine to share without permission. Look at the love that has encircled us through this season. I do not have a pic with Collin and Lauren. I talked to them today but pictures did not feel right for how big today was for me, but the ”Let it Go” pic Jake Bruehl and I took happened because of them. Love is in the storm. Pay attention.Also, if you are wondering about the Sachse fire dept. pic, they helped me install new fire alarms. My family was out of town and I did not know how to install new ones, so they came to help. They have helped us so much throughout our years in Sachse. Jake had several seizures that needed attention when we first moved here and one later in our time here, and they came over to help. Jake tried to teach them math at one of these visits and that is one of my favorite memories in that storm He is a born math teacher, y‘all!Thanks for listening. There is more to come.

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