Carla Y. Nix

Walking In My Purpose

Three Years Ago…

Posted by hashiki on August 22, 2008

I’ll probably be reminiscing all week.  It’s not like I want to, but I can’t help it.  I do this with most significant events in my life.  Just ask my children!  When their birthdays arrive, I begin to recall what I was doing or what was happening prior to, during, and after their births.

But, their birthdays are happy events.

Three years ago, the Friday before Hurricane Katrina, I was pretty happy.  Very excited as I prepared for my trip to Evansville, Indiana.  I was honored to be selected and allowed to attend a week-long training for my job.  Our corporate office established a new program that was designed to empower the employees.  I was one of two chosen to be a facilitator of the new program, and we were both being trained to train the staff.  It was a “train-the-trainer” training.  The program was right up my alley and it was definitely reflective of who I am.  One who was born to inspire, motivate and empower others.

I flew into Evansville on Sunday afternoon.  I knew that my life would be changed, but little did I know just how much!  The training was intense.  We worked hard for the entire 5-day period that we were there.  We worked perhaps 9 hours per day.  It was a wonderful experience.  I could not wait to get back to work to unfold the program to our staff.

Upon my return home on that Friday, August 26, 2005, was when I learned of a HUGE hurricane named Katrina that was churning away in the Gulf of Mexico.  She was growing by the minute, it seemed. 

Our first inclination was that this was yet another inconvenience.  Each year hurricanes and storms brew in the Gulf of Mexico.  New Orleans had been spared of devastation for at least 40 some years (the big talk used to be of “Betsy” back in the 60’s).  We really thought that Katrina would do like most of the hurricanes – take a turn and miss us.

Not so this time!

As we pondered what we would do, I just kept thinking how inconvenient this was.  I was busy.  I had a lot to do.  There was much work to be done.  So forth and so on….  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  But, watching the severity of this “inconvenience” as she grew bigger and stronger and was getting closer and closer, I soon forgot about the interruption she was making in our lives.  I had the kid’s safety and lives to think about.  We knew that we had to leave.  Jerry had to work that Saturday, but we stayed in contact all day, agreeing that we would pull out first thing Sunday morning.

We did, yet still in a daze-like state.  It was surreal.  We just went through the motions, still not realizing how devastating Katrina would be.  We knew how bad it COULD be, but clueless to how awful it actually WOULD be.  Leaving our home not knowing that it would be destroyed once we closed the door.

We left with a couple of bags, for we really thought that we would be back in a day or so – a few days at the very most.  Not much clothes for anyone, just enough to change for those few days.  We took nothing of value with us (I still regret not thinking to take some pictures with us – for we lost them all – no more family pictures of the kids, nor my deceased parents, or even our wedding pictures – all washed away!).

Other than our lives (thank God), the only things of “value” I left with were our vital documentation.  See, a couple of weeks before the storm, God lead me to “organize” all of those papers in the tin box.  I set up a new system and organized our birth certificates, social security cards, death certificates (my parents), our wedding license/certificate, etc.  Well, God further lead me to take these papers with me as we were leaving.  In fact, just as I was heading to the door to leave, God prompted me to go back and get those papers.  I obeyed – not understanding why.

I’m glad I did because when we had to begin to rebuild our lives, these documentations validated us and proved that we existed.  It made some things easier on us.

I’ve learned many lessons from our experience of surviving the storm.  Some, I’m still learning.  For one, I know that nothing happens for no reason.  I was actually upset that I had my hopes up and attended that training, yet never had the opportunity to roll it out to staff where I worked.  I’ve since learned that the training was not in vain.  God used that for a preparation for me.  It just so happens that I brought my books and all of the handouts and information from the training with me when we evacuated. I wanted to read it while we waited for the storm to pass.  Well, I’ve been able to utilize what I’ve learned in a number of trainings I’ve conducted myself since that time.  I am sure that I will continue to benefit from what I learned the week before Katrina.

I’ve also learned that God’s purpose in our lives is bigger than what we realize.  Romans 8:28 is so true – all things work together for our good – even when we don’t see it or understand it.

I am sure that I will be writing more about my life since Katrina in the days ahead.  So much has come out of that storm!



2 Responses to “Three Years Ago…”

  1. We are so blessed you survived Katrina with your family! Katrina is still affecting so many mentality, physically and in daily thoughts of those who lived or even those like me who helped a family relocate to another state. Thank you for sharing your testimony. God definitely wanted to make sure your family would be identified by having all your vital papers in order. I make sure every time I leave home to have my vital papers in order just in case something happens to me. I look forward to learning more from you. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

  2. NewssyLee said

    Thanks to you

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