In The Eye of The Hurricane
August 27th, 2017, as I sat in my parents living room safe watching the news of the devastation of this storm, people’s homes flooded, families in fear that their homes may be next, I can’t help but feel as if this is deja-vu of how I felt almost exactly 12 years to the date. I remember leaving New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, I was 12 and didn’t really understand how BAD it would be. I remember after the storm how it got worse. I remember realizing that I COULD NOT GO BACK to my home. I remember seeing my father break down and cry, a sight I had never seen before, and 3 days, just like that, our lives were changed, FOREVER. We evacuated to Houston, and everything was so different.
I remember when my dad and uncle finally were able to go back to our house in New Orleans to see what the damage was. He came back with videos and pictures of the home. I cried as I saw my HOME ruined. The whole bottom of our home had water damage, the water came in so strongly it knocked down an entire brick wall. That was the hardest part, I felt like my house was dead and in that moment, I felt like all of the memories and moments I had in that house had died along with the house. I felt lost, I was confused, and I was afraid of what was next. At that time, all I could see was sadness. From my perspective, everything about the situation was bad.
12 years later, I have changed my mind. I realize that my perspective at the time was through the eye of the hurricane, only seeing the winds and chaos surrounding me. Don’t get me wrong, this hurricane was CHAOS, many people were trapped, lost their lives, their homes, and their livelihood. But God had a plan through Hurricane Katrina and He was there through it all! God may have allowed for us to lose so much, but in the end He gave us so much MORE!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
When we evacuated to Houston from Hurricane Katrina, we were welcomed with an abundance of love! I remember that a neighbor across the street from where we were staying, took my sister and me to the mall on a shopping spree so we could have school clothes. Also when I started school in Houston, I made the best of friends that are still in my life today. It’s in Houston that I grew in my relationship with God, met the love of my life, and found my purpose in serving and caring for those in their brokenness. I believe that because of the storm and seeing how people went out of their way to love on me when I was lost, a desire stirred up in me to go out and serve others.
Now as we are in the in the eye of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, I have such a different perspective and a bit of a deeper understanding of how God must see us in our mess. We can be full of doubt and fear, but HE sees the whole picture, HE sees how the puzzle is coming together. Where we see a disaster, He sees a community coming together to rebuild not only their homes, but their relationships. When we think this is the worst, I can see Jesus saying, “Oh son, oh daughter, THIS is the turning point for EVERYTHING in your life, this is your breakthrough! This is where your purpose begins.”
To my fellow Houstonian’s I want you to know that I understand what you are going through. I have been there and I have felt the fear, sadness, and hopelessness. But I want to encourage you that God HAS NOT LEFT US! He is in the midst of this mess with us and is restoring us. I am a living testimony of how God can take your worst situation, breathe on it and leave you BETTER than you were before. I pray that you find hope in this storm, please know that I am not telling you to not be sad, THIS IS SAD! I am SAD! But I do know that this is not the end, God has a beautiful plan even through this.
“…He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for His own glory.” -Isaiah 61:3
I want to thank EVERYONE who stepped up for me and my family 12 years ago, you made a huge impact on our lives. To the people I went to school with and became my bestest friends: Y’ALL were/are a God-send for me and I love you. And today, I want to thank all those who are stepping up and helping right now, WOW. To all the “Good Samaritans" that are risking your own wellbeing to help your neighbors, THANK YOU! I admire you!! And to all the organizations and people praying, donating, and doing whatever they can do, THANK YOU ALL! I am truly blown away by your generosity! You have truly shown that HoUSton is a city of US!
With so much love,