Watching Gordon–Remembering Katrina

Late last night Tropical Storm Gordon came ashore near Dauphin Island, Alabama, with 75 MPH winds.

Hurricanes and storms are a way of life along the Gulf Coast, especially the Louisiana coast and the New Orleans area. Thankfully for those who live around me, we have not dealt with the worst of Gordon. Covington and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana was on the west side of this storm. Because of the counter clockwise circulation, the east side of the storm normally has the most rain and highest winds and causes the most damage.

We are waiting for the end of the storm’s effects as well as hearing how the people and churches of Mississippi and Alabama have fared.

Inevitably, any tropical storm or hurricane causes us to compare it with the worst we have ever experienced. For most of us in the region where I live, that is Hurricane Katrina.  Katrina struck the gulf coast Monday, August 29, 2005, killing more than 1,000 people, most of those in New Orleans.

Thousands of other people lost all their possessions with the wind and the ensuing flood. I wonder how those people feel each August.

Grief is inevitable. You can’t get away from the grief, but you can deal with it effectively.

Grief comes for many reasons, not only death or loss of property. We all experience grief and its pain.

Here are some simple techniques to help with your grief.

First, acknowledge your grief. I often get asked, “How do I answer when people want to know how I am doing?” The people who ask this know that most people don’t want to know all the details. They simply want to make sure the grieving person is okay.

My answer has to do with telling the truth: “I’m struggling and it’s hard, but I’m going to be okay.” It really helps me to say, “It’s hard and I’m struggling.” It also helps to hear myself say, “I’m going to be okay.”

Second, stay close to other people. Don’t isolate yourself, and don’t stay in the bed more than 8 0r 9 hours. You need to be around other people, even people who are not very good at helping you with your grieving. Find a caring church, and don’t miss.

Third, set some small goals for yourself. Doing this and accomplishing some things will give you hope.

Fourth, find a positive person who has been through the grief you have experienced. I’ve watched this process in the lives of two men whose wives have died–one several years ago and one this year. The one who went through his wife’s death several years ago has been coaching the man with the more recent loss. He has gently and kindly walked him through his grief.

We all need those people, and we need to comfort those who are grieving as we did.

Finally, ask God to comfort and bless you.

He comforts the broken hearted. Let Him do that for you.

One Comment


  1. Norris Landry
    Sep 05, 2018

    Thanks for these good word and the reminder that there is always hope in the Lord.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. — Romans 15:7 (NIV)