An East Texas Tornado, Four Wacky Dogs, and A Lesson About God
I was prepared for the possibility of severe weather Monday night. I had studied the weather charts and knew that I could be in for a long evening of issuing weather alerts on our KICKS 105 Facebook Page and KICKS 105 App.
Mother Nature did not disappoint.
Around 6 p.m., I noticed several storms were starting to pop up ahead of the main squall line in central Texas. My attention was drawn to one developing storm in particular. A supercell was taking shape near Lovelady. It didn't take long before the National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for it.
The main dangers of this storm were large hail and damaging winds gusting up to 60 mph. However, over the next hour or so, the storm intensified as it moved northeastward. The hail field became larger and a definite rotation started to form within the cell.
Then, at 8:29 p.m., a tornado warning was issued for western Angelina County. The radar indicated rotation was located near Apple Springs and persons from Burke to Hudson were advised to take immediate action and take cover.
HOLD ON! I LIVE IN HUDSON!
I needed to take cover, now! Thankfully, I was the only one at home, the rest of my family was out for the evening. I'm proud to say that I already knew what the plan for protection was. There was a hallway bathroom that was not connected to any exterior wall and had no windows. I carried my laptop, smartphone, house phone, flashlight, and several cushions to the bathtub. Once those were secured, I only needed to lead our four dogs to the bathroom.
The Doggy Dilemma
Our smallest dog's number one talent is that she can hear a storm coming from a month away. Getting her to join me in the bathroom was no problem since she was joined at my hip, my knee, and my foot. However, the number one fear of my other three dogs is taking a bath. Just the mere utterance of the word 'bath' makes them run for freedom quicker than Andy Dufresne did in Shawshank.
So, there was my dilemma, trying to convince three dogs to quickly move towards the room that housed their worst nightmare, all while a tornado may be taking dead aim towards our property. As soon as I was able to push one dog through the bathroom door, another would escape. Plus, I quickly learned that saying, "Hey guys, there's a tornado on the way, I'm NOT giving you a bath", is interpreted in doggie language as "something, something, something, I'm giving you a bath."
I had no choice but to carry the remaining three dogs into the cramped bathroom. Keep in mind, that two of those dogs each weigh over 75 pounds. So, there I sat, in the bathtub with my laptop, phones, and flashlight. I was surrounded by four panting dogs, each with a look of "I need a doggie Xanax".
A Lesson About God
Long story, short - the severe weather passed and after about 15 minutes in a stuffy, cramped bathroom, my four-legged pals and I ventured back into the living room.
I never got scared during this episode, but I did pray to Jesus to keep us safe. As I was praying and thinking about the wacky adventures of trying to make my dogs understand that I was trying to take them to a safe haven, I had an interesting thought. This is probably the same feeling that God has over and over with us humans.
Pretty much every day I find myself asking God why I had to experience a certain episode that was either uncomfortable or very difficult. Over and over, I try to find alternative paths away from where God is trying to lead me. I have lost so many loved ones in my life and I try to figure out why these devastating occurrences were allowed to happen.
My dogs could not grasp the overall meaning of why they were being led to their biggest fear. We, humans, are not dogs, of course, but God is God, and His ways and His big picture are far above our understanding. In times of turmoil, in times of trouble, in times of despair, we should trust in God and allow Him to lead us in the direction of salvation.
In the end, God always wins. We should take huge comfort in that.
Here's a look at some of the huge hailstones that fell across the area as well as a view of the storm as it passed by the parking lot of Tia Juanita's in Lufkin.
Here's a look back to storm damage from a previous storm.
Downtown Lufkin Storm Damage