Eight years and 24 hours ago, I way sitting up in bed nursing my 4-day-old infant. For some odd reason, Kelly had gotten up and turned the tv on in our bedroom before heading out to the living room. He was off for the week to settle our new little one into our family and home. I wasn't paying much attention. It was on the Today Show, I think, not exactly sure. I was just sitting there counting toes and fingers and cooing softly when everything in my small, safe little world changed.
There was a lot of commotion and noise coming from the tv. I looked up, curious but not worried, and couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"Are you watching this?"
"No, I'm shaving. What is it?"
"I think a plane just hit one of the Twin Towers in New York."
"Whoa!! Really?! That's gonna be a mess. I wonder what happened to the pilot?" As we sat there watching the coverage and surmising a heart attack or seizure, the next plane hit.
I screeched. We immediately knew this was no accident. Kelly ran for the phone to call my then brother-in-law, Jim and sister, Ange, who were military. He dialed and threw the phone at me.
"Ange, what is going on?? Have you been notified yet??"
Still half asleep, she mumbled, "Huh? what are you talking about?"
I told her to turn her tv on, Jim would be getting a call soon, I was sure of it. She did so and started yelling for Jim to get in there and watch with her. We were both crying by now, Connor in my arms and my nieces a thousand miles away snuggled in bed with their mama. While we were on the phone, the base went into lockdown. This was not 10 minutes after the 2nd plane had hit. Jim was in full action mode by this point. She had to get off the phone. I was terrified to sever the connection, not knowing when I'd get to talk to her again.
Ariel arrived pretty soon after. She was coming to help me with Connor, but we decided we had to get out of the house. I had had no intention of leaving my house, having just gotten home from the hospital less than 2 days ago. But I couldn't just sit there, either.
We headed to town. We got off I-44 and traffic was atrocious. We didn't understand the implications of what was going on. Cars were everywhere, 20 deep, in line for fuel. When we got into Wal Mart, people were stockpiling worse than they had for Y2K. I was more scared than ever. Ariel took me home pretty quickly.
It was Casey's birthday. That evening, Phoebe brought his birthday cake over to our house and we sat in my living room eating cake and watching coverage. I was so upset. And scared. And angry.
I just kept looking at Connor. I kept thinking, What have we done? What kind of world have we brought this innocent child into? How will I ever keep him safe?
I have never had such an earthshaking experience in my life. I almost regretted having him. Not because I didn't love him. Exactly the opposite. I loved him so very much that I couldn't bear the thought of him living here in this fallen world where evil seemed to be winning and gaining ground every day. My faith was being tested beyond anything I could imagine.
Every parent will remember those first few weeks of parenthood. The feelings of love, of uncertainty, wondering if you'll be able to do everything - or anything - right, the sleeplessness, and on and on. Now imagine all that on top of all this. Postpartum depression doesn't even begin to describe what I was going through.
Connor had his days and nights mixed up within a few days. I would be up at 2am, 3am, 4:30am. We didn't have cable. But we had TBN! Now, for those of you who know me, don't judge me! I will tell you now that it was a shock to me, but am nonetheless thankful for it. Benny Hinn was on every time I turned that tv on!
And it was not the Benny Hinn that I was familiar with, the one I would have typically turned off. He wasn't jumping around yelling. He wasn't hitting people in the head to heal them, and there weren't dozens wailing in the aisles. He was sitting in a chair and reading the Bible...to me. He was addressing my fears. He was calming my spirit. I truly believe that my Father was using this man and speaking through him. I was desperate to hear the Lord tell me it was going to be fine. That Connor would be fine. That I would be fine. That America would be fine. I needed that more than anything else, and He did that.
Satan had gotten a foothold in those first few days of turmoil and emotion. But I could feel my faith being renewed as I sat there and reached for my bible. I had let my fears take over, and my faith to take a back seat. I hadn't been seeking answers, really. And I know there were no good answers to be found here on earth. But my Father had the answers. He would heal our land. And He still will.
I trust God with all that I have and with all that I am. I am so very proud of my country. The United States may not be perfect, but it is in fact the greatest nation in the world. I believe that we can raise up a generation of Americans who fear God and honor their country. And remember those who sacrificed for them. I am so thankful for the military and service men and women that I know, and for those that I don't know. Volunteers, medical professionals, military, misssionaries, government officials: I pray for all of them, and I am teaching my children to do so, also.
I want them to always remember. I will always remember.