top of page

Standing Strong in Your Calling When Life's Storms Come Your Way

By Kristen Strong

God's Brave Women - Kristen's Story

I grew up in Osage County, Oklahoma, and many of my memories involve summer rainstorms and winter ice storms. One winter ice storm knocked the power out for several days, and we were all thankful for the wood stove that kept the house warm. During the long, cold nights, Dad routinely added firewood to the stove while my sisters and I slumbered on. We spent our days curled up with books in the living room, feeling a little like Laura Ingalls as we read by the light of day in our cocoon of blankets.

In springtime when the sky grew dark and ominous, we religiously watched Mike Morgan on the channel 4 news out of Oklahoma City. Our spot of earth boasted a high percentage of tornados, and while we didn’t live in fear of them, we certainly were prepared for them.

The night of my junior prom, the “Great Plains Storm” produced 55 tornados from Texas to Iowa. An F4 tornado thankfully skirted our town, but it flattened part of our prom festivities. The sky dumped buckets of hail and rain on us gussied up gals and guys, and we all arrived to the venue looking like we’d camped out in a car wash. In the year of our Lord 1991, we dyed our shoes to match our fancy dresses, so miles of jewel-toned pigment ran down the pavement, just like our makeup ran down our faces.

Generally speaking, I’ve been inconvenienced by storms rather than completely devastated by them. However, I’ve endured figurative storms that threw me to the ground thanks to unanticipated change. I’ve lived through difficult transitions that made a direct hit on my heart like an F5 tornado.


"Generally speaking, I’ve been inconvenienced by storms rather