Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2nd Katrina Anniversary

Two years ago today, who would have know the journey God had for us! Honestly, things are a little weird today, and since blogs are ultimately about rambling, I will do just that. Honestly, I will not try to be eloquent and not even articulate . . . today is an emotional day. Not one in which I will sit in pity or even in tears, but much more of a pensive day. Who would have known August 28th of last year that our world was about to be turned upside down? Since the time of our evacuation our lives have been, I don't even know to explain it . . . but anything but "normal" or "stable." As we have been in many different places outside of New Orleans, Katrina has been just a part of history. We often hear it talked about, but as we hear people talking about the devastation of Katrina, it is strange to feel as though you are the only ones in the room who really have something to say about it. To us, it wasn't just a storm, it was life changing. Over the last 2 years, Ron and I have dealt with our grief very differently. Ron thinks about Katrina every day. I don't. Not to say that I was affected less . . . because today on the 2nd anniversary, it is I who am having the emotional struggle. Moving back to New Orleans several months ago has been weird. For those of us who have lived outside of the city since Katrina, the world "moved on" and we were kind of dragged along with them. As we spoke in churches or with different people, our story was the same, a story of God's sovreignty, His provision, and His grace and love. Since we have moved back to New Orleans we have returned to a harsh reality. The truth of Katrina victims. Ron's internships allows him to counsel with Katrina victims almost daily. A billboard across from the semianry campus says "no, your'e not crazy," Katrina is often a topic at church or Bible studies, and 2 year later, "so how did you fare the storm" is still an elevator conversation starter. The rest of the world may have moved on, but New Orleans hasn't. The physical devestation is still very real, and so is the devestation of so many hearts. God is alive and well adn working in New Orleans. I feel blessed that God has brought us back to this broken city. When I was there before, New Orleans was simply where I went to seminary, a place of transition. But this time, I feel as though I have come home. Our Katrina story has been a positive one, a story of triumph and God's protection, but 2 years later, the scars on our hearts still hurt. I would be lying if I said the "things" we lost didn't matter. They did. The relationships lost hurt. I often ponder where we would be if it weren't for Katrina. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, we are thriving in the center of God's will and every time my heart aches in grief, I often go back to my journal entries those few days after Katrina. "God you are El Elyon--Most High . . . What a lesson at a time like this. As New Orleans lies in masses of water and all of our worldy possessions are soaking up the flood waters, I am reminded that you are the Sovreign Most High. Hurricane Katrina is and will be for your glory and pleasure, the levee breeches were and are for your glory and pleasure. Your sanction was over that, and while I know your heart breaks for my city, as does mine, your plan is to draw men to yourself." --9/2/05

This was something the Lord gave after reading from Isaiah, it has helped me often in my grief and understanding of Katrina, and I know it will help me through numerous other challenges the Lord asks me to walk through.

"You are God and there is no other
Though the winds rage and the storm howls
You are God and there is no other
From you came Creation adn from you destruction
For you are God and there is no other
AS the flood waters rise and the screams muffle
For you are God and there is no other
As chaos abounds and order is lost
For you are God and there is no other
AS lives are lost and homes are destroyed
For you are God and there is no other
You are the Giver and Taker of life and in Your hands we rest
For you are God and there is no other
It is Your hand that reaches down and rescues your own
For you are God and there is no other
Your tears fall and your heart breakss
But you are God and there is no other
Lives lost and families scattered
But you are God and there is no other
We draw near to You Sovreign Lord with no asnwers of why and yet no doubts of your faithfulness
Open up your floodgates and rain down your grace, mercy, love, adn Salvation.
For YOU ARE GOD and there is NO other!!!

So, today is a day of reflection and sorrow, but even in my grief, I look back and praise Him for what He has done and what He has doen with us over the last 2 years. We may not understand His will, but we must trust! For, He is God and there is no other


Vicki said...

I actually thought about this being the anniversary and didn't mention it since you hadn't. I won't ever know what any of you really went through-I wasn't there. We helped in the ways that we thought we could, and I know that was a blessing, but even still, you were on your own to do the emotional stuff. You have been an encouragement to me through it-you remained positive and determined to see God at work in it all. I am sure your heart is hurting today, like many days. He sees the WHOLE picture, and all of your pain. He never left you and never will. Thanks for the blessing that you are to others, even through your pain.

The Cooke Family said...


I read this when you first posted it but didn't want to respond without thought ~ so I am now. This is such a great perspective. Your poem actually ministers to me TODAY because even though a physical hurricane has not hit, I feel this tearing up in my soul. SO thank you for reminding me that God is faithful. He IS God and there is no other. I don't know if I ever told you this, but the very first Sunday you came to live in Florida after Katrina hit, as I was sitting next to you in church, and the worship began to play ~ I saw your arms stretch as far as they can go to worship God, even though you had just lost everything ~ and tears filled my eyes as I watched you worship our Lord. It is such a blessing to see others worship Jesus because of who He is and not because of the stuff He gives us. thank you for being such a godly example of living a life that desire Him only! I love you much!

The Cooke Family said...

I am waiting to see that post you told me you were going to do! : )