Last week my husband and I were on the east coast visiting our daughter and son-in-law in Connecticut. On the way home to Minnesota we stopped at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park and viewed the Statue of Liberty and the amazing sight of the New York City skyline. We had been all over New York City a couple days prior and now stood on the Jersey shoreline looking for recognizable landmarks. Staring at the skyline, I couldn‘t help but imagine where the twin towers once stood. As we discussed this, a gentleman nearby introduced himself pointing out what building he was in the morning of 9/11. That building was only five blocks to the south of the Trade Center. He recounted what he saw that day and his twelve hour ordeal to get home to New Jersey. He told of the numerous funerals and how it had overwhelmed his family with the great numbers of lost friends and co-workers. He was friendly and genuine and it seemed somewhat therapeutic for him to share his story with us, two complete strangers. It was amazing to hear a first-hand account. We’ve seen so many stories of 9/11 survival through programs on TV, but this was someone with whom we shook hands.

We had visited the 9/11 memorial earlier in the week. The outer structure of the new towers are almost complete and the museum is almost finished. It is solemn ground. Although hundreds stood peering into the memorial pools etched with names of heroes, there was very little talking. I felt a lump in my throat as we walked the grounds. I was no where near ground zero on that day, yet I experienced seeing the plane go into the second building while watching the Today Show. They were reporting about the first plane hitting the first tower when the second plane hit. I remember the shock and emotions I felt, knowing that I had just witnessed a scene of death.

I am sure most over the age of twelve can recall where they were and what they were doing that day. It’s amazing to me how swiftly time moves and now it’s been eleven years. It was the Titanic or Pearl Harbor of my lifetime. It’s a day that changed the way I viewed my world. Though the day began dark, by it’s end it brought out the best in people and hope was real.

I think back to when I was a very young girl and asked Christ into my heart. It was a significant moment for me. I remember details of the place and day. There really isn’t much more I remember from that time period in my life, but that day and moment is etched in my memory. It was a day that changed the way I viewed my life. It’s a day in my life that gave me a real hope for all of my tomorrows, no matter what should come my way. Hope, knowing that God would be with me through every trial and every challenge, hurt, sorrow, and struggle. Hope, knowing that when death does call me home, my life has not been for mere existence. My soul’s journey will continue in eternity with God.

As you take a moment to reflect on where you were on 9/11 and what it means to you, take another moment and reflect on that moment you asked Christ to come into your being and know the HOPE that you have no matter what comes your way.