Five Minutes of Prayer: Wetumpka, Alabama, One Year Later

This time a year ago, i was unsure of what to expect, meteorologists had been talking all week about possible tornadoes in Central Alabama.

They mentioned that they could be life-threatening, so I was preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

That afternoon, the skies were covered in clouds that you would only see in a horror movie. I grabbed the dogs, my brother, and his girlfriend, and we sprinted to the hall bathroom.

My dad wasn’t home, he was eating at a local sports bar called “Coaches Corner” or just “Coaches” to the locals.

Just as the three of us and the dogs were able to get the bathroom door closed, the wind began to pick up, throwing things around outside.

It was at this time, that I was sure that the tornado would hit our house, so I did what any Christian would do, I closed my eyes and began to pray.

I prayed to God for about five minutes, I prayed for my hometown, my family, co-workers, and friends. But most of all I prayed that He would keep us all safe and unharmed.

After five minutes of praying, I opened my eyes, and everything was eerily silent and still.

The maximum wind speed just five minutes earlier was 135 miles-per-hour, the damage path length, 18.18 miles.

One historic church in the heart of downtown was, for the most part, completely destroyed.

Another church just a few yards away, had it’s steeple swallowed in the wind, the senior center was demolished, and so much more was destroyed, including homes.

But by the Grace of God, nobody was killed and only four people were injured.

Be thankful for what you have and the history that your hometown has. It can all be changed in just five minutes.

Picture: First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka built back in 1836.

Picture: God appears in the clouds above First Presbyterian as people pray. This was one of very few things left of this historic church.

No Limits: 22 Years of Defying Odds, Overcoming Adversity

It’s hard to believe that in eight short days at 1:50 p.m., I will turn 22-years-old. What’s even crazier is the fact that many doctors and nurses doubted me to live a day outside of a hospital.

They never thought I had what it took to live a normal life. You see, when I was six weeks old, I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but that’s not all that has come my way for 22 years.

Also early in life, I developed gangrene, had a stroke, and my small intestines ruptured. Nobody ever gave me a chance early on in life. Over the years, I’ve had numerous surgeries but none of that has slowed me down, or kept me from living my dream.

The only person that gave me a chance early on in life, when it looked like I was at the end of the road and everybody else was busy doubting me, was God.

He saw much greater things in me than I saw in myself at the time and gave me the strength and will to fight through it all and come out on top.

I could’ve given up, but I chose to keep fighting so that I could live to tell the story. One of my favorite quotes is from boxing great, Muhammed Ali, who said “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

You see, I was an underdog for most of my early life, People doubted me, they said I’d never be able to do things that I do on a daily basis, they said I’d never make it outside of a hospital, but yet I’ve made it 22 years and counting. It hasn’t been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.

When you feel like you have nothing left, keep going, never give up. When people say you can’t or won’t do something, look them straight in the eye and say “Watch me.”

Don’t Let Your Past Poison Your Future

Often times, we find ourselves dwelling on the past, dwelling on and worrying about things that are completely out of our control.

When we do that, we aren’t helping ourselves in the least bit. In fact, when we do that, we aren’t making our future any better, instead, we are making it worse. What has happened in the past no longer matters.

It’s a part of the past for a reason, personally, I’ve had a rough, life-threatening past but I refused to let that poison my future. We’ll get into that at a later date.

When we worry about things in the past, we end up tearing our own lives apart even when we don’t realize it. If we focused on our futures as much as we do our pasts, this world would be a better place.

It’s never too late to change your mindset, stop letting your past poison your future. Instead, let your past poise you for the future. Anything is possible. All you’ve got to do is believe in yourself.

Be the lion when all others are playing sheep. Don’t put your future in danger because of your past.