I originally started writing this post the week before Hurricane Harvey was anywhere near Houston. Today the devastation has reached Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as Irma is leaving her mark on our country. The fires, flooding, and other major catastrophic disasters have hit us in rapid succession. These types of events have a profound effect on us physically and spiritually – clinging to our mind for years to come. Today is the anniversary of 9/11 and with it comes many flashes from my memory of this day.
The day had started like most days did. I was busy getting kids ready for school, listening to the news on the radio when a reporter announced a plane had just crashed into the world trade center. I sank to the side of my bed and waited for more information. Among the chaos and first assumptions about a single passenger plane losing control, I felt a rush of sadness for those who were involved. Little did I know.
My husband was traveling for business in California, and his safety was a major concern. He had been on his way to the airport when the first plane hit. With air travel shut down, we had no idea how or when he would get home. For days I sat glued to the T.V. watching the horrific scenes of the day unfold over and over as I grasped for any new information to bring closure to the grief of our country.
I remember feeling our nation unite as we pulled out our American flags and waved them proudly from our homes, cars, and places of business. Our senses were magnified to airplanes overhead or suspicious individuals – we worked to protect each other. Our hearts were turned back to God as we searched for peace and comfort amid the chaos of an attacked nation.
Faith, Hope, and Love
Our country’s reaction to the recent hurricanes and fires have reflected the true nature of so many Americans. Over and over we’ve seen people risk their lives to save another. We’ve united in prayer for those who were suffering and stranded. Once again we were a nation filled with faith, hope, and love.
My husband and I were talking about the way disaster can bring us to our knees. These events cause us to reflect on our value system and what we hold dear. I find it interesting how human nature turns us to God in times of trouble, yet when life is going smoothly, He is often the furthest from our mind. I wonder how different our world would be if we were to turn to faith, hope, and love every day.
It was not too long ago when we saw finger-pointing and calls to stop the hatred after the events in Charlotte. In the midst of all the anger, I wondered where is the voice directing us to God?
I was moved by an article on The American Moms blog discussing the power of teaching our children to focus on love in response to these times of hate and indifference. One comment linked to this article provided a perfect image of what we are doing wrong. This reader said: “We don’t potty train our kids by showing them all the ways NOT to go. Teaching a positive is so much more effective and encouraging than teaching a negative!”
What are we teaching our children?
Who Are You When Nobody’s Watching
There is a reason why memory is associated with remembering – it helps us remain aware. They are more than just a recollection of what we were doing. They evoke deep emotions influencing how we define who we are.
What kind of people are we if we only turn to God when the world is falling apart? Being authentic is acting the same way no matter who you are with or where you are at. Have we become complacent with the discrepancies between our actions and beliefs, or do we turn to God no matter how good or bad life may seem?
As we remember the heroes from any of these catastrophic events, think about why we consider them heroes. Their actions were a reflection of who they were inside. They did not point fingers cowering in a corner but stood up to do what was right.
What catastrophic event affected your life the most?
Are you the same person today as you were then? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and memories in the comments.
Reeve, Andrea Candrain.“Teaching Our Kids Love Conquers Hate.” Retrieved from The American Moms (2017).
11 thoughts on “Who Were You on 9/11 and Who are You Now?”
I remember being home when I saw it on tv. I thought it wasn’t real at first. I was getting read to head to a college class so I just happened to have the tv on. It was shocking and it still is shocking. I agree, we should always turn to God but often people only do so when they are in need. Always turning to God is something we should all strive for daily.
Thanks for sharing your memory Julie! It is amazing to me how we can all be in such different place, yet still have a such an impactful experience as we remember.
I love how you addressed that most of us only turn to God when something is going wrong. I am Agnostic and I know I constantly think Where is God Now?! when my world is falling apart. It really isn’t a positive way to think about God, only bringing Him out when things go bad. This post has really given me something to think about!!
I am from Australia and effects of 9/11 was felt heavily even over here. I remember waking up to the news that 2 planes had hit the twin towers. We were all glued to the TV for a good 24 hours solid, even at work. Once again it’s always the negative effects on the world that leave an indelible mark. Sad!
Thank you for your insight Leah! I appreciate your comment. It helps me to look for the good in the world to see Gods hand. It is always there we just don’t always recognize it. Thanks for stopping by!
I was a junior in high school; I remember sitting in my Intro to Psychology class and my teacher told us the news. My immediate thought went to my older sister, who lived in NYC at the time.
I love that question, “who are you when nobody’s watching”? It is such a powerful reminder. Thank you for taking the time to share your reflections with us <3
I hope your sister was okay! Such powerful memories! Thank you for sharing!
I was in high school and living on the west coast at the time. I remember waking up and my dad had it on the news. My boyfriend (now hubby) went active duty because of this event so it changed our whole life…. even though i was young when it happened.
It was life changing for so many! Thanks for the comment Amber!
Beautifully said. Turning to God only when we’re desperate isn’t really a relationship. Neither is caring what He thinks only part of the time. I love that song by Alan Jackson, but I have probably only listened to it a couple of times because I just get too emotional listening. The thought “WHO are you” on 9/11 is an important one to consider. Have I become better in 16 years? I might be thinking about this one all day…
So true! A true relationship multi-dimensional with consistent effort on both sides. So glad to give you something to think about today – glad to give you something to think about today:)