We’ve all heard, and even said, “I remember where I was…” when such and such happened. It may be a song that takes us back, or a smell, or just a moment where time stands still and we remember. For me, I remember where I was when our country changed forever…when evil took over and lives were ripped from families and fear replaced security. I know where I was on September 11, 2001. We lived in Dillon, SC and I was expecting my third daughter, Avery. I was so close to my due date that I was miserable. To compound everything, I had been on about six weeks of bed rest already and I just wanted some relief. My Mama had traveled down from Richmond, VA to take care of me and relieve my mind of all I needed to do. We had gotten into a morning routine of breakfast for the girls and sipping coffee and watching the Today Show for us. The mood of the news everyday at 8:30-ish was always low key, entertainment related, but this particular morning the mood was so much different. The air was heavy with tension and attempts to remain calm, but it’s as though we knew in that moment that our lives would be forever changed. Fear immediately overtook me as I sat, without blinking, watching the news. I thought, “Surely they are talking about some other country…NOT ours!!” The truth of that day just kept getting worse and worse as more attacks were later reported. No one could believe it.
For me, bringing a child into the world…very soon…I went from wanting to have her right then, to “stay inside forever, my precious girl…stay where you are safe.” I don’t know how long it takes for us to truly grasp all that day has changed for us, because I definitely think the changes are still presenting themselves to this day, but this one thing is what I took away from it all.
People were flocking to churches, to spiritual friends, and whatever and whomever could offer them peace. I remember looking across the street from my bedrest spot and seeing more cars in our church parking lot than I ever remember seeing before. People were coming out in the droves just to talk to God. It didn’t take a whole lot of time, however, that we, once again, forgot that He’s never changed from being the Peacespeaker. He speaks it everyday. If we only knew how He speaks it over our life each day, we would be shocked. It took horrible events, that in no way He ordained, to draw our attention back on Him and our need for Him.
I remember when I lived in Venezuela, I longed for my country, the United States. I would hear the national anthem on TV, or on trips back to the States, and I would bow my head and weep…I still do. I believe in “one Nation under God.” I believe in a country that was founded on His truth. No amount of attacks or terrorism will change that for me. Today, I am remembering lives lost, places changed and more than anything, a God who never has changed.
It’s true that sickness, death, attacks on our country all shape how we live…how they serve as reminders of why we are here in the first place. Today, as you remember 9/11, what is God showing you? Is He reminding you of something…a promise, a conviction, a truth…that would prompt you to live your life differently? I pray that today you take time to remember…not just horrible events of a day 7 years ago, but that you remember the horrible, yet REDEMPTIVE, event of thousands of years ago when Jesus came and gave His very life so that we’d be set free. It’s an event I cannot forget.