Cravings of a Pregnant Woman
So, tonight before the clouds were rolling in, Preston and I decided to go for a quick bike ride. The warm evening breeze felt lovely on our faces as we rode excitedly like two children ready for summer. When we felt the first few raindrops and saw the dark clouds ahead of us, we thought we'd better turn back so as to not get caught in the rain. Back outside our apartment we watched the lightning dance through the clouds and listened to the thunder off in the distance with thrilled grins on our faces. We love watching thunderstorms...when they're harmless.
I wanted a bag of chips, so we decided to make a run to the grocery store just down the street. "Should we ride bikes or take the car?" Preston asked. We considered an exciting bike ride, but settled for the car instead.
"Woah, it got so dark all of a sudden," I pointed out, as we pulled up to the grocery store. With a shrug, we entered the store and I went off in search for my chips, while Preston looked at some potential movies to rent.
A few minutes later, with chips and popsicles in my hands, Preston called to me from the end of the aisle, "We have to go now." At first I thought he just wanted to get home. As we approached the checkout area, a worker said to us, "Did you hear? You guys need to either get in the back of the store or leave right now." Determined to buy my chips, and not completely realizing the gravity of the situation, we swiftly went through the self-checkout aisle as people cleared the store. The stupid popsicles' barcode was ripped, so I left them at the counter, grabbed my chips, slipped a $5 in the machine and retrieved my change. And out the doors we ran.
I cannot explain how intense the rainfall and the wind was as we ran to our car. Crazy loud tornado alarms were screaming through the wind and rain, adding to the suspense. Praying in tongues like madmen, we frantically got into our car and off we drove.
"Just down the street...we just have to make it down the street to our apartment," I kept thinking to myself as Preston tried to drive safely and quickly through the blackness. We commanded the storm to subside, we prayed for protection and covering over Fargo, we prayed for PEACE PEACE PEACE - inside us and all around us!
The wind and the rain were so strong that Preston had difficulty seeing where the road was. Less than a block from our apartment it just got worse! "Jesus! You had the peace to release and command the storm to be still! Help us to have Peace!!!" I kept praying, commanding, praying, trying to take authority... "God, YOU are in control! YOU are in control!" I declared.
When we finally made it to our parking spot right outside out apartment sliding glass door, which was unfortunately locked, the wind was swirling around outside to intensely that Preston didn't want us to get out and get swept away. The car was moving from side to side and we continued to pray for a hedge of protection so we could get into our apartment.
"Ok, I'm going to make a run for it," Preston said, "and you stay in here --"
"No! Why??!!" I protested in fear.
"I don't know how strong the wind is and I don't want you to have to run all the way around. So I'm going to and unlock the sliding glass door for you..."
I quickly agreed with his reasoning, even though it felt horrible to separate at such a critical moment. I prayed like I've never prayed before as Preston ran through the storm. I realized how scared I was as worse possible thoughts flashed through my mind. "God, I'm scared! Please help me not be scared!" Preston biffed it on the grass, but was quickly back to his feet again and running around the building. I took my sandals off, knowing I would run much more effieciently through the grass barefooted. I grabbed my chips, and intently watched through the sliding glass doors into our apartment for the first sign of Preston. Just a few moments later I watched Preston throw open the door. Out I booked it toward the door, heart beating in my throat, and soon I was safely inside with my husband in no time.
Relief! Thank you Jesus! We made it!!!!
But the survival focus was not over. Preston directed me to the bathtub, I grabbed lighters and candles, my computer, phone, purse, water, and chips of course, and settled in the tub as Preston attempted to get the mattress off of our bed. I told him to put on some worship music from his already-charged computer and I called my parents and told them to pray, relaying to them the situation.
The sound of the storm seemed to settle and Preston went into the hallway to check out the status from other neighbors. The sweet man who lives above us assured us that the storm had passed and everything was alright now. Phew!
Preston and I laughed in amazement at what we had just experienced. We both specifically remember a shift in the intensity of the wind and rain when we were praying in the car, just before Preston had to run out to unlock the sliding glass door for me. We are convinced that our prayers (along with many others' prayers, I'm sure) made a huge difference, causing the storm to pass and releasing protection over us and the city. I am curious to know how the rest of Fargo is doing.
All I know is that God is such a good Papa and nothing is too big or scary for Him. We are His precious children and He loves us so much! This truth gave me the peace and the courage I needed to take authority and trust that we would make it home safely. As I declared in the car on the way home, "You are in control, God! You are in control!" I was declaring that this storm could not hurt us because my Dad in Heaven holds us in His hands. I do not have to fear, for I have everything in Him - Courage! Authority! Peace! Strength! Hope! A Sound Mind (clear thinking)! And no fear!
Thank you God for protecting us through this storm. This was an experience that I would rather not have repeated in my lifetime, but it causes me to think of all the millions who have been through worse...and I pray for them.
P.S. -- Our patio chair is missing, nowhere to be found in the dark, wet night. We will look for it when daylight comes. However, our birdfeeder is still in tact! And yes, I am gratefully indulging in my bag of chips...And for those of you who know me well, it will come to you with no surprise that the chips are in fact flaming hot cheetos, my favorite. J