Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

Ten years ago this morning, I was driving to school when I heard the news that an airliner had flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings. There didn't seem to be a huge urgency from what I heard on the radio. Just a lot of confusion about what could have possibly happened to create an "accident" like that. I arrived at school, parked my car, and walked into the building. In the short time it took me to walk from the parking lot to the school, a second plane hit the other tower. At this moment, the horrible feeling filled my soul that this wasn't an "accident." This was a cold, calculated attack on our nation...unlike anything I had ever witnessed.

The next hour was surreal as the staff sat speechless in the library watching the horrors unfold. I remember calling Dan at work and telling him he really needed to find a television and see what was took several phone calls to convince him that this wasn't just "an interesting news story."

We were instructed to continue through the day as though nothing had happened. We were not to discuss it with the students, and to continue "business as usual." Fortunately, this was in the days before we all had ready access to the internet in our classrooms. The Kindergarten classes had gone on a field trip that day, leaving me with an hour in the middle of the morning. I sat in the teacher's lounge and watched as the towers fell. I heard of the two subsequent planes that went at the Pentagon and another in a field in Pennsylvania.

After school, I drove home, only to hear that the President was in Omaha. I feared for our city, not knowing if Omaha would be a target with the AFB and Strategic Command nearby. I was so focused on getting back to my apartment, I didn't think to fill the gas tank...just in case.

Once home, I was confused why Dan didn't come home. He had a rehearsal that evening, and decided to go. This was before we both had cell phones and I had no way to reach him. I continued to get more and more worried. I needed to have someone to help me process what had happened that day. By the time Dan finally came home, I was very upset. I don't recall how everything got resolved...that entire evening is now a blur. But I do remember playing (over and over and over) the Twila Paris song "God is in Control."

It's amazing how much has changed, and how that day changed my life forever. I'm not convinced that all of the changes have been good. But I do know that September 11, 2011 did not come as a surprise to God. I do not believe that God caused this to happen, but I do take comfort in knowing that He is still in control, and that He is bigger than al Qaeda, bigger than terrorists, bigger than evil, and bigger than the Evil One who would dare to orchestrate such horrific events.

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