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new orleans on my mind…

It’s hard to believe that 5 years have passed so quickly.

Five years since the day I was glued to the television, cheerfully entertaining a 1 year old and a 3 month old while fear began to grip at my core.
Five years since I paced back and forth finally deciding to pack up our valuables, to secure what we needed to leave behind and to pray that God would protect those who wouldn’t be able to journey outside of the city.
Five years since I waited and waited for my husband to return from his job so we could load up our sweet boys and get them out of harms way.
Five years since I looked back over my shoulder at the final stop sign on the campus of NOBTS and pondered whether we would ever return.
Five years since I sat on my parents comfy red couch and watched, with Kleenex in hand, as Katrina moved over the city we once called home.
Five years since the community I grew up in showered my family with every need we had, as we wondered for months whether we had lost everything.

Five years.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long! Still, the memories are so fresh.

New Orleans was the first big move Rahul and I made as husband and wife. It was the place where we welcomed 2 of our 4 children into our family. New Orleans is the place where our professors and peers became our family too. New Orleans, oh how I love that city.

Today, that’s what’s on my mind. But deep down in my heart, while I can remember the horror that surrounded those days, I am also reminded of the goodness and the faithfulness of God. I can see now, how even in those circumstances, He was working in the life of my family. It may have been a difficult and long road to travel, but it is a journey that brought us closer to one another and closer, ultimately, to Him.

I am reminded of a Casting Crowns song that spoke deeply to me during those months of restoration and  the rebuilding of a new life. It’s a simple reminder to praise, even in the midst of the storm.

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen and it’s still raining- as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands,
for You are who You are no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried You hold in your hand
You never left my side, and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.

September 1, 2010 - 6:00 pm

Stacy Holman - Well Spoken!

August 29, 2010 - 8:24 pm

Annie Agarwal - Janice- Would love to get together for sure! There’s such a strong connection when you experience something as life altering as that! You’re right- God truly provided and blessed our family in ways we never could have dreamed of!

August 29, 2010 - 9:59 am

Janice - Annie,
We’ll have to get together and share our stories. I NEVER hear Praise You in This Storm that I don’t think of our experience in New Orleans. We were at Sam’s birthday party when we got the word that we needed to evacuate. I remember all of the same feelings you talked about here. God saw to it that we were taken care of and blessed beyond what I EVER could have imagined. He’s like that! – Ephesions 3:20

August 28, 2010 - 2:44 pm

Andrea Shef - I love New Orleans 🙂 We had been in South Asia one week when Katrina hit… wow! It was so hard to be all the way over here with all of that going on… with all of our friends hurting… seeing the church plant we worked with get destroyed (only the building :))…. it was so surreal. We looked at pictures on the internet and couldn’t believe what was going on. Crazy. It has definitely been an interesting 5 years…
Great post!

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