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She Miraculously Survived a Terrifying Tornado

Linda Stratigakis shares how she and her husband managed to emerge from a violent tornado without a scratch.


Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories


Hi, Guideposts. My name is Linda Stratigakis, and I’m here to tell you about a miracle that happened to me and to my husband.

We were traveling back from Jacksonville; we’d been to a seminar, and we were told that there was a tornado in Alto. As we were lead onto Highway 21, we looked at the sky, and it looked just like it was ready to rain, and my phone went off and said, “Take shelter immediately.”

Bam! Everything went dark, pitch black, and there was a log, a tree that had gone across our windshield, and stopped us in our tracks. We heard the limbs being ripped off the trees, and then the tornado took us and turned us counterclockwise, and we rammed into the only red dirt embankment that there was for miles around. Then three logs, three big trees, fell equal distance apart across the van, and that kept us down as well, but the tornado didn’t give up, because it tried to take us into the air. And we were, like, in an unbalanced washing machine, and we kept going up and coming down and going up and coming down, and going sideways, and I thought, When will this end?

And then it did. It started getting lighter and lighter, and then we saw a ray of sunshine, and it lit right upon a penny. And my husband grasped my hand and we locked eyes, because we know what the story was with that penny.

When I was very young, my father who talked in baseball language, told me, “If anybody ever throws a curveball at you, I’ll be with you. And even after I’m gone, I’ll be with you to protect you, no matter what. Don’t ever worry.”

He used to love to sing that song, Pennies from Heaven. “I’ll throw down the pennies,” he said, “so you’ll know I’m there.” When we saw that penny, I knew what that meant. I knew that I was being protected. All of the cars, from eyewitnesses, had been taken up into the air, in the tornado, and slammed to the ground. And one was slammed up against a tree, and wrapped around the tree.

Everyone that came up to us could not believe that we were alive, much less that we weren’t hurt at all. The one thing that’s really strange, as I think about it, is all of those controls inside the car were pulled out, and yet that little penny was sitting there, never swept out of the car at all.

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