Twenty Years Ago
Twenty years ago used to sound like such a long time and something only people who were much older said. At least that is how I used to think about time. I was blessed to have grown up during a time in our country that we felt completely safe and secure from the horrors in other parts of the world. Sitting here thinking about the past twenty years, I realize how drastically life has changed.
It's been twenty years since September 11, 2001. I don't believe I will ever get over the sick feeling I get when I think about that morning. I remember the chill of fear that came to me instantly when I realized what had happened. It still shakes me when I consider how normal the day began. The morning had been a typical whirlwind of activity getting the kids out the door and safely to school. I was sitting at the computer when my husband called me to tell me a plane had just hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I responded by asking "Really? What airline?" I spent a lot of years working as a travel agent. All I thought of initially was how glad I was to not be working at that moment. My response reflects how unimaginable an actual attack on American soil was. I cut the phone call short as I had to run to a ballet class.
A few moments later, I was driving down the road and my phone rang again. My friend called to tell me a second plane hit the World Trade Center and it looked like it was on purpose. I was so shocked, I stopped my car right in the middle of the road. After what seemed like several minutes but was really just a couple seconds, I realized that the car next to me was also stopped. I remember looking over at the other driver who was looking at me. We both just sat there for a second unable to move.
I immediately wanted to gather my babies and find somewhere safe to go. I called my brother to check on him and his family. He told me that there really was no where to go at that moment. He said the safest place was for the kids to stay at school right then. (An advantage or sobering thing coming from an Intelligence officer. Ah the joys of a military family.)
Our entire country set aside the things that separated us in order to come together as a nation. People poured into churches to pray for our nation. As our soldiers began to deploy to Afghanistan on a mission to fight the evil that attacked us, we prayed for them vowing we would support them until they were all home again.
Since that day, my husband has deployed to Iraq and to Afghanistan multiple times and thankfully has returned home safely. Our children who are now adults have grown up never knowing the blissful safety and security that we grew up in. The official war on terror in Afghanistan is now officially over. This should be a huge relief and celebration, but it's not. After watching the events of the past few weeks and watching the disastrous withdrawal of our troops, my heart has the same sick feeling I had twenty years ago.
It would be easy to list all of the things that are wrong and how awful this is or that is. Instead, I was reminded this morning as I prayed, that I serve the King of Kings and He holds the future. Tonight I will kiss my husband good night and text my family to tell them I love them. I will pray for God to bless and keep them and remind them of His promise in Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope & a future.