Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
Editor’s Note: Sometimes it helps to look back and see how things got started—just to be reminded. We are privileged to post a story that does just that. This testimony was given at an Upward football game six years ago by an Air Force wife whose husband was about to deploy for the eighth time . . . . and has not forgotten how it all began.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. — Proverbs 18:10
I have the great privilege of coaching the Upward cheerleading squad and am married to the fearless Upward referee commissioner. We have four lovely children, three of whom are participating in Upward activities this morning—but it’s likely that none of this would have happened if events had gone a bit differently exactly nine years ago today. It was on that fateful morning that I found myself among the hundreds of government workers being hastily evacuated from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D. C. Word was circulating that YES, another plane was headed right for us. I was twenty-seven years old and had been married for only six weeks.
At that time, I worked in the daily press gallery for the United States House of Representatives. Basically, our office was the workspace for the daily newspaper reporters assigned to Capitol Hill. On that particular September 11th, I was in the House Chamber keeping a log of House business when one of my co-workers hurried in to share the news of the first plane hitting one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We instantly assumed it was a horrible accident. The office itself was full of reporters and staffers alike glued to one of the many TVs.
Then the second plane hit and we knew none of what was happening was an accident. All of our hearts ached for the people on the planes and the people in the unbelievably tall Towers. How many people work there and how do they get out?
But in less than thirty minutes everything REALLY changed for us in Washington, D.C. Many of us were watching news coverage from within the Pentagon when the camera shook and the news anchor reacted suddenly. There were gasps and yelling all around me. Our office windows faced the Pentagon and we could see a HUGE plume of the blackest smoke you’ve ever seen.
It wasn’t just New York. Washington, D.C. was now under attack. And if you’ve ever been there, you know, the U.S. Capitol Building with its dome is gigantic, on top of a hill and at the end of a huge open grassy park, The National Mall, or as my pilot husband called it . . . .a runway. We all knew if another plane was coming, the U.S. Capitol Building was the likely target.
I mentioned that we were ‘hastily evacuated.’ We really weren’t evacuated at all. Within moments of the Pentagon being hit, the wide-eyed Capitol Police officers were telling everyone simple to GET OUT NOW. These were the days when the only emergency plan in place was for the people who were in line for the Presidency. Everyone else was on his or her own, and so we scattered to anywhere we could walk, so long as it was OFF Capitol Hill.
I remember walking quickly, very quickly, down those historic marble steps out front as I took a moment to look behind me at that beautiful white dome against the bluest of September skies. I prayed to God that it wouldn’t be the last time I saw it intact. I had first seen the Capitol Building when I was twelve years old on a family vacation—and fell in love instantly. A decade later when I got the job there, I vowed never to take for granted all the history that surrounded me every single day. I’ll be honest, on that September 11th, I was much more concerned for the U.S. Capitol Building’s well-being and our country’s well-being than my own.
How could that be, you may ask? I was young and newly married, my future all ahead of me. Well, I obviously didn’t WANT to lose life or limb that day but I had a peace about whatever was going to happen to me. My God, my Jesus, would take care of me one way or the other. After a long search, I finally became a born-again child of God only months before the events of September 11th. I knew my name was written in God’s book of life and I had a savior, and if God took me home that day, it was going to be all right.
And that’s one of the points I want to get across. If you’re standing here thinking ‘I’m young still. I’ll do it my way for awhile. I’ve got plenty of time to get right with God.’ I plead with you to think again. Those people on the planes didn’t think it was their last day. Those people in the World Trade Center and Pentagon didn’t think it was their last day either.
Sometimes the unthinkable happens. We just don’t know. Absolutely none of us is perfect, so we are separated from God until we recognize our NEED for a Savior, Jesus Christ and ACCEPT His gift of eternal life. It’s just that simple, and yet I know it can be difficult.
As we know now, the Capitol Building was not hit, but was it supposed to be, according to the terrorists’ plans? Hijacked Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania as it was heading to Washington, D.C. Those brave passengers took it upon themselves to ‘change the plan’ after receiving accounts of the World Trade Center from distraught relatives on the ground. Flight 93 was the ONLY one of the four hijacked flights to be delayed that morning. If Flight 93 had not been delayed, it most likely would have been the first plane to reach its target . . . . whatever that was.
You see, God has a plan. Though it can be nearly impossible to see or understand during terrible events, God always has a plan. My four children, all born since 9/11, are all part of His plan . . . . just as each and every one of YOU are part of God’s plan. Seek His will. Pray. Read His Word and discover your role in His plan. Resist it and your path may be made more difficult, embrace it and you surely will be blessed.
Before I was saved I felt like I was grasping in all directions. Since becoming a Christian, my path has been laid before me, and yet I’ve faced some of the biggest challenges of my life along that path. Knowing it was God’s plan (and not my own), gave me the strength to get through the challenges and still does today. It was always easy to doubt myself, but not God. HE’S my rock and He can be yours, too.
I’m thankful that it was part of God’s plan for me to be able to speak to you all today. Let us pray together: ‘Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to share with everyone here today. May those still unsure about Your plan for them, seek You with all diligence. And please give peace to those still grieving for loved ones lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.’”
Questions to Share:
1. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Share with each other your memories of that day.
2. If you had been one of those who faced possible death that day, would you have had the same peace that this military spouse had? If not, go to http://4spirituallaws.com