Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Special Occasions 10 - Life Changing Events: Remembering 9/11

Life changing events happen to all of us. Important events that change the course of life from that day forward.  The ones we choose are usually exciting and filled with anticipation: a wedding, a new career, a family started, a move made. All change the course of events in our lives from that day on and we step willingly into them.

It’s the other events that haunt us… the life changing events that we are plunged into without choice or warning. Individual crisis that most everyone eventually gets a turn at… the call that a loved one is dying, an accident that changes life forever, a diagnose, a breakup, a job loss.  All change the course of life from that moment on. And we find Individuals forging on in places they have not stepped willingly.

This month we commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.

That day still feels so fresh. We distinctly remember where we were when the news came of that first airplane flying into the Twin Towers in New York. The shock, the disbelief and the slow dawning realization that our world had changed that day forever.

Many individual stories filled the following days. Courage and heroism, panic and agony; kindness and sacrifice. Individual lives changed forever in a moment as we all witnessed and watched and felt our own hearts torn with the loss we could barely comprehend.

Drawing strength from one another.

As we collectively mourn and remember this tragic day we also see some life lessons emerging. We see nuggets of wisdom and strength that we can carry from this collective, world changing event, into our own quiet hardships and disasters.

The past years have shown us the strength of the human spirit. The 9/11 man made tragedy followed by numerous natural disasters have shown us a resilience of the human spirit that is not only inspiring but comforting as well.

Courage and resolve to move forward.

As a city, New York has refused to be defined by this tragedy. She does not cower in fear and refuse to move on. This loss has somehow made this city stronger.

In a world that has seen more than enough tragic events we find a courage and resolve to move forward.

We learn from one another.

The life lessons we see on a collective world wide scale can be translated into life lessons that give us strength as we push on in our own private world of difficult and unsought change.

Don’t let your tragedy define you.

If you are facing a hard and unwelcome change in your life that has been thrust upon you, be determined in inching forward beyond the pain. Don’t let the trouble determine who you become. Don’t let the tragedy become your definition.

Choose how you will be defined… by your loss or by your strength

Walk forward with your eyes focused on the future.

When facing great loss there can be a sense that there is no future. Choose daily to walk with your eyes looking forward. Do something small each day to keep pressing on. Walking with your eyes cast backward is a sure way to trip and stumble.

We all need help in this journey of life.

No one is an island. We need the inspiration and encouragement of one another as we dust ourselves off from the deep pits of life and step out to move on. Don’t isolate yourself in your pain. Be intentional about straining forward.

Reach for higher help.

God himself has offered us life that is overflowing with hope and divine help. Active rebellion or simply passive indifference keeps us separated from Him. In His great love for us He bridged that separation by sending Christ to die in our place and to be brought back to life again. Believing He sent Christ and inviting Him into your life brings you into a relationship with God that will change your life in amazing ways.

If you are facing your own life changing events today, whether they come through crisis or choice, invite Christ to walk with you through each day and be your strength and your guide. Enter this live changing relationship today by praying this prayer. You will never be sorry. It’s the best choice you’ll ever make.

prayer & reflection

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You today and receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for forgiving my rebellious and independent ways and for promising me eternal life. Take control of my life and guide me through the changes in front of me. Walk beside me and make me the kind of person You want me to be.