Monday, April 29, 2013

Remembering April 27th, 2011

As many of you probably know, April 27th, 2011 brought many changes for many families.  For ours, the change felt most was that of  learning that our Tom had gone to be with the Lord just minutes after a tornado brought down the house (and many others in our community and state) and left many trapped until help arrived (dear friends and neighbors).
We find it incredibly hard to believe that it's now been two years, and we wish to share with you how very grateful we are for the kind emails, notes, flowers, cookies and candies, smiles, hugs, phone calls, visits, and prayers sent our way and which remind us of the truth of the following statement:  Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by doubling our joy, and dividing our grief.  And..."A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." ~ Proverbs 17:17
We spent part of the anniversary weekend visiting with dear friends who also were hit by the tornado and an evening alone (just our family) remembering many a kind providence of the Lord and happy happy memories of Tom.  And speaking of kind providence's, no matter the difficulty, there always seem to be so many.  One I'd like to share concerns a jack which was used to lift a main beam.
As friends worked to locate and free each person, one realized a jack was going to be necessary in order to get  the main beam of the house jacked up and off of people.   He asked one of my daughters, who was already out, if we might have a jack and if she could get it.  We had many jacks, but they and the building in which they were stored had been blown away.  My oldest son, Jordan, was still trapped but overheard the urgent request for a jack.  He was the ONLY one who new that his father had purchased a new one on the way home from work and before the storm hit.  He could not see outside and didn't know if his father's truck was still where he'd left it (some vehicles weren't), but he told them that if it was, to look in the back floor board.  They should find a BRAND NEW jack purchased from Tractor supply...just because they were on sale.

Now, I must tell you that I can't fathom WHY Tom purchased a new jack.  We were trying to save money and we DID NOT need a new jack.  We already had several.  My husband didn't know we were going to need a new jack.  But God knew.  And even though Tom had no idea what was soon to come, the purchase he made was used to bless his family.

I can't tell you what a comfort that is.  And there are so many others which come to mind.

We're reminded in John 14, "Let not your heart be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me."  But it's hard to choose to not let our hearts be troubled.  Difficult things happen.  Storms of various kinds are experienced by all.  Tragedies, such as those most recently, seem to come frequently.

But we reach for the hope...knowing He's really the One holding on to us.  And we know that our great God works all things together for good... and that He leads His children along...EVEN WHEN WE DON'T KNOW IT'S HAPPENING.  Like when purchasing a jack we don't *need.*

And finally, in summing up, we still want to keep alive Tom's memory in our hearts and minds. And we want to continue to honor the legacy he left of serving the Lord from a heart very grateful to God for all he'd been given and forgiven.  And we desire to be faithful in telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord.  And of how He continues to lead His children along.

  And once again, we are also very grateful for you all.  For your prayers and kind expressions and for the gift of friendship and family.

God bless you!

The Lee Family

"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing..."   ~  Proverbs 10:7  ~

19 comments:

  1. Keeping y'all in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Blessings.
    -Gracie

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    1. Thank you sooooo much. And God bless you. Blessings from the family...

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  2. This made me cry. How unfathonable is God's ways.

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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    1. Amy Jo,

      Yes! I often cry when I think about it. Thank you for leaving a comment. Blessings, Sherry

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  3. Our family (not long ago) came across your site by accident - off of another blog. We loved your postings, your home and as we looked back through your blog we came across this life changing event. The testimony of your husband and your family blessed us so much. My family (Father's side) was originally from that area so I remembered calling all of our family and checking on them after the tornado, then to read your testimony touched our hearts. To see how you trusted God afterwards and still are able to purpose to find reasons to praise and give Him the glory speaks volumes of the man who was the headship of your family. God is amazing. From all I have read, your husband gave every ounce of himself to God and his family. Two years isn't long enough to grieve such a Godly man, BUT continue to give God the glory and share your memories of this man submitted to the spirit of the Lord with those of us who glance over your blog. Like a pebble thrown into the water, the ripple effect is reaching farther than you know. God Bless and Be With You. Thank you for being transparent, and despite your circumstance giving Him - our wonderful Lord and Savior the glory. I once heard that when people watch Christians the most is when tragedy, hard medical reports, trying times hit our life - because they really want to see if we believe that God is still with us . . . still our Lord and Savior. Your family has made it clear who you serve. Well done!

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  4. Your post, on this anniversary, and your memories and testimony take my breath away in both an awful and awesome way! The awfulness of what happened and the awesome of all that surrounded it and your continuing faith and trust in our Heavenly Father! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    I'm reminded of something I heard a minister say once, and I think of it often when I'm missing loved ones who've gone on ahead....he said "they aren't in our past, they are in our future" - because we will see them again in Heaven. God bless you all, heart and soul. I'm so glad to have gotten to "meet" you through your blog xxoo

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    1. Cary,

      "they aren't in our past, they are in our future", I love that! Thanks so much for sharing. And I'm so glad to have gotten to "meet" you. Your comments always encourage...

      Blessings,

      Sherry

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  5. Ahhh.. you dear sweet people.. God so loves you...
    I will never forget hearing this news and praying for you all..
    Still am..

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  6. What a blessing that God gives His strength to carry on and to not just carry on but to do it joyfully. Your family is a testament to this. I read your blog faithfully and have been strengthened and comforted by your words.

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  7. Thank you for uplifting your readers. I rejoice in the Lord's faithfullness when you share your heart and trust in Christ, because I know we will all face times in our journey that seem overwhelming.
    I am comforted by reading about the Lord's faithfulness to you before, during and after the tornado you experienced.
    Your Tom was such a faithful man to his family and the Lord.
    You are truly blessed and I am thankful that you are willing to share what God has revealed to you.
    Blessings to you and your family.
    XXOO Shirley Cox

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    1. Shirley,

      Yes, we also rejoice in the Lord's faithfulness, and I thank you so much for your encouraging comments.:)

      I'm quite late in my replies, but I'm truly encouraged when I read the comments and am reminded of how many people are praying for one another and of how very much I have to be thankful for.

      God bless you!

      Sherry

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  8. I started reading your blog shortly before the tornado... I simply couldn't wrap my mind around what happened. At the time, I wrote that I just didn't know what to say... I still don't. I just wanted to tell you that your story is alive. When I need an example to demonstrate *courage* and *faith* and *love* and *sacrifice* and a multitude of other attributes that I stand in awe of... I tell the story of man named Tom Lee and his family, and how they have coped. Also, I wanted to tell you that I am at my best when I come here. You have that way about you.

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    1. Heidi,

      I don't really know what to say, but I thank you SO much for your very kind and encouraging words. And I thank God for how very faithful He is in giving us grace...just when we need it! He did that, and He's still doing that.:) And I can't thank Him enough for surrounding me and my family with so many encouraging people, such as yourself and others! God bless you, Heidi.

      ~ Sherry ~

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  9. Dear Sherry.............Wow,I can not believe it has been two years! I too started reading your blog just months before the tornado. What an impact your journey has made in my heart! I started out in admiration of the simplicity and purity of your lifestyle and even held some longing in my own heart for my lifestyle to be more like yours. I also felt a true kindship with your beautiful sister heart, I still do. I will never forget the day that I came to your blog only to find out that your home had been destroyed and your husband, Tom, had been killed.
    I shared with my husband and I cried!!! Over the next few weeks, I cried, prayed and contributed as I watched your church and communities gather support and help to all of the families that were effected buy the storms that day. I have watched and marveled at your faith and the grace in which you and our kids have come through this storm. I still admire the simplicity and purity of your lives. What an insperation you have been to me and also a wonderful and strong testament to me, that no matter what the circumstances of my life may be, my wonderful savior is right there with me every step of the way, holding me and whispering to me that there is a day coming when He will wipe away every tear, a day when there will be no more suffering, no pain, no loss, no illness. A day when we will forever declair the praises of our Lord, Jesus.
    Oh what a glorious day that will be!

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  10. Thank you for sharing the story of the jack. I printed it and read it aloud at dinner tonight. We were all awed by the Lord's provision. Wow!

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    1. Dear Smith Family,

      You are so welcome, and I'm so glad you were encouraged as we were. And I hope you all are well.:)

      Blessings,

      Sherry

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