MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A spray-painted sign with an inspirational message resonated long after the April 27 storms had passed. The iconic sign became a symbol of hope in the days and months to follow. It read: "God saved 6 here behind these walls."
The six were the five members of the Reeves family and a neighbor. They all huddled in the bathroom of their home on Old Eli Road in Toney as an EF-5 tornado plowed over them.
They celebrated their survival with the sign.
"Because I thought it was important that people know when tragedy and things like that happen, don't blame God," said dad, Brian Reeves, in the days after the storm.
The walls that helped to save their lives are now gone. In fact, many of the houses, and the families that inhabited them have left, including the Reeves family, but the memories never will.
"God did show up and create a miracle out of something that was horrible," said daughter, Meagan Reeves. "He created beauty from ashes."
She was 22-years-old at the time. In that moment then, and still now, Meagan knows God was in that bathroom that day.
"It's actually grown my faith and helped me flex my faith muscles," she said.
The sign's message still holds true, but since that day, Meagan and her family have grown even closer to both God and each other.
"We value family time and we value building strong relationships because in one split moment we know that it could all be taken away from us," she said.
On the five-year anniversary of those storms that changed so many lives, Meagan said she can now properly reflect on her family's journey from grief to gratitude.
"I'm just really in a place now where I'm just thankful that God spared our lives because it doesn't make sense that we survived," she said. "I'm just thankful that He gave my family a second chance."