Thursday, September 8, 2011


Back, left corner. Ninth grade. Mr. Heers' civics class. When Miss Ives walked in carrying a radio we all smiled because we thought it was a joke. We sat there listening to the devastation in the dj's voice. Had we heard that correctly? An airplane? The World Trade Center? We were all moved to a different classroom to watch the news. The entire population of my Christian school huddled around the three strategically placed television sets. People were placed on phone duty answering calls of concerned parents.
The devastation continued as a universal gasp spread through the classroom. We watched as the second plane crashed through the glass panes. Parents came and we all left to continue to watch from our homes. The days and weeks ahead were like a bad movie gone worse. Words like "terrorist," "Al Qaeda," and "Bin Laden" smashed their way into our daily vocabulary. War was on the horizon.
In a few days we will "celebrate" the ten year anniversary of this moment in history. We'll huddle around our televisions, radios and favorite websites. We'll reminisce about exactly where we were, what we were doing and how the world reacted. We'll remember everything.
I don't think I could even begin to describe how my view of this war has changed over the past year. Having a loved one experiencing Operation Enduring Freedom first hand changes things. Before this year, the war was just something we heard about on the news. We'd notice a headline about lives that had been lost "over there" and we'd briefly talk about the few people we knew who were on the front lines.
Micah has always had a patriotic heart. Growing up, his dream was to join the Air Force. Scoliosis kept him out. I used to say that to people and end my sentence with a "Thank God" chuckle. My, oh my, how thanking God changes things. This job opportunity has changed our lives. Completely; totally; unmistakably.
What have I learned? Top 8:
1. We are fighting a war on terror in a part of the world where everyone is Muslim. This is not a religious war. We are not at war with the Muslims. The Islamic religion accounts for almost all of the Middle East. We are at war with groups of terrorists. Are the members of these groups Muslims? Probably. But, that doesn't mean the Muslims are who we're "after."
2. Planning for the future needs to take precedence sometimes.
3. Family is important. More important than anything. And, family isn't always blood related.
4. Trusting God takes guts.
5. Change is good. Hard, but good.
6. "Good-bye" never gets easier.
7. God is good. All the time.
8. Writing is my therapy.
I could go on and on about my feelings about 9.11 and the war but, frankly, the what if's are still overwhelming. Rest assured though, my God is still good, life is still great and "normal" is still a matter of opinion.
Tell me how you feel about all this. Where were you on 9.11.01?  Remember?

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