Honestly, it still feels like yesterday. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day and exactly how I felt.

I was in college at the time; Bennett College for Women (yep, I’m a Bennett Belle). Anyway, I lived off campus and my friend Jam and I had just pulled up in front of my house when we heard the news on the radio. We ran in the house, turned on the TV, and there it was, the first tower in flames. We sat there in complete awe as the second tower was hit shortly after. And then the news of the Pentagon attack broke and my heart dropped. I was completely shaken by what I was watching unfold in New York, and the Pentagon attack hit close to home.

I immediately started calling my mom; first at her office and then at home. My heart was beating fast and I was trembling so badly that I could barely dial the numbers. None of my calls went through, busy signals and an odd ringing sound for hours; I literally alternated between calling the home and office number for hours. I couldn’t think straight, I skipped dinner, and as 9pm rolled around, sleep was not an option. I was terrified and consumed with thoughts of what ifs. Trying to remain positive didn’t cut it, and my heart broke more and more with each passing moment. I needed to know that my family was okay and there was nothing I could do but pray and wait.

The news outlets made it even more difficult because as much as I wanted to stay tuned in for updates, I had trouble doing so because they kept replaying the attacks as a constant reminder of all that was going wrong, terribly wrong. My prayers became questions: “God, where is my mom?” “Did she make it home?” “Lord, can you give me a sign?” Does this sound familiar? How many times have you been in a situation where all you can do is pray and wait while everything around you continues to highlight just how bad this situation is?  I don’t think there’s much we can do to prepare for these moments. We just have to trust God and remember that “all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Even when the outcome doesn’t seem favorable, we have to continue to trust Him.

My mom called late that evening and it was indeed the sweetest relief to hear her voice. However, there are many that never received that phone call from their mother, sister, father, brother, or friend. So as we remember 9/11, let’s honor those that lost their lives by holding our loved ones close. Hug them tighter, call more often, forgive easily, and don’t miss an opportunity to say ‘I love you.’

This post is dedicated to my dear friends Tiffany and Lonnie who lost their father- one of the first responders on 9/11.