This is a picture of our own personal copy of New York magazine, dated September 24, 2001.
We were living in the area at the time and my husband's office looked right out to the twin towers.
We just so happened to be on the phone together when he literally saw the first plane hit. He would then go on to see things that people should never see. The horror and destruction of 9/11 marked us forever and we would never be the same.
Our hearts would never be the same as we would learn about the loss of so many and we grieved as a family, as individuals and as a community for their loss and for their deep sorrow and mourning for their precious loved ones.
I remember waiting at the train station for him that day.
Rows and rows of wives lined up waiting for the train doors to open and praying that their husband would be the next one to step onto the platform.
No one knew.
No one knew anything other than this- there was complete and total mass destruction.
There was no way to contact your loved ones. No cell phone service - nothing.
Just waiting at the train station.
We were all praying. For ourselves and for one another.
I was grateful and thankful that my husband eventually stepped onto the platform that day and felt an overwhelming sense of grief for all of those whose loved ones didn't.
I was a wreck. A mess of messages about God's goodness- but then this. And so much more....
I was searching for God in all of this and understood nothing.
But sometimes in the midst of tragedy, I don't know that He wants us to have understanding about our circumstances as much as He wants us to simply have Him.
To know Him.
To know Him as Healer. Redeemer. Restorer. Comforter. Orchestrater. Provider- IN THE MIDST.
The pain and grief and sorrow can be so great that we want to push everything and everyone away-
But God wants to draw us close- even when we don't understand.
During this time of tremendous heartbreak for the country and especially for the Tri-State area, during the time of trying to recover and find our new normal, I saw so many beautiful ways that communities came together for one another.
I also walked into bookstores that were sold out of bibles. Completely sold out.
People were desperate for God. Desperate for understanding. Desperate for comfort.
We were two of those people.
God will use even tragedy to draw us close to Him.
He will allow things and circumstances and situations to break us down - so that we will be willing to bend our hearts toward Him.
Through the tragedy of 9/11 we came to know the Lord in a very real and very beautiful way.
We no longer just attended church.
We began to worship.
We began to read His word.
We began to seek Him like never before.
And we began to understand that there was so much MORE to Him than either one of us had ever imagined.....
I am grateful for the beauty He has brought out of the many ashes in this life of mine.
I still do not have understanding about much of it.....
But I have Him. I cling to Him now instead of pushing Him away.
And I am grateful that He continues to draw near to us during our times of sorrow....
No matter how wide or how deep that sorrow may be.
He will use every, single thing in our lives for our good and His glory.
Every, single thing.