Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9-11 Now and Forever

On 9-11 I am always reminiscent of the events of that fateful day. We as a country saw things we
thought we would never see in our lifetime. We all recall where we were when we saw the events that took place. I was delivering gym shoes to my Jr. high school son when I saw the T.V.'s in the office. Never imagining that son would travel to Afghanistan to fight in the war that would follow those events.
FAST FORWARD 12 years to 9-11, 2013

 I cannot help but think of the night Jon left for Afghanistan. It was 4 years ago tonight that we waited for our son's phone call to say good-bye to us before he left.
The call came. We were standing in the middle of our living room where so many family events and memories had taken place.
This was one I will never forget.
This was probably the most difficult night of my life. We talked for about 10 minutes and we all could feel the conversation coming to an end. We had Jon on speaker phone and I looked across the kitchen island at Kevin, my hands trembling, lips quivering and the conversation was over. I said to Kevin, "I can't push end. I can't breath!"
Hyperventilating, I walked to the sliding glass door and pretended to let the dog out. I walked out on to the deck.
The night was warm and the sky was perfectly clear. I looked to the west sky and hoped in some way that my heart felt love would be enveloped in the stars and somehow Jon would see them and feel it too. I sat on the steps of our deck and sobbed. I cried from somewhere so deep inside me, it hurt me physically. I literally could not breath. Kevin tried to snap me out of the fear that was entangling me. But it had a hold on me. I couldn't stop crying. The,what if's and the unknown's were consuming my spirit.
Kevin took me by the shoulders and said, "stop it Jenni your son is a Marine. he is ready for this and God has him in the palm of his hand."
I knew it was true and felt comforted for a moment but the waves of emotion kept coming like a flood. Then in my mind I remembered that I dedicated Jon to Lord when he was a baby. I needed to do it again. He was never mine to begin with. God gave him to me and entrusted him to me for a short time. To develop a man that would fight for the freedoms of this great country.
I did my job, its time for Jon to do his.
Peace swept over me. I felt like I was sitting in the cleft of the Rock. Protected. Peaceful. Powerless. It was then that I began to see, this deployment was meant for ME to grow.
I saw a warrior on the inside of my closed eyes. I know that He equips the called and Jon was indeed, called.
Peace. Floods of Peace came over me.

I wish I could say that I rested in that Peace for the duration of the 7 month deployment, but I did not. My faith was shaken many times by news stories or a discouraging phone call from Jon. 
But, I can say that God's faithfulness never changed. He had plans to for Jon. Plans to give him hope and a future and not to harm him!! 
Here we are on the eve of 9-11-2013 and my family is safe in their beds. 
As I wrap up this writing I am reminded not only of the events of 9-11 and the sacrifices of many for this country. But I am reminded and will never forget, God's goodness and faithfulness to me and my family! I do not deserve his hand of favor but I believe it is on this family and I will not be like those before me who forgot God's hand on them and lost their way. (Israelites)  I see his hand in everything we do. I am so grateful for a God who sees me as valuable even in my worst state and takes me under his wing for rest.  So I will always remember what he has done for me and the sacrifice he gave for me. 

So while I thank my son and those who fight for our freedom here on earth and realize I can never repay them for all they have done.

I thank also, my God who is my rock and my salvation. Who gives me freedom from all things everyday and I realize I can never repay Him. 
The great thing is neither one requires it. 
So I will serve both with gratitude and gratefulness and give my life in honor of theirs. 
But thank my God in whom I trust for eternal life and eternal freedom!