Never Forget

Seventeen years ago today, our world changed – a shift happened. Now I am not saying that our world hasn’t changed since that tragic day in 2001, but what I am saying is; something happened in how we view the world around us.

There will be stories shared on national networks of how we as a nation have found healing, or perhaps testimonies will be retold of how that day unfolded. Some of us might want to forget the details of that day because it brings too much pain and or fear. And as crazy as this may sound there are some who have only read about that day because they were too young to remember or were not born yet. But either way, this day 9-11, will forever be labeled: Never Forget!

Scriptures read in many places to ‘remember’. In Exodus, Moses tells the people of Israel to remember the day forever, the day the Lord delivered them out of Egypt [13:3]. And even Joel 1:3 it reads: “Tell your children about it [history] in the years to come and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.”

I am not sure about you but the older I get, the more drawn I am to sit and listen to a person share his or her life story. It doesn’t matter if the person was involved in some history-making moment or just sharing what life was like when they were younger. I personally feel that by doing so it connects me to them in a small way, understanding the generation before me.

My account of September 11th, 2001, may or may not impact you as other testimonies do, but this is mine:

I worked part-time at the school that my children attended, actually I held two different positions. I worked 2.5 hours in the morning and was due back at 1 in the afternoon.

That day I remember getting home after my first shift and changing my clothes to help my husband stack wood. We lived in a very rural area so there were no sirens going off or traffic rushing down our dirt road. The only noise I heard that morning was the log splitter and chainsaw as we prepared for the coming winter.

After a few hours, my husband and I headed back into the house. Bob had to get some rest because he worked in the afternoons, and I had to take care of a few things before cleaning up to go back to the school. One of those things was to make an online payment [due that day] and I remember how angry I got because the internet wasn’t working. After several attempts, I slammed my paperwork down on the table and turned off the computer. I grumbled and complained while I made Bob’s lunch and got around for work. The more I complained about the ‘inconvenience’ of my morning the more impatient I got with other people.

By the time I got back to the school, I was fit to be tied [so to speak] even to the point to being annoyed with a co-worker, who was notorious for sharing other people’s business, asking me: “Have you heard what is going on?!” Rolling my eyes and with great sarcasm I said; “No what?” She went on to say, “Haven’t you seen on the news? Our nation is being attacked!” And she went on to report the morning tragic events. I remember saying to myself – surely she is blowing this out of portion, but as I stepped into the teachers’ lounge I watched the devastation with such disbelief. Still today I can remember the sights and sounds captured by the video cameras. I remember thinking this doesn’t happen in the United States and I went systematically through the rest of my day. Note: most of every classroom that I passed down the hall had the news on, as teachers watched in disbelief the students [of all ages] trying to understand what was going on.

Our eyes were not only on the city of New York but our eyes and affections turned to the Lord. I remember the sense of unity within the different churches – holding prayer times day and night. We came together as a nation, complete strangers cried and held each other as they dealt with what life looked like for them. Some lost loved ones, and some lost normalcy [if there is such a thing] their worlds turned totally upside down and inside out.

Little did I know at the time but God answered my prayer. As most of you, my readers know my oldest daughter [Lisa] was not raised by me, and she lived in New York on that horrific day. One day as we were relaxing out on her patio a big jet flew low and I will not forget how her ‘relax state of being’ became one of anxiety. Lisa then started shared a little about that day and I sat there in disbelief trying to wrap my head around that my very own daughter [20 years old at the time] was there on that tragic day: “The noise was deafening and confusion was all around. I felt that I needed to get to the subway and that I would be fine. However, when I got to the entrance there was a man there that would not let me pass. I urgently asked him to move so that I could continue but at that moment he picked me up and carried me as he ran [incredibly fast] and tucked me in a storefront out. I went to turn around to thank him but he was instantly gone.” When she said those last words [he was instantly gone] I felt the hair on my entire body stand up and a tap on my shoulder. These words were dropped in my heart: “You pray protection over your children – she is your child. Even though you did not acknowledge her at the time as one of your own – I protected her.”

In that moment God solidified something in my heart, and to this day it is a rock on which I stand when the enemy wants to drop fear in my heart for the wellbeing of my children. HE PROTECTS THEM! I had no clue what Lisa was going through at that moment in 2001, but GOD was there.

As we take a moment or two ‘remembering’ that day seventeen years ago – let us understand God did not cause those events to happen. I believe with my whole heart that God cried on that day and the days that followed. People may argue and wonder that if God has authority, why HE didn’t stop it from happening. And the only explanation I have comes from a teaching I once heard years ago [paraphrased]: As a homeowner, I have authority over what I allow in my home. However, I don’t have control. This brought understanding to me because once when my husband and I went away to leave our very ‘responsible’ teenage child to hold the fort down ‘so to speak’ and we learned that he threw a party. Because of his ‘free will’, he chose to ignore our authority. Things got messy – thank goodness no one got hurt or worse, but either way – we didn’t have control over the choices that were taken.

I don’t want to leave you feeling condemned or with a sense of sadness. I want you to focus on the throne of God and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Papa God is protecting in ways we might never know this side of heaven – just like HE did for my Lisa on that day in New York.

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