Where was I ten years ago on September 11th?
I had two year old twins diagnosed with cerebral palsy as well as an 8 and a 5 year old daughter. I had gone to an appointment with my friend's sister who ran a massage therapy business out of her house in an attempt to relieve some stress. I would also get my hair cut as she was a stylist...it was a real "Mom's morning out" extravaganza and I was psyched! I remember that as we finished our time in her shop we began to hear gasps and sobs from her living room which was odd since the kids were all at school. When the appointment ended she went out to see what was going on. She found a friend, a New York transplant, watching the news on her TV because she was too scared to watch alone and had come over to be with someone. I joined them in front of the TV...so confused by what we were seeing.
Once I gathered myself together I headed for home, but not before stopping by school to see if we should take our children home. It really felt like the sky was going to fall to me...and I wanted my kids. They assured me they would be safe staying at school so I reluctantly went home without them.
The twins needed lunch and a nap. I always held each of them separately, rocking and singing to them until I could lay them down for sleep. Here is when I had the most clear moment of the day, clearer than the blue of that morning's sky. I looked down at these two little bundles of sweetness that had brought about so many changes, challenges, and stress the prior two years and I whispered "thank you, Lord". Not for their presence in my life, although I was thankful for that, but for the presence of the disabilities in my life. I knew that the past years had forced me to wrestle with my God and my faith and that I was on solid ground with what I knew to be Truth. No matter what that days events were about to bring to the world, I knew Whose I was and felt a confidence in the relationship that I enjoyed with Jesus Christ. It was such a deeply peaceful moment and I cherish it. It was the beginning of a new stage in the journey of parenting children with disabilities. A time when I began to see it as a part of a much bigger, eternal, picture:
3-5Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light.
-John 9, the Message
For me September 11th, 2001, was a day to recognize that I had life and purpose and, in the end, the promise of eternal life with the most loving savior. It made me realize that I had needed to go through the challenges and stress and fatigue of the previous years in order to arrive at such a place of peace and relief of knowing I am a beloved child of the Creator. A time when a wonderful quote from Dag Hammarskjöld, the 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations in the 1950s, took up residence in my heart:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
--1 Peter 1 (NIV)