From several sources, I have learned that the name Katrina means "purity". Hurricane Katrina, as devastating and destructive as it was, has proven to me to be a cleansing and purification in many ways.
My family and I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. We lived in New Orleans, in the Lower 9th Ward, the hardest hit area of the storm. We visited our home for the first time last weekend. It took me several days to "recover" from what I saw ....the loss of my home and all of our possessions ...... and the death of my beloved city.
Since August 29, 2005, life for me has been surreal. I have experienced a myriad of emotions. I have had to handle business as never before. I have walked around in a trance....a daze......yet, I've been productive. I have not known how to feel. Or what to feel. The only thing that I have been sure about is the love of God. Had I not known the Lord, I truly believe that this experience would have caused me to lose my sanity!
Thank God for His love. His guidance. His Hand. His protection.
I am not angry. In fact, as weird as it may seem, I am somewhat thankful for Hurricane Katrina on a personal level. I am overjoyed about the destruction that took place; but for me, this hurricane has been a purification. Often, cleansing and purification is painful. Shedding baggage and habits and a way of life can be painful. Letting go of our comfort zones is not easy. Change......change does not always come at a convenient time. Change also brings a form of grief because it means saying goodbye to something. It is painful.
After the storm....there is usually new life. New Orleans looked like a dead city last week. There was an eerie calmness and stillness. It was quiet. It was void of life. But I know that New Orleans will rebuild and come back vitally.
For me, personally, I am not returning to New Orleans to live; however it will always be my home. I have so many fond memories there. My life is moving forward and upward now. I am establishing a new life. I am leaving the things behind me that in many ways held me down.
It took a hurricane to blow me......literally.......blow me out of town! My leaving has forced me to step out of my chains and to grasp the things that I always wanted to do. I am determined to make it!
At the beginning of 2005, I adopted a personal theme. It was....."Thrive in 2005". Hurricane Katrina put a big damper on things, but she let me see just how strong I am and demonstrated that I am indeed a survivor! However, I will do more than just survive. I will do as my new year theme said.....I will thrive.....because I am alive (praise God!).