Pray for the Eagles

My weekend started out so lovely. Our work Christmas party was canceled due to weather in December and rescheduled for April, and I think that should be a new tradition. An outdoor garden party is so. much. nicer in the Spring than Winter… Then Broc and I spent Saturday in the SoMa district of Little Rock which is quickly becoming my favorite place to dine and shop. Sunday I hosted my little sister’s THIRD bridal “tea party” and it was beautiful and well attended. Overall, the weekend was just fabulous and I can’t wait to post all my pictures. However, Sunday night stole all the glory.

We knew the entire state was under risk for tornados but we’re pretty used to it, especially in April. Even though a terrible tornado ripped through my hometown of Vilonia 2 years ago and caused great damage, no one ever thinks that kind of thing happens twice- especially not in the same place.

Vilonia is a tiny town of less than 4,000 people- only 1 high school, maybe 5 restaurants and lots of family run farms and blue-collar businesses. It’s also the one of the safest, kindest, most humble little towns ever and I’m so lucky to have been raised there. Only 15 minutes from Conway and 45 from Little Rock, the town is close to everything but secluded enough to be it’s own thriving community as well. Everyone knows everyone, there’s very little crime, and more churches than stop-signs. But somehow, God chose that little town, again, to bear the wrath of one of the worst tornado’s in Arkansas’ history.

Between 7:30 and 8 pm Sunday night, the town was completely destroyed. 15 people lost their lives, 85% of businesses were wiped out, and countless homes completely leveled. The tornado took almost the same route it did two years ago, but this time causing much much greater damage.

There really are no words to describe the horror of the situation- the complete and utter devastation of an entire town is hard to process. The outpouring of support, donations & volunteers is amazing but not surprising. People in Arkansas are like one big family- when one town suffers the entire state feels it deeply. There’s so much to do right now, but no one is sitting around and waiting for orders. Thousands of people from around the state and even country are trying to get into the town to help in whatever way they can- bringing chainsaws, dump trucks, food, water, medical supplies, toys, clothing- the need is endless. And so is the sadness- the loss so unfathomable. I seriously doubt the town will ever be able to completely rebuild, and even if it does, it will for sure never be the same.

Please pray for the residents of my tiny hometown, and it’s neighboring town of Mayflower that was also hit. God is in control, it’s just sometimes not clear what he’s trying to tell us… Maybe it’s simply a reminder that life here is short, and nothing is certain.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Photo’s by Eric Gay & Karen E. Segrave, AP, and first posted on BuzzFeed.com

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