June 1, 2011

Still Small Voice

This next story could be found in the Action/Adventure section of Netflix. On June 20, 2010 you were more than likely celebrating Father's Day. At roughly 4:00 PM you may or may not have been coming out of church, or watching a game, or baking a ham, or making your Father's Day card. If you were in Billings, you were watching a rainstorm turn into a hailstorm. You then began to watch the marble size hail turn into golf ball size hail. At least, that's what Sister Stalions and I did. This is all based on true events.

Sister Stalions and I were driving the 2 miles to our next appointment from the church when the weather took a turn for the worse. I had never seen a storm like that before. The lightning was a flashing and the thunder was a crashing. The rain was increasing in inches on the road, and the hail was coming down so hard that we could barely see. We pulled back into the church parking lot to wait it out. That's when we noticed that the hail was reaching golf ball size. It was denting the roof of our car, and making us slightly uneasy. "What do we do?" Suddenly, I had the overwhelming feeling to get out of the car, NOW. We grabbed our flimsy jackets to try and cover our heads, but if the hail was denting our car, I doubted very much that the jacket was going to do anything. We jumped over lake size puddles, and were pelted with hail that felt the size of small boulders. Amazingly, I felt very protected. Running to the first door we could find, we tried our key. Fail. The door would not open. In a panic, I tried the other key on the ring. "You idiot!" Sister Stalions yelled at me. I had tried our house key on the church door. Needless to say, that didn't work either. It was at this moment that I began to panic. We stood there, huddled under the eve nearing total breakdown.

****May I please add that one of my biggest fears in this known, beloved world are natural disasters. They absolutely terrify me. And here I was, stranded outside, face to face with fear.****

I began to pray out loud, and at the top of my lungs, as if to battle the very elements myself. "DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER!!!! PLEASE KEEP US SAFE!!!!" At the very moment these words were spoken, I realized to my utter horror that the door we were huddled next to was solid metal. Now, reason was speaking louder than my fears, and I knew that we had to move. With this sudden and gripping realization came an even bigger fear of going back out into the ripping wind, thunder, lighting, and hail. I suddenly became paralyzed. I couldn't move, and Sister Stalions hurried reminders "Sister, we have to move!" were doing little to help. I began to pray again in my heart. "Father, I'm freaking out right now. Please help me." Suddenly, warmth and light overcame me. I knew as I'd never known in those 3.8 minutes of pure terror that everything was going to be okay. I heard a voice in my head saying, "You will be fine. Move now." I obeyed. We ran to the next door on the other side of the building with no problems.
At this point, I was reaching what you may have called a conniption. We tried to call inside the building. Our key was still not working. Sister Stalions suggested we stand on the mat- it was made of rubber, and that could possibly help us if we got struck by lightning. We look at each other, and started laughing thinking of these crazy conditions we were in. Then, the sirens went off, and a tornado tore up main street of the Heights. I have lived in Tornado Alley, so those sirens were all too familiar to me. My heart stopped, and I prayed some more. We decided to run to another door, and see if our key would work there. There was a calm in the storm, and we started running.
And lo, a black car was there waiting for us as we turned the corner. The passenger door flung open and we heard, "Sisters!! Get in!!" Brother Johnson, a member we lived with had come to our rescue. I jumped in the car, and almost collapsed into a heap of emotion on his front seat. It was horrible. But he had saved us. He then drove us around to our car. It was a bad sight. The back windshield was totally shattered. Had we stayed in the car, we would have been severely hurt.

I am so grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It warned both Sister Stalions and I that day, and we were able to get out of the car just in time. Also, in my moment of utter anxiety and fear, it calmed my heart, and helped me to do something I feared I could not.

During the last supper, Jesus Christ taught his apostles about this most precious gift he would give to them. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

He taught them that the Holy Ghost would testify of truth, it would be their comfort, it would warn them of danger, and it would bring the light of the Son into their lives. I testify of that. The Holy Ghost can be our constant companion, and can warn us in good times, as well as in times of distress.