Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 11, 2011

How 9/11 Changed Me

   

September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. As most Americans, I can remember where I was and exactly what I was doing. I was at work on the second floor of my office building, working at the file cabinets in the hallway outside of my office, when a fellow co-worker suddenly rushed down the hallway and into her office next to mine. “Come quick!” she called, “a plane just flew into theWorldTradeCenter!” Several of us huddled around her radio trying to find out what had happened, thinking it was just an accident of some kind. But within minutes the reality of what was actually happening hit all of us with certainty –Americawas under attack!

 

The rest of that day is something of a blur to me. I tried to continue to work as I struggled to process what was going on. The office became strangely quiet as coworkers  huddled together in various offices listening to radios, watching tv’s, and waiting for updated news reports. And in the back of my mind, the deepest place of my heart, I just wanted to go home. I wanted to hug my husband and kids, to touch them and feel them, to gather around the table and eat supper, and to feel normal again.

 

But as the ensuing days began to unfold, I discovered that feeling normal again would be a long time coming. In retrospect, I realize that our nation was actually embarking on a new era that greatly changed what we considered normal. Almost immediately, our nation was ushered into a new type of world war. We were under attack, but by enemies that we couldn’t necessarily see or know. The land of the free and the home of the brave found itself dealing with the new war on terrorism. Threat levels, airport checks and screenings, increased security, and a new alertness to suspicious activities began to mark our post 9/11 world. Just as any war, the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 changed our nation forever. And they changed me as well.

 

I wasn’t inNew Yorkwhen the towers fell. I wasn’t at work in the Pentagon building. Neither was I near the crash of flight 93 inPennsylvania. I didn’t know anyone personally who died, nor did I know anyone who lost someone dear to them on that dreadful day. But, nevertheless, 9/11 changed me. As I sat glued to the tv screen, I heard and watched stories that seemed too horrible to be true. I wanted to turn the tv off and try to forget the horror and pain I saw and heard, but I felt helpless to do so. What I witnessed through the events of 9/11 changed the way I look at my family, myself, and my country.

 

  • 9/11 changed the way I look at my family.

 

As I heard the heart-wrenching stories of people who had lost fathers, mothers, spouses, and children, my heart ached. My family has always meant the world to me. Yet, as most of us know, work and life demands can often eclipse those things that are most important to us. I can remember on the evening of 9/11 feeling a new thankfulness and even joy at the sight of my husband and kids. Our families are the most precious gifts we have on earth and every day we have to enjoy one another is a blessing and measure of God’s grace. Let us never take lightly the gifts of family and loved ones.

 

  • 9/11 changed the way I look at myself.

 

One of the first questions that popped into my mind as I saw the large number of people who had lost their lives was – Did they know Christ as their Savior? People die everyday. It doesn’t take a 9/11 for people to lose their lives through illness, accidents, and through any number of other ways. We do not always get a second chance to make a decision for Christ – nor do we always have a second chance to tell someone about Him. Everyday we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others we meet. Do I show concern for the needs of others? Does my life point others to Jesus? In what ways does my life help others to know Jesus better? Do I pray for others that Jesus puts on my heart? Am I really burdened for the lost? These are questions that I continue to struggle with as I honestly look at myself and my failures.

 

  • 9/11 changed the way I look at my country.

 

I love my country and I am so thankful for the freedoms that, unfortunately, I have often taken for granted. The wars that have been fought and the freedoms that have been won have largely been something I studied in history lessons. Both my Daddy and my Father-in-law fought in World War II. My husband fought in the Vietnam War. Yet all of these served before I knew them. I didn’t watch my husband march off to war, nor as a child did I anxiously wait for my Daddy to return. As a result, I have often failed to recognize the enormous sacrifices that were made to secure the freedoms we know in this country. Freedom is not, nor will it ever be, free! Freedom costs!Americawas founded and became a great nation through the sacrifices of many. Today, as I look atAmerica, I feel an immense thankfulness for this heritage of sacrifice that has given many of us who have done nothing, the opportunity to live, work, worship, and even protest, in absolute freedom. WhileAmericahas her problems, our heritage should encourage us to pray for her, and work together to preserve her, in spite of our differences.

 

Yes, 9/11 changed me in many ways, and as a nation we have been thrust into quite a different post-9/11 world. Yet with all these changes in our world today, we can place our trust in the One who never changes. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6a). The Words He speaks to us in the Bible are as true today as when they were first written. Through His Word, we can be assured of His presence whatever we’re going through or whatever troubles we may face – “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b). Even in all the changes and uncertainties of our post-9/11 world, Christ offers hope and peace to all who will place their trust in Him. It is in Him that we can find all we need to face whatever the future holds!

 

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;

So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

(Psalm 18:1-3)

 

 

 

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