Originally posted September 10, 2011.

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10 years ago…

I was working and traveling a lot. I owned a home. I was 24. I was about 30 pounds lighter than I am now. I had red hair.

I had just returned home from a week in Pittsburgh. I had 2 cats and a roommate. I was in love with someone I should not have been.

I was on the way to work, listening to a CD for a change. When we turned the radio on, still miles from work, the second plane had just hit to WTC. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I thought, for a moment, they meant the Sears Tower.

I worked in a cable company, so there were TVs everywhere. We watched the towers fall. I was on a conference call with others who had been working on the software conversion in Pittsburgh. We were all holding our breath to make sure everyone got on, because who knew who was flying where that morning. Some of our colleagues were stuck in different parts of the country.

I knew no one who was personally affected (meaning, killed or related to someone who was) by the 4 planes that were hijacked, the 4 planefuls and 3 locations full of people who were murdered. And with everyone else, I felt guilty, disconnected, and totally connected all at once.

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That week, I was planning a surprise birthday part for my mom’s 50th birthday. No one felt like celebrating, but it felt good to be together. That week I had lunch with my dad and brother, to plan. It was the first time the 3 of us had ever really done that. While we were out, my dad ran into an old friend. We all talked, in just a few moments, about life, growing, being American, being friends.

People in the stores that week made eye contact. We reached out, even just with our minds, to feel hope.

On the 17th of September, my closest cousin gave birth to her daughter. Her tiny little 5 pound body personified life and hope.

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Today, I am married to that same man I loved 10 years ago, the one who was with me in the car that morning. His 2 children became mine, and we have 2 more together. Being a mom makes my heart full enough to burst on any given day. Sometimes I feel like the grace given to us is the biggest thing in the world. Sometimes I feel like there can’t possibly be enough grace for all the evil in this world. But I know in my heart, that even in the midst of ugliness and despair and death, God is there. He makes all things new. He redeems all things. And He causes everything – I can’t even grasp it when I think of those towers falling, but everything, to work together for Good.

We lose, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in unfathomably large ways, because we are here, in an imperfect world.

But in the end, God wins. Grace wins. Love wins.

Let there be comfort for those who lost so big that day.

Let there be warmth and kindness returned to all the heroes who stepped up, who still do.

Let there be peace on Earth, and let us bless the Name that gives it to us.

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