Mysterious Ways: Spared in the Storm

For years I’ve helped people tell their mysterious, miraculous stories. Then, I experienced one of my own…

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- Posted on Jul 23, 2013

Mysterious Ways Editor, Nicole Notare

On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy slammed the Northeast. And like many folks, I won’t ever forget it. More than one hundred people lost their lives. Thousands lost their homes. My Jersey Shore town was dealt a brutal blow and recovery is still a work in progress. But there’s another reason I can’t forget this storm. A moment, actually. One that irrevocably strengthened my faith.

It was 5:00 am, one week after Sandy. “Morning, babe,” my husband, Chip mumbled, shutting off the alarm. “Gonna be a rough one.” Chip’s a police officer and he was gearing up for another 16-hour shift. The night before, a nor’easter had dumped a foot of heavy, wet snow and caused even more destruction.

“You get ready and I’ll clean off your car,” I said.

Outside sirens wailed. Transformers exploded, illuminating the dawn sky in flashes of bright blue and green. Branches and tree limbs crackled and snapped all around our acre lot.

After I cleaned off Chip’s car, I figured I’d do mine too. I started at the front, then stepped around to clear the rear windshield. That’s when I heard a voice: “Move,” it said.

“Move.” The voice was calm. Insistent. It came from inside me, yet it wasn’t my own.

In my seven years at Guideposts I’ve interviewed plenty of folks who’ve heard and heeded an inner voice. I’m strong in my faith, but I’d never experienced it. Was this what they meant? Or was the stress of the storm getting to me? I kept brushing.

“Move.” There it was again! Almost demanding this time.

I’m probably just overtired, I thought, but it can’t hurt to listen. I opened the back door and threw the snowbrush on the back seat.

“MOVE!” This time the voice was urgent. I bolted! I only made it a few feet before I heard a deafening crack behind me. I dove into the snow. CRASH!

I turned around. A gargantuan, seven-foot tree limb, already weakened by Sandy, had grown heavy with snow and ice and finally snapped. It had fallen across the driveway—with such force it split the asphalt.

Exactly where I’d been standing.

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