Now

We have our power back, we have our water back…we can surf the net.  It’s amazing what these crews have done in just a couple of days.  We sit here and we feel guilty…just a block over there are people who have no homes…everything is gone.  Again, we thank God for what we do not deserve.

I wish I had pictures of what this town used to look like…I could dig some up but I don’t have the heart. The devastation is indescribable. I have never and I hope to never see anything like this again. I decided to share some pictures of  what we’ve seen.  Keep in mind, pictures cannot do the magnitude of the destruction justice…it simply cannot be captured.

None of these pictures show individual homes…where people used to live now torn down to the foundation.  I never thought I would disclose where we live but I would ask that you pray for Ringgold.  A small town in North Georgia that has recently made national and international headlines.  The town my husband especially holds very near to his heart…the town he has grown up in.  It’s not just about stuff, homes, businesses…it’s far deeper than that.  It’s about people.  It’s about a community that was completely devastated and wiped out in a matter of minutes.

18 Responses to Now

  1. Betty says:

    Your pictures made me cry. Again. We too feel so so guilty, wishing it was us instead of those poor people on Sparks St, or in the “rough part” of Tuscaloosa. But I am so so thankful your house was spared and your electricity is back on. Despite the horrible-ness you have to drive through every day, I hope you can enjoy your time with Susanna!!

  2. jessica says:

    Heartbreaking! so glad you’re ok!!

  3. Lindsey Sieders says:

    It grieves me to see how life can change so quickly for some and when your not directly affected how easy it is to forget and move on. Thanks for posting these pictures Grace and know that you and your family, and your community are in my prayers! I pray that this will make a close community even closer and that those who are left with nothing may find even more. God Bless!

  4. LeAnna says:

    So, so, so very sad. Community is resilient, though! A great time to be instant, in and out of season. Praying for you all!

  5. Anna says:

    Unbelievably sad. I’m glad you were protected but I can’t imagine how difficult this is… praying for you.

  6. bchallies says:

    May God show you ways you can serve other….I know that is the desire of your hearts…

  7. Saw your link from Tim’s site. I live in north Alabama and today is Day 1 WITH electricity after being without it since last Wednesday.

    While driving to Dalton, GA, last Sunday for a church event, we saw some of the damage you had in Ringgold. Wow. You’re right that pictures don’t do it justice. I will be praying for your town; please pray for our area. God has worked SO mightily through his people in the aftermath.

  8. Kathryn says:

    Oh my. It really feels devestating at times, doesn’t it? I’m so thankful that you are all safe, and praying that God will use you and your family to minister and care for those who have been affected by the tornado. We had a tornado rip through our city as well. It was not the gigantic f4 that you experienced, but it still left us quivering in our boots… and in shock over the havoc and destruction it left behind. But we, like you, have found ourselves praising and praying to our God who is in control of all things–safety, home, life, power, children… all the things most near and dear to us have been preserved.

  9. jennifer says:

    I have never commented, but my husband and I are friends of Rick and Susanna. My aunt and uncle live in Ringgold as well and I know the community is really suffering. Please know that we are praying for you all!

  10. admin says:

    Are they okay? Was their house hit by the tornado?

  11. Hello Grace- I don’t think I’ve ever commented before- I found you through Maryann’s blog. What utter heartbreaking devastation! Prayers from Australia are being offered on your behalf! I follow several Christian Southern blogs, as well as some ministry ones, and we heard of the tornados, the morning of the royal wedding day here in Australia. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt, and many from Australia are praying for God’s glory to shine forth there even in the devastation. We know that many from your country have prayed for ours this year with our devastating floods and cyclones, and we in turn now stand with you.Trusting too that Maryann and family are safe also.
    God bless
    Claire

  12. jennifer says:

    They are ok and their house was not hit. I think they are a little higher up on the mountain than where the tornado went through. I do not know much about the lay out of Ringgold, but that is my understanding.

  13. I am hoping too, that you can serve and perhaps even build some lasting relationships in your town. I am so sad to see those photos, and so thankful that you were not in the middle of the blast.

  14. Megha says:

    Hi, I’m a friend of Susanna’s also – your photos take my breath away. So glad you are okay! I work at GEMA and from what I’ve heard, the community has really pulled together to clean up and assist the victims, which is wonderful to hear. Will keep your town in my prayers!

  15. admin says:

    Thank you so much Megha. The community here is amazing. It does seem everyone is trying to do their part whether big or small!

  16. admin says:

    Thank you so much Claire. What a gift to know people are praying in another country! Maryanne and family are well. They are further South so they were not touched (other than bad weather).

  17. Beth says:

    I almost made it through an entire day without crying…almost…and then I saw these pictures. I keep thinking I will update my blog, but I just don’t know what to say yet. I am just so thankful that our little family is okay, but feel so guilty that others are not. Love you guys…

  18. Jane Frye says:

    Grace, The lady that you and Justin helped the morning after is now set up in an apartment near us. She has no air conditioning but someone she does not know handed her a $200.00 gift card yesterday and she bought a fan plus some other supplies. Last night I delivered a tote full of emergency supply items from the Ringgold United Methodist distribution center and included in it was a hugh jar of peanut butter. I told her that the peanut butter was the special delivery and she looked at me with big eyes and started laughing and said “I love peanut butter!”. I then reminded her that it was you and Justin that tried so hard to get her that food the day after the storm and how we are related. Facebook allowed us communicate her needs and many people have responded to help her from matresses, household items, to delivery trucks and manpower. She now has most of the items she needs to set up housekeeping again. She later started getting cramps in her toes and was in pain from all the lifting and moving she has done. She is exhausted but she is so very thankful for all she has been provided with.

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