Once upon a time, my birthday was just another day of the year. But ten years ago, it became one of the most infamous dates in our nation’s (and the world’s) collective memory.
I could tell you what a terrible birthday that year was, but that’s not really necessary, is it? You can imagine. No one could even wish me a happy birthday (not that I wanted them to). There was no happy to be had that day.
The year following it was pretty strange and sad, too. It took a long time for me to feel “right” about my birthday, to be honest. Years.
I still feel unsettled, and kind of guilty when I have to give my birth date to someone. I cringe a little when I say it, because I know that their minds instantly go to the Twin Towers, even if they don’t say anything about it. I do still get a lot of “whoa, tough day to be born.”
But, a thought that comforts me is when I think of my mom. I imagine that she does the same thing I do on my childrens’ birthdays– I relive the day they were born. I think of how amazing that day was, how sweet and special the first moment I looked at them, breathed them in, kissed their warm cheeks. I consider how much they’ve grown, how much they mean to me. How lucky I am. For my mom, 9/11 holds those special memories of her child. So, yes, she remembers the tragedy. She grieves those innocent lives lost. But she also thanks God for her blessings. She praises God for this day. 9/11 isn’t an ugly word to my mother. Neither should it be to us. To me. Because God has blessed us every 9/11 that we’ve been on this earth, just as He has done every other day of the year.
God has appointed September 11 to be a day of thankfulness, of reliance on Him. Yes, ten years ago, He also appointed it to be a day of loss, of courage. He appointed it to be a day of repentance, of unity, of sacrifice. Every conceivable human emotion was spent that day in 2001, wasn’t it? But no matter where we were, or what we felt… 9/11 is a day that the Lord has made, and we can rejoice in it. We can remember, we can grieve, but ultimately, those emotions should always lead us to proclaiming God’s goodness and sovereignty and blessings to us. We can give Him the glory EVERY September 11th, whether it is 36 years ago, 10 years ago, or today.
9/11 belongs to the Lord, and it is good.