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Katrina Victims - Learn How To Build A New Life

By Kathryn Williamson

The initial disaster is over. But chaos remains. Many lives were lost. Perhaps you lost loved ones or still don't know whether they are still alive.

Everything was destroyed"your housing, clothes, all your valued possessions, automobiles, jobs, your friends are scattered, and most importantly your dreams were shattered.

Emotions are running wild inside you and everyone around you. Questions go unanswered. Not only about what happened, but where do you go from here?

Can you rebuild your old life? Unfortunately, no. Can you build a new life? Yes! Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes!

Where do you find the strength to move forward? God will give you strength in your time of need. You have a lot of major decisions to sort through in the next few months and God will give you discernment on what to do.

When you feel like everyone has failed you, you can always turn to God for help.

"I'm sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD." Lamentations 3:24-26 (The Message)

During this time of unrest you may find yourself putting your hope into various things"the government, people who have reached out to help you or your own abilities. But the solid, unchangeable hope of God is what will sustain you in the long haul.

The mind-set of instant change and instant gratification that is so prominent in Americans must be discarded to avoid needless stress and anxiety in the months ahead. Change will come, but probably not at the fast pace you desire.

So how do you remain patient during this time? By realizing that just as it took you so many years to get to where you were before the disaster hit, it will take time to build your new life. A better life.

Knowing a couple of things ahead of time will help you through this process of building your life. First, there is grief to deal with. Grief over the loss of loved ones, over the loss of your possessions, your job, your status in life, over the separation from friends and familiar surroundings, and even your place of worship.

However, grief does not have to consume you. Yes, it will take time to go through the grieving process, but it does not have to ruin your life to the point that you cannot function at a normal level.

Second, reaching out and loving others will help you build your life quicker. It will help you be able to handle everything you are dealing with. Love never fails to provide an answer to what you are going through (1 Corinthians 13:8). When you find yourself arguing with someone over some stupid little thing, decide to stop the argument and begin showing love to that person or family. God always gives you His peace when you do this.

Third, your attitudes will carry you a long way. They will set you up for success or failure. This is discussed in more detail later in this book. But for right now, know that with God all things are possible! Nothing is too hard for Him.

Fourth, maintaining peace in your heart keeps problems from developing or getting worse. God's peace is available to us:

"Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give {and} bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" John 14:27 (Amplified)

The Bible tells us that when the Holy Spirit (Who lives inside Christians) controls our mind, there is life and peace. And that life is given to us by the Word of God (the Bible). So if you find yourself seeking peace, begin reading the Bible. If you don't have one, ask for one or borrow one. You might begin with the Book of Psalms as it describes people in trials and their heartfelt cries to God and God's faithful response to them. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The comfort and guidance He provided His people throughout history He will also provide for you.

The outcome of the new life you build depends upon the choices you make right now. You can either become bitter or better. God's ways are always to forgive, restore relation-ships, and move on with your life. If you are surrounded by people who only see the negative and continue to stir up strife, it is best to withdraw from their company.

Many will question whether this catastrophe was brought on by God. In this Age God acts out of love, not judgment. I can tell you with complete confidence that God loves you. He knows the hurt and heartache you are going through. He wants to comfort you, to guide you, to help you build a better life.

God created you for a specific purpose. You have a mission in life. God wants to reveal His vision for your life and help you accomplish it. This is discussed later on in this book. Right now He wants to give you hope for a better life. A life filled with His love, peace, and purpose. Remember, nothing is impossible for God.

(This article was taken from chapter 1 of the booklet "How To Build A New Life" by Kathryn Williamson, written for victims of Katrina. See the website listed below for further details.)

Copyright 2005 Kathryn Williamson

About The Author
Kathy Williamson teaches biblical principles to help people overcome their problems and discover God's will for their lives. Her books, teachings and ezine can be found on her website at


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