Monday, September 5, 2011

Where Were You?

I had trouble falling asleep last night, so I turned on the TV.  I switched from channel to channel, watching all of the 9/11 ten year anniversary specials that were on.  It brought back such a flood of memories for me.  I remember exactly where I was at the instant it happened.

I had gotten the kids off to school and was watching one of the morning shows.  When the first plane hit, I was a little shocked, but thought is was probably some little plane with a student pilot or something.  As they were reporting, I watched in horror as the jetliner cut through the second World Trade Center Tower.  I knew instantly, this was no accident and that something was horribly wrong.

Next came the reports about the Pentagon and the plane crashing in Pennsylvania, about 90 miles from my parents' home.  I knew that my cousin worked in the World Trade Center.  No one was able to reach him by phone.  I found out later that it was his kid's first day of school and he stayed home later than usual to see them off and then caught a later ride to Manhattan.  Had he left at his usual time, he would have been in the buildings when they were struck.

As I stood inches from my TV, watching in horror, I wrapped my arms around my waist, doubled over, and just screamed, "God, no!!"  Somehow, instinctively, I knew nothing would ever be the same.  I needed to know that God was in control, on His throne and would deliver us from this evil.  I played Nicole C Mullen's song, My Redeemer Lives, about ten times as I wept on my knees right there in my living room.  You can click on the link to hear her song and here are the some of the lyrics from that song that ministered to me in those moments:

"Who told the sun where to stand in the morning?  Who told the ocean you can only come this far?  And who showed the moon where to hide til evening?  Whose words alone can catch a falling star?"
"Well I know my redeemer lives.  I know my redeemer lives.  Let all of creation testify. Let this life within me cry, 'I know my redeemer lives.'"
"The very same God that spins things in orbit runs to the weary, the worn and the weak.  And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken - they conquered death to bring me victory."
"I know my redeemer lives.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow."

After the Lord ministered to me through prayer and that song, I got in my car and drove to each of my children's school, picked them up and brought them home.  I wasn't in fear that something was going to happen in Oklahoma where we live.  I just needed to be near them.

9/11 changed so many things...for the world, this country, families...   My brother became a police officer because of 9/11.  My husband and brother both went to Louisiana for 18 months to help with restoration after Hurricane Katrina because of 9/11.  Do you remember where you were, what you were doing and how you coped with what you saw?  How did it change your life?  Share with us how 9/11 touched you.

From His Lap,



24 comments:

  1. Was pregnant with my first and heading to teach in the inner city ...

    A delight to meet you today. i hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes in God;s goodness.

    Be blessed bunches,
    Sarah

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  2. Sarah,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and "splashing around"! I love your blog and grabbed your button! Come by anytime.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  3. Erin I too have been thinking of that day and am working on my own piece of this weeks post. We live in NY, my husband happend to be working from home planning to fly out to DC the next day. To watch the city I loved under attack was devasting just as it was for everyone around the country and the world. It was particuaarly strange living in NY. I remember I was at my first Gymboree class with my frist child who was two. The office would keep calling in women to get calls from thier family members or husbands. It was horrid. I think it is beautiful that your husband was moved to service during Katrina becuause of 9/11. I have been focusing on all the heros of that day when I discuss it with my kids. I find God in those people, in the amazing stories of people acting sleflessly. Thanks for you wonderful post!

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  4. Kathy,
    Oh, I bet you were so thankful that your husband wasn't on a plane that day. In the days that followed I was numb & I lived half a country away from it. I can't imagine how it must have felt to live there. I will read your post when you publish it!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  5. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard and how the rest of the day went. I was 15 (well, almost - it was the day before my birthday) and didn't understand politics (kinda like now, haha) nor did I know what the Twin Towers were or why they were important. Still, I knew something was about to change.

    I plan on doing a post about it that will be published on Sunday. I've never done anything to commemorate the anniversary other than to post the video for Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" on my Facebook profile. My post will most definitely have that song and even some lyrics. Seeing as how the 11th is my uncle's birthday and the day before mine, I have no idea what and if I'm gonna do something to commemorate the 10th anniversary. I'm not even sure we're gonna have a family party like we always do on the Sunday before my and my uncle's birthdays.

    Great post!

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  6. Sarah,
    It was one of the hardest days I've lived. I'm glad that you're going to write about it and help others to remember. We must never forget!! I will look for your post when you publish it!
    ~Erin

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  7. I remember it well. Working in advertising at the time; I first heard it on the radio during my commute to work. Once arriving there; I joined everyone else in our massive conference room on the larger than life TV screen that we had (it was like a movie theater big screen)and I remember feeling such heartache and emptiness and helplessness. It was a horrible day...that will indeed linger on forever in the minds of all. I remember that none of us were good for anything productive that day, our hearts were heavy. At the end of the day, the first thing I did when I got home was smother my children with hugs & kisses & told them how much I loved them!

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  8. M~,
    My husband told me that I should try to remember all of the heroic stories we heard about in the weeks following. Those stories showed what a great country this is!!! I just remember feeling so helpless because I felt like I should be doing something to help. I just prayed.
    Thanks for coming by, M! I love you!
    ~Erin

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  9. My husband was at the airport buying tickets to go to NY. My older 2 were at school while my youngest was watching the children's channel. When he called I really thought it was some misunderstanding. Being from Long Island I could not wrap my mind around what was going on

    Love that song btw

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  10. Oh, Bren. Being from Long Island, I bet you couldn't even believe what was happening. Thank God your husband wasn't flying that day! Don't you just love that song?! It moves me every time I hear it!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  11. I was living in Costa Rica at the time. I took my kids to the international school that morning and heard from a friend. All the international mothers gathered in silence in the library and just watched the new unfold. I can still remember it as if it were yesterday.

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  12. I was in an airplane flying from Atlanta to Chicago. My flight was initially announced on CNN as unaccounted for and possibly taken over by terrorists. (Shameless plug warning...) You can read the rest of the story when I guest post for my friend, Michelle Greer, on 9/11. http://www.heartfeltbalancehandmadelife.blogspot.com

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  13. Shanda,
    Me too! It still cuts across my heart like a knife when I watch the footage. Did you just long to be back home???
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  14. OMG, Shannon! How terrifying for your family to hear that false news. I'm so grateful that you were spared that day. It must have been so painful to be a part of it like that. I'm so glad we have you!!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  15. I was listening to WPLJ that morning as I pulled into work. I was a bookkeeper back then. They came over the radio and said that a plane had struck one of the towers. I looked up at the sky and thought "that's crazy, it's a gorgeous day - no pilot would make that mistake today" and then my stomach went into knots. I realized something else was happening and it wasn't going to end well.
    I rushed into work and found a TV and everyone was watching with me. I didn't care if I got fired for it, I wouldn't move and saw the whole thing happen. My fiance at the time did NOT work around that area, but I tried to call him over and over, no service. Thankfully my brother never got on the train to get to work that day. He was home.
    Fiance ended up okay, but never the same after that. He left New York, I stayed. But driving into the city is always painful....the skyline is just foreign to me.
    Visiting today from voiceBoks.

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  16. Wow, Staci!
    I can't even imagine. To be so close to it and have to see the reminders everyday. I hope your fiance is okay. Did he get counseling? I wish you all the best! Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  17. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was actually visiting my boyfriend (now husband) when his roommate stormed into the house telling everyone what was going on. I remember the terrible feeling in my gut watching the videos over and over again on the news. I too realized that things would NEVER be the same. My husband graduated from college and went on to work and then decided that he couldn't just sit back and watch everything that was going on. He enlisted in the army and is still serving today. As scary as it is to watch him deploy every time he goes... I KNOW without a doubt that what he's doing is making a difference and he feels so strongly about it. The pride I have for him and for our great nation is overwhelming! I pray for those that lost loved ones on 9/11 or those that have lost loved ones because of the events of that day. But as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

    Thanks for posting this!

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  18. HH,
    I'm so proud of your husband!!! And of you for holding down the fort when he is deployed. I love Jeremiah 20:11. Thanks for calling it to my remembrance!
    Thank you so much for visiting here.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  19. I will never forget it... I had just had surgery the day before and I was trapped on the sofa, unable to really get up. I had the television remote and was passing the time between napping and watching tv, and I was watching the news when the second plane hit, when they announced a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and I just remember feeling like it was so surreal. Like it really couldn't be happening.

    I had a phone next to me and began calling people. Some knew... some didn't. I found someone who was home and stayed on the phone with her while we watched the coverage together. I will never forget those moments, nor the days afterward when I lay recovering, and the only thing on television was the 9/11 coverage. I was in so much pain, but all I could think about was those families, those poor people... those loved ones lost.

    It will be one of those experiences I will never forget. Last year, in our church, one of my friends sang a song about it... I believe it was called "Where were you when the world stopped turning?" The tears just streamed down my face.

    When confronted with something like that, it is hard to feel like you can ever do enough, say enough, or be enough to help make it better. But I believe it is in the small everyday kindnesses in which God shows us his mercies and grace, and when we are frozen in fear because of something that looms larger than life and seems so evil, we must listen for God speaking softly in the midst of it. He is always there, waiting for us to hear Him.

    I stopped by from voiceBoks today to share some comment love, and I'm so glad I did. Have a blessed week.

    Smiles, Jenn
    www.misadventuresinmotherhood.com

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  20. Jenn,
    We will never forget that day, will we? The horror of it is still so fresh. God is faithful to show us His mercies and grace. That is the only way we could get through something like that.
    You are a blessing and I'm so glad you stopped by today!
    ~Erin

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  21. Goose bumps..
    I was in the car with my step mom on my way to school.. I was a freshman.. The radio was on.. It was reporting on the first plane/tower.. It sounded so surreal.. I didn't know what I had just heard.. Then we sat in class with the news on.. and watched the second one hit..
    I was too young to really realize what was happening.. I remember the class asking for no homework..

    <3xojo

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  22. Jordan,
    Thank you so much for stopping by. You may not have fully understood everything, but you probably had a sense that something was very wrong and America was in danger. We came together in such a powerful in those days afterwards. That is what I will dwell on as I remember that day.
    Blessings to you,
    ~Erin

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  23. Hi Erin, Oh yes, just as I know when, where, what when the space shuttle blew up. Moments never to forget. We were on our honeymoon in St. Lucia and were to come home that day. We were stuck there for another week. We were glued to the tv everyday. Some would say "Oh, too bad to be stuck on a tropical island..." But when you're out of country and a disaster happens, you want nothing more than to be home. So every year, just as we celebrate our anniversary, we remember a tragedy.

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  24. Oh wow, Nan! I agree, I think all you would want to do is get home!! Maybe remembering 9/11 every anniversary also makes being grateful for what you have, sweet!
    Thanks so much for visiting here, Nan!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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