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September 12, 2011

Living through the tragedies in our lives...

I spent much time in thought yesterday for the families of the victims of 9/11.

As I got ready for Church I watched and followed the ceremony taking place on Ground Zero and I listened to the numerous names that were read.

Each name held so much weight.

It was the name of a Daughter, Son, Sister, Brother, Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin or friend.

It made me wonder how each of those families are doing. I was in prayer as I listened and I was just asking God to give the families peace.

That day was such a tragedy for our country, but through it, we have become stronger.

Through it, we have become a better Nation. Through it, we have overcome what many thought would bring us to our knees to stay.

But, even the worst of tragedies in our lives can only bring us as far as our knees, and that is when the Lord picks us up.

10 years. Seemed like just yesterday that I was sitting on my top bunk in my college dorm. A dorm mate ran in and announced the horrible news.

Fear ran through my body. As an 18 year old girl, a couple hundred miles from home, I was scared. I just wanted to go home and hug my Mom and Dad.

How could something so horrible really be happening to our country? So many lives. So many families.

But the truth is, no mater what the tragedy is in our lives, I truly believe that in all of these trials, we should draw closer to the Lord.

For that is what this country did. The patriotism shown in the months following 9/11 was amazing. Everywhere we saw signs of God Bless America. And He has blessed us.

But as years go by and time passes, it is easy to fall back into our routines and the busyness of life that soon this fire starts to fade. Our commitments get overtaken by what seem to be the "priorities" in life.

God gets pushed to the side and self takes back over.

But why? God is the only one to get us through the hard times. So why do we ONLY run to Him in the hard times? We should be walking with Him in all times.

I know in my life, I saw this first hand.

When Rick and I faced the biggest tragedy in our lives on January the 8th of this year, God was right there. He was there before, during and has been after.

He held us up as we said goodbye and left the hospital that day.
He held us up 3 days later at her funeral.
He held us up in the days weeks and now 8 months following.

He carried us through our tragedy and will continue to do so.

In seeing the footage of 9/11 yesterday and the tears still ever present, it made me realize. The tragedies we face in our lives will always be a part of us. 8 months or even 10 years later. They are still real as ever. They still hurt. They have changed us.

I feel America has embraced this change and is pushing forward with hope for the future. Faith through the days ahead.

I am doing the same.

I don't look at life quite like I used to, but I approach life much more carefully and tenderly. We just never know.

As my amazing Pastor stood to Preach yesterday, he reminded me just how fragile life really is.

He reminded me of the passage of scripture found in James 4:14
 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

This is a truth from the Word of God that we so often forget.

We are not promised tomorrow. You just never know.

On September the 10th, the towers were standing. On September 11th, they were gone.

On January the 6th, I held the most beautiful baby girl I have ever laid eyes on. On January the 8th, she was called back home.

Here one minute, gone the next. Such a short time. So much heartache and devastation left behind.

But I truly believe that it is how we deal with the tragedies that come into our lives that say the most about us. It speaks volumes about our strength and our character.

I know for Maddie, the innocence of her life took her strait to Heaven. She closed her eyes in this world and opened them in the presence of Jesus.

For those who were taken on 9/11, I just don't know how many of them knew the Lord and were Saved. And as hard as it is to think that some of those people who died that day would go anywhere but Heaven, the truth is.... Many did not.

They didn't have a moment to make things right in their lives in that last split second. I pray that many knew the Lord and were saved and knew they were going to Heaven, but many may not have. This breaks my heart.

But the truth is, we are not promised tomorrow. We have to make it right today. We need to secure our eternity. We need to accept the gift that God's Son, Jesus Christ freely gave when He gave his life on the cross for our sins. We need to accept Him now.

Today is the day of Salvation.

So, as I ponder these things and think about the lives affected on that tragic day in September. More than anything, it makes me want to be a better soul winner for the Lord.

We just don't know if we have tomorrow.

Maddie Grace most definitely showed me this.

Live today with everything you have. Secure your eternity. So when you are faced with tragedy in your life, you can have complete peace, knowing no mater what, you will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord.

There is too much heartache down here. Why not plan on a pain free, perfect eternity. Jesus already paid the price. Just reach out and receive it.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.


  1. Well said Natalie!! I love the way you have tied in your own tragedy to that is so true, that we often forget to call on God in the everyday, but when hard times come we do. I pray that as a country many would turn back to God, or turn to Him, and that we will not forget that day, that we will continue to seek God in everything.

    The hard truth is that many that day didn;t know the Lord, that is not a popular truth, but thank you for saying it, it SHOULD cause all who remain to think on it. Those that want to say it's mean to say such things, or make IS sad...none of us WANT any one person to not go to heaven...that is the essence of why we share the gospel...not to judge, but because we care...becasue we care for their souls.

    there were many lost that day in one fowl swoop. But how many have lost their lives since then not giving God a second thought. We all need to be thankful for the life we have, and treasure every moment. because we never know what may happen next. thank you so much for always sharing your heart. It is such a heart for God...even though I don't "know" you in real life...i feel I know your heart. God bless you and your precious family. May He continue to bless your ministry and husband's preaching, and bless those three precious boys. May He give you comfort as you always remember Maddie Grace, your precious darling girl. She is not forgotten over here. :D Love to you all!

  2. We are all merely flowers, here today and gone tomorrow. Compared to eternity, our lives are just a blip in time. You are so right about all you say and write. Your children and husband are so lucky to have you. Keep winning lives to The Lord Natalie!