Another September

4017 days have passed since September 11, 2001. As I write this post, I’m listening to the National September 11th Memorial Ceremony where thousands of names are being read of those who died. I watch those who are still mourning the loss of their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters or father’s who they never knew. For me, it’s an event that happened to my country & my generation. For some, it is a day they lost someone they loved and they continue to wrestle with the emptiness and bitterness they have felt daily for 11 years.

At 6:23AM this morning I woke up from a horrible dream. I immediately texted Judge and called Roxy (my dog) into my bed, because I was scared and wanted her close. In my dreams, I was in an one-story home and I watched a wife and husband (who I recently met in real life) get hit by a bomb and die on the spot. The next pieces of the dream are fuzzy, but a little while later I was back in that same house with Anne & my little sister. We were convinced we needed to move on with our lives and return to the spot the initial murders happened. Again, the building was attacked with bombs, but this time on a larger scale. I remember hiding with Anne & my little sister… and then I woke up full of fear. Judge called me and asked me what my dreams were about and I answered simply “terrorism,” he prayed for me over the phone for peace, and with Roxxy by my side I went back to sleep. Earlier this morning, I dismissed the dream & figured it was the Margarita I drank the night before:)

This morning, I arrived at work and immediately went to Starbucks with Lauren because I had to get a pumpkin spice latte before the daily grind (duh, it’s fall… I am wearing boots & a cardigan for the first time today so a Pumpkin Spice is a must). Immediately, she began telling me about how she watched 3 hours worth of media coverage on 9/11 the night before literally “feels” the grief and shock of that day because empathy is one of her spiritual gifts. This year, Lauren and I can better picture the lives of those working in the Twin Towers, because we too work in a high-rise in a major city for a large corporation. It’s hard to fathom that many people went to work that day like us, went up to their familiar floor on an elevator like us and suddenly, their lives came to an end. For those who came to work later, past 9 A.M., (like Lauren & I usually do) their lives were spared.

Before Lauren began talking to me about her obsession with watching footage of that day, I had forgotten it was 9/11 and suddenly I remembered the dream and the prayer Judge prayed earlier that morning. The strange “coincidence” of the dream and this monumental day struck me. As someone who believes in the prophetic and believes that God uses dreams to speak to man (Job 33:15), I feel the remembrance of us Americans are on the Father’s heart this morning. I think he feels the fear, loss and pain of that day, and he remembers the unity and spirit we mustered the months after.

Since this blog focuses on memorials, I felt it only fitting for me to think back 11 years earlier when I was only thirteen years old in 7th grade. Today, my old Bible Teacher, who I wrote about here earlier this summer, Mr. Fitt, posted this on Facebook

I honestly forgot that specific moment until today, because at the time I wasn’t informed of what all the notes being passed from teacher to teacher. Finally our principal, Mr. Fedele, announced at a middle school assembly that a plane had hit the “CNN tower” and that we weren’t to discuss the event with the elementary kids on the bus ride home.We broke off into small groups of prayers and I remember Mrs. Griffith and Savanna Shuntich were in my group, and they filled me in on what was really going on. Some parents chose to come and pick their kids up anyway. No where felt safe. There was a buzz in the air and I was dying to tell Kristen, but wasn’t allowed until I stepped off the school bus.

Later that week, I remember Mr. Beggs listening to the radio in the 7th grade science lab and when the radio personality announced that the Taliban was responsible, all heads in the room turned to me. I had declared my heart and compassion for the Taliban two years prior to the attacks in front of the school at a Spring Concert. Walking with the vision the Lord placed in my heart as a young girl the next few years was challenging, as many told me the Taliban would be “wiped out” and forgotten. I remember Savanna asked me in that same science lab how it felt to have the nation that was once very personal & special to me opened up and exposed to the world for scrutiny and judgement. Even at 13 years old, I wrestled with that reality.

As I felt with those who had been attacked, I primarily sought to understand the terrorist and read countless books about their motivation, anger and perceptions (such as this one that I highly recommend). Even now, as I listen to the Memorial, a brother of a man who lost his life declared to the audience that he cannot forgive the terrorists, and doesn’t believe we should forgive those who continue to “rejoice” over the glory of September 11th. These personal grievances towards Jihadi Fundamentalist Muslims are somewhat personal to me.

On 9/11, the nation of Islam was opened up to scrutiny and awareness… a group of people I was just beginning to get to know & love.

I remember laying on my mom’s bedroom floor when George W. Bush made his first speech after the event and later, when he gave another speech where he declared war on Afghanistan. I remember loving his leadership and “father-like” personality which assured my heart and made me proud to be American.

I remember discovering that a girl that played on Kristen’s softball team dad had passed a way and was the pilot on the 1st plane that hit the tower.

I remember finding out that my Sunday School teacher was suppose to be there that morning, but the Lord had asked him to stay home and make muffins instead of going into work.

I remember the flags and the bumper stickers and the songs.

I remember that Sunday in church we sang “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Coming of the Glory of the Lord” and other more traditional songs in the Sanctuary, because the Crossing anticipated many people coming to church, who wouldn’t otherwise, to mourn & find meaning in the weeks events.

I remember our neighbor and parents good friend, Dr. Gocken, going up to the city to help assist the emergency personal.

Later in the year, I remember Joy Buchanan’s aunt sending my newspaper clippings of the war in Afghanistan so I could stay up on the events. I kept a box of those newspaper and media announcements in my closet, that eventually grew too small. I still have a faded yellow newspaper clip from the day America invaded Afghanistan.

I remember when my grandfather announced that we were going to see Ground Zero and we took the train into the city just so he could see what my little brother called “the big hole in the ground.” My grandfather was a graduate of the Citadel and army veteran. He wanted to silently pay his respect. He looked at the hole for a brief moment said his prayers and turned around to go back home to Yardley.

I remember signing the country songs “Where where you When the World stopped Turning” and ” Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue” where my aunt told us it was okay to hold up our middle-fingers when Toby Kieth sang “we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way” in my grandparent’s kitchen.

I remember, in college, sitting in a hostel in the United Arab Emirates, and a long-time Central Asian worker & intercessorer told me a story that placed my past in prospective. A lady she knew had been called to go to Afghanistan with nine other people & pray for forty days. Obediently, her and her team made plans to fly to Kabul and praise the Lord there. A week before her trip, two of the people who had planned to go fell ill and were unable to make the journey. The lady doubted that she heard Gods voice on the exact number of her team, but continued to Kabul anyway. They settled in an old hotel in the heart of the city, and as they were about to begin their worship they heard a knock on the door. Two Chinese Christians felt God stirring in their hearts and asked if anyone in the room knew of the Honorable Isa Messiah. They together joined and worshiped God in that place for forty days. 9 people representing the East & West set aside their cultural and language barriers and brought glory to the Lord in a place that was empty of praise to the Creator. Before this meeting, there had been a terrible drought in Afghanistan that had lasted for years and years. On the last day of their “Harp & Bowl” prayer time, the heavens opened up and it rained in Afghanistan for the first time in a very long time. It rained so hard, in fact, their flight out of the country was delayed a week because of floods.

Two week after the worship broke open the heavens, the terrorist attacked the World Trade Center which later led to invasion of the country by the West… which ultimately opened up the nation to the Good News.

You see, truthfully, I don’t believe in coincidences.

The events of that day strangely helped create enough interest to lead to the creation of my major at the University of Georgia, so I could take classes like Farsi, Pashto, International Terrorism or Middle Eastern Politics.

So much of my life, and my generation, has been shaped by that morning and the 4,017 days that have past since that event. Those 4,017 days are our childhood, our growing-up that have drastically shaped our “world views”

The dream mostly reminded me this morning, now as I watch these people cry on live web-feed online, that He is close to the brokenhearted and remembers what is on our hearts this day and every day.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. (Isa. 49)”

For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men (Lam. 3:31)

Today, in remembrance of September 11th, take the time to buy & read this book. It’s completely worth it & very affordable. It will give you a very new prospective.

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