Gulfport teen learns God can use bad situations


By Meg Appel

Special to the Advocate

On Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. It is a day I will never forget, but I want to share with you a moment when God touched my life.

I am a freshman in high school, and my family evacuated to Destin, Fla., where I ended up going to school. The news of going to school in Destin was not only scary, but also sad because I wanted to be back home in Gulfport where all my friends were.

One night my dad had this great idea to go to a football game at South Walton High School. He wanted me to see the school and maybe see the local way of life in Destin. I had mixed feelings about it, but what the heck? It would just be like any other football game. It ended up being a lot different.

We arrived at the game at this little school nowhere near what I was (used to). We sat down and everything I was feeling just popped into my head. There were all these teens I didn’t know everywhere, colors of green and white and a cheerleading squad that I was not a part of. The whole situation was just unreal. It was like a movie. I couldn’t take it anymore and we had to leave by the third quarter.

I got in the car and just started bawling. I poured out everything to my parents. The school, my friends I missed, my home town that was destroyed, it was just about to kill me with everything that had happened.

As we headed home, we saw Jasmine Dance Studio. I was very involved in dance back in Gulfport, and it was really hard knowing I was not going to be able to dance for a long time. It was a Friday night and the last place anyone would want to be is at work, but things happen for a reason sometimes. We stopped for a minute to get a brochure for dance classes. Still devastated, I stayed in the car with my dad while my mom went inside.

Ms. Anna the dance teacher was inside and told my mom (to tell) me to come inside. I didn’t want to, but something made me go.

Ms. Anna was like an angel from God. She just let me pour out everything that had been going through my mind, and she told me about her dance place. She told us she had been praying for us, and how much she wanted to teach someone who had evacuated to Destin.

With her help, I got through everything at school. Her classes were just a way to relax after a hard day. It gave me something to look forward to besides going home.

The point of this story is to show how when all things are going bad something can happen that is good. God can make a bad situation good, and he can empower the lives of many through different people.