In some ways, the storm that changed our lives forever has made us who we are and we are better versions of ourselves because of the fury of Katrina.
Lots of things were wrong about Katrina. The way she destroyed our city. The way she took lives and homes and hearts from people. There is nothing that can prepare you for an event like that in your life. The best you can do is hope that something like that never happens to you and trust that if indeed it does, you will have the grace to walk through it. I hated that storm. That storm crushed my heart and angered me. That storm threw my life into confusion and created enough doubt to last for years on end.
And at the same time, that storm saved my life and led me to my heart. I could literally write for hours about how Katrina has impacted my heart and life over the last 6 years, but for today, on this 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here are just a few thoughts on how Katrina has impacted my life.
Katrina changed my life...
...by bringing new relationships into my life. Had it not been for Katrina, I might not have met some amazing people, many of whom still play a significant role in my life today.
...by giving me a greater imagination for what humanity can do when working together.
...by giving me a greater imagination for what the community of faith who follows after the teachings of Jesus could really look like when we put aside our individualistic, independent, it's- all- about- me lifestyle and actually live our lives for the sake of one another.
...by allowing my beautiful Kristy and I to realize that our marriage is not made out of where we live, what we drive, what we own or any of those externals, but our marriage is built on our love for one another and an amazing friendship. You always hope that you're marriage is built on something solid, but until you come face to face with the reality of life in your marriage, you just don't know. I realized one afternoon after the storm as I sat on my refrigerator out on my front lawn, looking at everything we owned piled up in a trash heap, that my life and my identity were actually not wrapped up in my stuff. It was as though chains fell off of me in that moment and I was free. I realized that our relationship was built on nothing but who we are together. We cried about our stuff and then we embarked on a richer, deeper life of togetherness that I don't know we would have ever found apart from Katrina.
It's been six years and I honestly believe that I am still processing. Those days were difficult. We still realize on a regular basis new ways that the storm impacted us and our family. I think this story is still being written as we continue our journey of becoming the people we are going to be.
We lost much. Many lost more than we did. I'll never forget what was lost.
But for everything that we lost, we gained much more...we began to find ourselves and we found an imagination for what could be.