Let’s back up. Brian’s parents live four hours away from NYC and the quickest route is through Pennsylvania. The drive there was uneventful, except when we drove through a few streets like crazy so Logan could stop for a quick potty break. Ha. Anyway, we left the city on Tuesday afternoon with plenty of time to drive back. Ellie and Logan were watching Megamind and 101 Dalmatians, while the rest of us chatted or snoozed a bit.
After a quick dinner stop and ice cream cones for the road, we continued on our route. We weren’t driving for very long when the rain started. And when it rains in Pennsylvania, it pours. (Or at least it did this time!) I saw the clouds approaching well before, but didn’t expect such a heavy rainfall.
Thankfully, I wasn’t driving or sitting in the front seat watching the road, so I tried not to worry about it. Until I started getting alerts on my phone. Heavy storms my phone buzzed. Tornado warning was next. I dismissed it and turned off my phone. Wait, WHAT?! I immediately pulled it up again. Tornado warning until 7:14 pm. It was only 6:00pm. I had an hour and fourteen minutes of worrying ahead of me.
The looming clouds were growing darker and we all searched the skies for funnel clouds. I was biting my lip and trying not to show how UTTERLY FREAKED OUT I WAS. I googled what to do in a tornado. Inside of a vehicle is the most unsafe place you can be. Lovely.
It wasn’t until my phone started having alarms and sirens go off, TAKE COVER! TORNADO ALERT! that I finally came to my senses. Still terribly frightened, I said a silent prayer.
By following a prompting earlier that week, I received an answer to my prayer in the backseat of that minivan. My missionary brother had sent along a passage of scripture and encouraged us to read it. Sometimes I wait until I have a quiet moment to read, but this time I felt impressed to read the passage right away.
After saying my silent, heartfelt, frightened prayer, my answer came. The verses of scripture I had read earlier came to my mind:
“And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.
And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions”
Mosiah 24…More here.
Instantly, that fear was replaced with peace. My mind thought But wait! Shouldn’t I be worried? There’s a tornado, a tornado for heavens sake! but my heart was calm. It wasn’t until recently that I checked the news for possible tornadoes in Pennsylvania and New York. Perhaps I was worried about nothing after all? Turns out, all that worrying was justified. Take a look at this news report. Some may say it was just a stroke of luck that we drove right through that storm with no troubles at all. But I know that the Lord heard my simple prayer and visits His people “in their afflictions.”
“Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our life.”
Thomas S. Monson