15 Years after 9/11
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
In the past three days we have “celebrated” three occasions: Saturday was “Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day” – always poignant for me because 19 years ago today my childhood best friend left me a suicide note. Sunday was the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks on the USA – and yes, we lost three neighbors in the World Trade Center and the husband (pilot) of a New England friend. Then I was informed that Monday was “National Day of Encouragement” – whew, who doesn’t need special encouragement on a Monday, or any day really? (Btw, I also heard that Sunday was “Grandparents Day” but since our only grandchild lives overseas where they haven’t heard about Grandparents Day, it slipped by unnoticed.)
On September 11, 2016 what were your thoughts in remembering that fateful catastrophic event fifteen years prior that quite literally changed life as we knew it?
Living here in the Northeast, the terror and tragedy, as well as the sense of dread, seemed all too real. Honestly, I trudged through a low-grade depression most of the Fall of 2001. In reading my journal from December 27, 2001, I see a wounded woman ready for a fresh start:
“With each New Year I am prompted to begin a new life yet again.
“In my new life there would be no hastily spoken words that can never be retracted, no moments of opportunity lost forever due to fear or laziness, and no choosing of the urgent over the best. There would be – by God’s grace – a moment-by-moment intimacy with my Savior and Lord, a life attitude of gratitude and grace shown through my words and actions, and a deliberate decision to make every moment of living count.
“2002 will be a new year in only four days. But where is the new me? This morning I found the old one hiding under her quilt, weary of struggling to make sense of a senseless challenge. Tonight I’m rallied and ready to gather for the family celebration in a world that offers few reasons to celebrate.
“Dare I hope tomorrow to rise early and be positive and productive? And by New Year’s Eve, ready (more than ready) for a transformation. Cocooning since the aftermath of 9/11 must certainly give way to a butterfly soon!
“My heart’s desire for the next twelve months is threefold:
- Victory in health and fitness issues
- Provision and protection for my family
- Personal and professional passion fulfillment for both Mike and me
“The me of 2001 failed at the above. What will it take to fulfill my heart’s desire in 2002?
- A spiritual filling of God’s power and promise in my worn-out life.
- More fuel from God’s Word for incentive and direction.
- A mind that makes decisions and follows through on them, regardless of extenuating circumstances.
- An urgency to make each moment count;
- HOPE based on my God who is Enough.
“Oh Father, please help me. Revive me, renew me, refresh me, restrain me, recharge me, re-ignite my passion for You and Your kingdom. This I humbly pray in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.” 12/27/2001
On this week of anniversaries and celebrations, I am filled with gratitude that God met me in that place, but loved me too much to leave me there. The following year, 2002, was a challenging one, but also a fruitful and formative time for me. “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (2 Samuel 22.20)
Where do you need new life, new vision and new energy? I know God will meet you where you most need Him. Perhaps the best way to truly “celebrate” this kind of anniversary is the Live Fully to the Glory of God. Every moment of every day…
under the mercy, Cindy
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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