As we near 6,200 likes for "Prayers For Garrett Jones", Wow, what a difference 18 months make. Here in Hueytown, outside of Birmingham, we were hearing of the storms that were coming. We knew the path that most of the storms coming out of the southwest take, so there was some concern. Hueytown has always managed to avoid serious damage, only by the grace of God. Things were getting bad that afternoon, as some small tornadoes and straight line winds had done damage earlier in the day. Janell and I both got off early, and decided to meet at Cracker Barrel for an early supper, since we could just bet on losing power later. And when our food was delivered to our table, I said a blessing as I always do. And in this blessing I specifically asked God to keep our sons, daughters in love and grandsons safe. I called each one by name. And I thought no more about it till 3 hours later when I saw the weatherman giving the path an F5 was expected to take. But I had prayed for each, and you know, it never happens to anyone you know. But it had happened to Janell's mother & father and sister in '98, when another F5 followed an almost identical path 1/4 mile away from this one. It hit their home while they were all hunkered down in the shower. So, we had already had our close call. At 6:00 I get a call from Kevin who was looking at an empty basement where Garretts house once stood.
That started a 6 week nightmare, that still comes back to haunt me. Days where a vision of him in the hospital bed looking at me as if to say Dad, can't you do something". All I could do was pray. Visions of his last breath, as I held his hand, and out of the corner of my eye, saw a monitor go flatline. But as a reuslt of that nightmare, my life has been forever changed. I no longer take things for granted if I can help it. I pray more for others than I ever have. I am more understanding of those who get mad at God. I haven't gotten mad at Him, but I can see how someone could. The memory of standing beside Kevin as we looked at his brother for the last time. But.....
I NEVER HAVE A BAD DAY! Just that some days are not as good as others. So good has come from bad. And God has allowed me just a minute glimpse of what He can do with a Dad who has been hurt and tested and tried by fire. It's been a while since he's opened a door for me to go and share. I had been hoping I'd be going monthly if not more. But He has quieted that ministry. I feel like I'm about to burst sometimes when I want to shout to the world what He has brought me through and how He can do it for others. I opened my will to write a book if that is what He wants, but I haven't felt the tug inside of me, like I have felt it from outside of me. I did feel led to do a CD project, and He supplied what was needed for that. (And I felt like I belonged there every time I put those headphones on in the studio) I'm not sure how to describe what I feel most days. The closest I can come to sharing it, is I feel restless. Like there is something I'm supposed to do with whatever time I have left.
So when you are reading the prayer requests, or going through your prayer list, How 'bout saying a little one for me. I need clarity and peace. But I thank God for all of you. I think maybe 5 thousand don't visit anymore or very seldom. But none the less, I think 6,200 is just an incredible testament to what God can do with social media, when it's done the right way. Thanks to Janis and Stephanie and other, it has been and will continue to be.