“I got up that morning and the sky was different than I’d ever seen it,” said Barry Bullock.
The Bullock family was preparing for the holidays and decorating when the storm hit.
“Me and Stevie played some songs…you know everything was in good shape. We had the house all decorated up, and wasn’t expecting – a one in a million odds that the thing will go through you,” said Barry Bullock.
Barry, Chris, and their son, Stevie, were at home when the storm hit. Like everyone in the area, they took cover in the corner of their basement.
“I don’t think we could have been anywhere else and survived,” said Barry.
The tornado destroyed the Bullock’s home, including most of the basement where the family was taking shelter.
“One little corner kept us safe. We truly had God’s hands above us that night.”
After the storm, everybody was in shock. The Bullocks had a neighbor who lived about 75 yards away that didn’t survive the storm. His body was found in the Bullock’s yard.
“To walk out of there out of all that was a total blessing.”
Another shock came a few weeks later when Barry, Chris, and Steve discovered that God’s Pit Crew would build them a brand new home on their property where their old house used to stand.
“I think the main thought was disbelief. Disbelief, thankfulness, and “why us?” said Chris.
“Until it was actually done I couldn’t believe it was going to happen, until I saw it,” said Barry.
On August 26, 2022, Barry, Chris, and their children gathered together to receive the keys to their brand-new home and see it for the first time.
“It was really overwhelming. Of course the house is built where the other one was so we have a huge attachment to this property. When we turned around it was like a relief, we felt like we were home,” said Chris.
“It was real, we could actually touch it. It was amazing, walking through it for the first time…It only took a few hours that day to feel completely like home,” said Barry.
For the Bullocks, moving into their new home has brought peace and relief to their entire family.
‘Going through a disaster leaves a person in a state where they have certain triggers, are uneasy or have high anxiety. When we walked in this house, so much of those feelings just left,” said Chris.
Stevie, Barry, and Chris’s youngest son struggled greatly after the tornado. He, too, is feeling that relief.
“I haven’t had one bad dream or anything since we moved into the house, I’m just now realizing that,” said Stevie.
When reflecting on the experience of losing everything they owned and now receiving a brand new home, the feeling of gratitude is what the Bullock family feels.
“I don’t think the words exist for the gratitude we feel for every person. Barry says almost daily these people put their time, effort, thought, labor, everything. We just hope they are blessed beyond measure. We’ve tried to thank people. Any time we try to thank someone for the house, they won’t accept the thank you. They say we are thankful that we can do this, and they say it’s God,” said Chris.
“I get up every morning and think this place is amazing,” said Barry.
It’s something we will think about every single day for the rest of our lives. We will think about the tragedy and this amazing gift and blessings we’ve been given.”