How We Respond to the “Bad Stuff”

Last night as my husband and I were laying in bed he asked me if I knew what tomorrow was. I’ll admit that at first I didn’t know. I thought to myself, but I couldn’t come up with anything. I knew it wasn’t any of our anniversaries, and I usually remember all the specifics, all the way down to what I was wearing, to anything important as it relates to our relationship.

Right about the same time he asked me, a commercial previewing the nightly news came on the television. That’s when I remembered.

One year since the Joplin, Missouri tornado.


My husband asked if I remembered where we were when it happened. Of course I do. We were at our duplex here in mid-MO, we had just gotten some dinner, and we were preparing to cook it. At first when news came on about tornado development I didn’t think too much about it. Tornado watches, and even warnings, are fairly common in the midwest…but nothing ever really happens.

And then came the devastation. I continued to watch the news, and my level of concern continued to rise one-hundred-fold. Proof of the disaster kept appearing all over my television and it was evident in the news reporters…speechless and shedding tears.

There is one thing in life that becomes more apparent the older I get. Bad stuff is going to happen. Inevitable and simply out of our control. However, it’s in how we respond to the “bad stuff” that shows greatness, growth, and an immense amount of faith.


I remember watching the feed on twitter that night as the news of the Joplin tornado continued on through the night. I remember my heart sinking each time a new, higher death count was revealed. I remember listening in terror to the youTube video of someone hiding in a gas station as the twister came through. I remember sending up prayers each time someone posted the description of a loved one they were missing.

But I also remember all the people jumping to help. Doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters, construction workers, and ordinary, everyday people. So many people wanting to help that they had to turn away volunteers. I think that in this moment of time, humankind’s true compassion was more apparent than ever, and I’d like to think that the people of Joplin felt that they were not alone. That they were loved.

I haven’t been to Joplin since I graduated from college there four years ago, but this summer I plan to visit the city that I visited nearly every other weekend for three years and spent a year living there myself.  I have only witnessed the tragedy through photos and news stories, but even a year later I’m sure there is still evidence of it.  But greater than the proof of the disaster, I am sure I will see evidence of teamwork, hope, and the greatness that can be achieved when people all come together for a common cause.


We will recover and come back stronger than we are today.”

With God’s help they have, and continue to do so. Please send your prayers to the people of Joplin today, and remember to count your blessings.



4 thoughts on “How We Respond to the “Bad Stuff”

  1. Such a touching tribute…and speaks volumes about your heart and soul. You are absolutely right, we can’t prevent the ‘bad’ but we can certainly control how we respond, react, and learn from the bad in life. Great reminder my dear.

  2. This was a wonderful post to read, so inspiring and full of hope. I think you are 100% right, horrible things which are completely beyond our control will continue happening but what is important is how we respond. Thank you for writing this 🙂

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