"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Wedding?  No.

Birth of a child?  No.

Buying a house?  Buying a car?  First job?  No, no, and no.

Nope, none of these momentous occasions are what I'm remembering today.  However, it is something that is just as big and life-changing.  Today is the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  For the past week the news has been rerunning and remembering the whole ordeal, replaying iconic clips and pictures from that fateful day.  Amy and I have been doing the same here for the past week.  Looking back at pictures, pre- and post-Katrina.  Remembering our first year of marriage in the great city of New Orleans.  Recalling all of the experiences we had at St. John with our friends.

It's hard to believe that 5 years has passed.  Our lives have changed so much in that time period it is at times hard to fathom.  2 kids, an apartment, our first house, a van, 4 jobs; just to name a few of the things that have happened to us since our "short" evacuation from NOLA.

Yes I said short.  It was never in our plan to stay in Houston.  We actually almost didn't evacuate for Katrina after the horrendous experience from Ivan just one year prior.  It was the pure persistence of our parents, in addition to the 2:00 am NOAA update.  "Fine", we said, "we'll go and end up staying for a few hours before heading back.  Whatever!"  Little did we know.  That would though explain why we only packed 2 days worth of clothing, no dog food, and very little else.  

Looking back of course we are thankful that we did evacuate and thus avoided what could have been.  One of the biggest things we remember, and will probably never forget, is the feeling of hopelessness as we watched our adopted city, home, and job literally disappear.   It would be a month or so before we would be able to even attempt at returning to retrieve our belongings.  By then we had found out that Amy was pregnant with Braeden and thus had made the difficult (mainly for me) decision not to return.  The lack of job stability, infrastructure of the city, and childcare were just some of the biggest fears we had about returning when/if we were ever able to.

So, with some friends and a moving truck we went back and packed up our past, present, and future to leave everything we had known, that had become so uncertain, for a safer uncertainty back in Houston.  But God was looking out for us and providing for us, as we have seen so many times since.  Our cup has overflowed many times over (the book was right!) and we have continued to be blessed with fantastic friends, family, and great ministry.  Nope, none of this was in OUR plan, but it's not truly OUR plan that matters is it?  A life lesson we learned from Katrina and are often reminded of.

I'm often still asked if I miss New Orleans or if we wished we were there.  Frankly there is no easy answer to this question.  Do I miss it?  Of course.  Do I regret not being there now?  No, we are right where we are meant to be.  For me it is still a bittersweet feeling.  I regret nothing and I would not change the life I have now, or the one I am planing, for anything.  The hardest part is the lack of closure, which we will never get.  We never truly got to say goodbye to our life in New Orleans.  It was all so abruptly taken from us.  We have the memories and pictures, both pre- and post-Katrina, that we will always turn to as we look back on a time that has forever shaped us and changed us into the people we are today.  As with any life event, it will always hold a special, and yearly a heavy, place in my heart.

All is well, thoughts and prayers for NOLA today, in Drosche Land.           

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