As I was beginning to pray this morning and writing my prayer into my prayer journal, I wrote the the date and was immediately brought back to tf where I was on this tragic day 15 years ago. Like our parents generation, who would always tell you where they were when JFK was shot, we go back to this day as if it were yesterday. For me this day not only brings the tragedy of what happened on that day but also what has happened since that day.
On September 11, 2001, I was on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean on the way to Jamaica. My husband and I had been married for a bit and we were finally taking our “actual” honeymoon which was a cruise that he had won through a contest at work. The same prize that had actually started us on the path of getting to know each other and ended with us deciding to spend out lives together.
We had awoke that morning and turned on the tv in our cabin to see what was up for our last full day at sea before we reached Jamaica the next day. As we turned on the TV, the scene was one of the Twin Towers and one was smoking and in flames. Our actual first thought was, what movie is this? We didn’t think this was real, because how could something like this be real….but as we sat there and watched as the plane hit the second tower and realized what was happening, devastation began to sink in. I immediately began to panic, being from NY was hard enough, but the company we worked for had an office at Number Two World Trade Center and I daily spoke with many of the employees there. Here we were, in the middle of nowhere, all our family back home and we couldn’t even talk to them. To top it off, I was pregnant, so you can imagine how emotional that made me. I will never forget how hard it was to be away from our country as something like this was happening. To be away from all your family even though you knew they were safe, was heartbreaking. The only saving grace, was we had each other and we had that little baby safe and secure, just starting to grow inside me.
So as I began to write my prayer this morning, I was once again sitting on that ship. I began to think about where my life was at that moment. We had recently gotten married, we had bought our first home just a month or so before and we were expecting our first child. I remember the fear we had that we were bringing a sweet baby into this crazy world, but I also remember the hope that we had as a young newlywed couple that we could get through anything.. Then I was transported back to the present, where that little baby is now 14 years old and was sleeping across the hall from me. Tears began to come to my eyes. I thought about how she was safe and secure when all this happened and how I wished that I could take her in my arms and bring back that feeling of security for her. I thought about how just as those two giants of architecture crumbled to the ground, so did the security of that little girl the day her father chose to walk out on our family. All were reduced to piles of ash.
But as sunshine breaks through the clouds after the rain, God’s voice spoke to me clearly saying..”yes, but I make beauty from ashes.”
I thought about the beauty of our country after that day 15 years ago. How amidst all the horror and devastation, stories came of the heroes who risked everything to save strangers some of them even paying the ultimate price for their heroics. I thought of how families amd neighbors came together, how people prayed for each other, how our flag flew high and proud as a symbol of hope and the truths that this country was founded on. Tragedy brings us closer to each other and closer to the only one who can truly help us through it, God!
That memory gave me hope, hope that this is just a season in my (no longer so little) girl’s life, a season that will lead her on a path to her true Father, the one who will never leave her side, the one who she can trust and be secure in because He will never let her down.
I know that today, many mourn, they mourn the loss of loved ones that were taken too soon in a horrific tragedy. They mourn the loss of security that we had as a country prior to such an attack. And we mourn the loss of togetherness that we had immediately following those attacks, when we stood together as a country, standing for what we believed in rather than divided as we are now over senseless political agendas. I know many mourn as I do for what has been taken from them since that day. But I also know, that we do not have to mourn as those that have no hope. I know that God can bring beauty out of even the ugliest of ashes. And I know that we can be secure in the knowledge that God is in control.