I don’t know who decided to refer to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as 9/11. But I get it. That day changed everything for our nation. We face airports, travel, neighbors, unidentified parcels, and each other differently than we did September 10, 2001.
And we especially wondered how families of those who were in the towers, first responders and those who had loved ones in the airplanes turned missiles, had the courage and strength to move forward. Shortly after that tragedy, Ron and I lost our son Ryan in a tragic accident. I’ll never forget that terrible day, as the date we completely lost our strength and courage. I was certain I wouldn’t and couldn’t make it through.
But in the time that has passed I have looked back to give credit for my strength: it is certainly the unfailing love of my husband, the support of my family and friends, and the gift of my sons. But the source of my strength is God. God is in control, which was a hard fact to swallow when my Ryan was taken. But God has and is mending this family. And He certainly understood how it felt to lose a son.
Like 9/11, we lost our Ryan in the ashes, our tower of innocence and life, our purpose for living. But out of the ashes came our faith, building a solid family with the addition of Ryan’s brothers who are our hope for the future.
The World does not have the answers to everything. When Ryan died, I was confronted with what happens on the other side, after this life on earth. There had to be more to this life than what we experience on earth. Is Ryan in heaven? If there is a heaven and he’s there, I need to believe, or I won’t see him again. And when I was confronted with this human experience, this death of a loved one, I knew there would come a day when I met God. What would I say to Him? The day before Ryan died, he had asked his teacher specifically what happens when you die? He knew he was going to be with the Lord. Jesus has prepared a way into eternity for me too. But what to do for the rest of my life was hard for me to see.
I may never understand the ‘why’ of it. But I do understand, now more than ever, I’m in a position of being testament to God’s work. I was spared in the fire to tell a story of sorrow, faith, hope and restoration. And I will do that for others. And in the meantime I want to know how to to make Jesus real for me today, not in a religious way but a relational way. I want to open the door to have a relationship with Jesus, as I explore my faith.
After all, He’s the keeper of my Treasure!