Monday, August 29, 2011

Katrina: Looking Back

Hurricane Katrina
Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo & Video (Creative Commons)

Six years ago today Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and many lives were changed that day, including mine. For years it has hard to find joy in the midst of the pain, but with time and the grace of God those wounds have healed.

So, today I'm counting the gifts that I received six years ago...

421.  Friends who lived 60 miles north who let my family stay with them to ride out the storm
422.  Not being at home when the storm came through and six trees fell on the house
423.  God kept my family and friends safe during the storm
424.  Getting back home safe after many detours and delays
425.  Having hope in my heart that everything would work out

426.  Finding a contractor within days of the storm to rebuild our house
427.  Having that contractor and his wife become dear friends of my family
428.  Meeting my neighbors who lived two houses down from me and making friends with them
429.  Being able to go back to work 10 days after the storm
430.  Being paid for the days I missed due to the hurricane

431.  Never being without food and water
432.  Having running water for at least 12 hours a day during the early days after the storm
433.  Being able to go to my office to shower on the one day when we didn't have running water (Yes, we have a shower at my office. It seemed a bit quirky when I first started working there, but I was truly grateful for it after Katrina.)
434.  Generators which helped keep the food in the refrigerator and freezer from ruining and powered the air conditioning units so we could sleep in the coolness
435.  Having electricity restored to our home two weeks after the storm

436.  The crews from South Carolina who worked on our power lines so electricity could be restored
437.  God giving me the strength, mentally and physically, to do the work that needed to be done
438.  God keeping the men who cut the trees off my house safe while they did their work
439.  Eating a hot meal
440.  Being able to get cash so we could buy necessities

441.  God keeping us safe on days when we traveled up to 90 miles away from our home in order to buy necessities
442.  People telling me that they were praying for me and my family
443.  Having food given to my family (the fresh pineapple seemed like a luxury)
444.  Learning to focus on what I needed and not what I wanted
445.  The kindness of strangers

446.  The realization that before the storm I had more than I ever needed
447.  Restoration of cell phone service so I could call friends and family to check on them and to let them know we were okay
448.  Being able to help others who were in the same situation as my family
449.  Realizing what was missing in my life -- a strong relationship with God -- because I had drifted away
450.  Turning to God and confessing my sins

451.  Asking God for mercy
452.  Crying out to God for help
453.  Knowing that my only hope to survive the aftermath of the storm and every day thereafter was in Jesus
454.  Finding a church home where I could be feed spiritually and fellowship with other believers
455.  Friends who made me laugh on days when I didn't feel like it

456.  Friends who listened when I needed to talk
457.  Friends who prayed for me when I was crying
458.  Friends who made an extra effort to make my birthday special
459.  Friends who let my family share holiday meals with them
460.  Friends who loaned us their travel trailer so my family would have somewhere to live while our house was being rebuilt

461.  Receiving forgiveness from God
462.  Restoration of my spiritual life
463.  Talking to God, especially on days when I felt I didn't have anyone I could turn to or anyone who would understand what I was going through
464.  Appreciating the little things in life
465.  Learning to trust God and His timing

466.  The way God worked in my life
467.  The knowledge that Hurricane Katrina changed my life completely and I'm not the same person that I was and being so happy that this is true
468.  Appreciating the love God showed me
469.  God was always with me...every step of the way
470.  Not wanting to backslide away from God



9 comments:

  1. Oh wow, Rebecca. I didn’t know you went through Katrina!

    Our church traveled down from north Alabama several times to help with clean-up, and each time I was totally taken aback by the devastation yet also by the hard-working spirit among the people there.

    I could never really quite imagine how it would have felt if it had been MY home and my neighborhoods that were so devastated.

    So thankful for what the Lord did in your life through it! Who knows?—perhaps that is happening with someone right now who has been touched through hurricane Irene.

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  2. Lisa, before Katrina I wondered how people survive catastrophic events. I didn't think I had it in me, but I did only because of the Holy Spirit within me. I couldn't have done it otherwise.

    I praying for those affected by Hurricane Irene. I know firsthand the beauty God can create through such a mess.

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  3. wow rebecca.. what a powerful story. I was blessed as I read your list of thankfulness.. thank you! It is amazing the things we take for granted. I lived in nepal for 2 years as a missionary and in the winter we had 2 hours of power a day.. crazy! praying blessings over you!

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  4. It's amazing how we don't think we can endure something such as Hurricane Katrina and then it happens and God gives us the strength and everything we need to sustain us. My city got hit by Irene last Saturday. My family and I packed up and went inland instead of riding this one out. The only other Hurricane I had been through was Isabel. We had a ton of trees down and were w/o water and power for 6 days. Nothing as bad as Katrina, but your list brought back memories!

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  5. Your post seared my heart. You are such an example to me as to how to really dig deep and be thankful. Your walk in gratitude is such a powerful one. Thank you for sharing every bit of your thanks with us.

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  6. Oh my, Rebecca. I can't imagine what you went through. Just seeing the news stories humbled me. What a blessing to read you allowed God to use this journey to bring you back to Him. Your gratitude list touched my heart and I thanked God for you openness.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  7. Visiting from the S d G link up. What a powerful post and testimony of how God used a storm to call you back.

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  8. Wow, thanks for not letting us become consumed with ourselves and forget. We need reminders. We need to find reason in our lives to offer thanks.

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  9. Beautiful job remembering.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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