‘Tell God thank you’ Lee Co. tornado survivor still praising God a year later

‘Tell God thank you’ Lee Co. tornado survivor still praising God a year later

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - A Lee County grandmother who captured the hearts of people across the country after the March 3, 2019 tornado said she’s still praising God now.

Earnestine Reese’s prayer closet was still standing after a deadly tornado ripped across her property and destroyed her home. She said that prayer closet was a symbol of hope.

“I believe that was a way for everybody to see that you pray and you believe God and he will never leave you nor forsake you,” Reese said.

That same grandmother was made famous for a video praising God just moments after that same storm.

“Tell God thank you,” she said in the video that circulated online.

These days, Reese reads her Bible in a new house. She’s thankful to be alive, to have a home, and to have her immediate family. But the memories of March 3, 2019 still linger.

"You can’t help but to not think about it,' she said. “It’ll never be the same.”

She and her family are still adjusting to their new houses, to the new landscape of the area, to a new normal.

“Nothing is the same as it was before then,” said Reese’s son-in-law, Kolayah Wilson. “You have to push forward during your day to day. The memories are still in the back of your mind. Your old lifestyle is in the back of your mind.”

But that new normal still includes two things: their faith and their family.

“Everything else falls into place, but you got to have that faith,” Reese said.

Wilson agreed.

“Even through the aftermath, even through the anxiety and hardship, we still stuck together as a family,” Wilson said.

Though Reese is still working on getting a new prayer closet, she said she still believes in those famous four words of hers.

“That’s the thing I’ve been saying all along, ‘Tell God thank you,'” Reese said. “It was rough. Everything was blown, everything was gone, and he still spared our lives. Tell God thank you.”

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