Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11...Where were you?

I was just reading a few blogs, and one hit me. September 11, 2001 was the Pearl Harbor of our generation. This is the event that forever changed our world. Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard of the attacks, and watched the tragedy unfold.
Where was I? you ask...ok, you didn't, but I'm in a reflective mood, so I'm gonna tell you anyway. We were in Ames, Iowa at a district pastor's meeting. We were in our hotel room getting ready for breakfast, and of course the TV was on. They started telling about the first plane, how it hit the tower. But at that point they were thinking it was just a terrible accident. We sat there mortified. We left to go to breakfast with all the other pastors and their families. We were talking about the plane "accident" with a couple who sat down at our table with us. they told us that a second plane had struck the other tower just before they left their room. The memories of the rest of the day seem to have happened in slow motion, in a fog. I remember not being able to eat anymore breakfast, feeling sick to my stomach, which was weird...I was 7 months pregnant and hungry ALL the time! I took Abbigail back to our room and turned on the tv. I sat there in horror watching everything unfold. When the towers fell, I cried. Poor Abbigail was scared, not of what was on TV (she was 15 months old)...but of what was happening to her momma. We sat on the bed, with her head resting on my tummy. Andrew kicked her head and it bounced on me. I remember crying more...how can I bring another child into this world that has just gone crazy? How can I raise two children in a world where people are crashing planes into buildings? I felt violated, scared, and so alone. I prayed constantly that God would help those people.
The district officials decided that they should cut the meetings short, that the pastors were not needed in a meeting, that they were needed by their congregations. So, we left Ames, and began the 3+ hour drive back to our small town. I remember stopping somewhere for lunch, and the people in the fast food restaurant were talking about normal, everyday stuff. And I kept thinking, "Don't they know what's going on? Don't they realize that our world ended today? How can they worry about who is dating whom or what they are doing this Friday night...Are any of us going to be alive on Friday???"
I think I was completely numb. Even remembering makes me a bit numb. I don't remember a lot from the next few days, I know I did a weekly bulletin (I was the church secretary at that time), and we had a special prayer service at our church...but mostly I sat in our family room, watching tv...what was going on in the world.
Two months later Andrew was born, and we rejoiced. I still worry about what kind of world they are growing up in. I cried last year when I found out that they do not only a fire drill, tornado drill, but also an "intruder drill" at school. They practice what to do if someone comes into their school (like a gunman)...I'm glad they know what to do to stay safe, I'm just so sad that it is even an issue. I do a lot of praying. I pray that they will know peace, love, and hope. I pray that God will watch over us and keep us safe. I pray that people around the world would be introduced to the TRUE God, who loves us, and died for all of us.
I pray for our military troops, especially my brother-in-law. He has been stationed in Hawaii(not a bad place) but will soon be deployed to the Middle East. I pray for the soldiers in harms way, and for their families left behind. I pray for the police officers and the fire fighters who put their lives on the line every single day to keep us safe. If I sit and think about what all is going on, I still start going numb...so I have to focus on what today brings. I focus on my children and making sure that I am doing all I can to keep them safe. I make sure I tell them every single day that I love them. I put them in God's hands...which is the absolute safest place to be.
This makes me think...I rely so much on God, for EVERYTHING...especially peace of mind. How do people who don't trust in Him make it through the day? How can they leave their children with someone else? How do they get through a tragedy with their sanity in tact?
So much has happened since that terrible day 6 years ago. Not only Andrew, but Bethany have joined our family. Thousands have died in the war...but I'm thankful that we have a President who took the war over there, and is doing his best to keep it from coming here to America. Will we ever be 100% safe? Not on this side of Heaven...but the President is doing what he believes is right. We have hope for a bright future.

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