Monday, September 10, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Today I received a beautiful arrangement of red roses from Roy. He said he didn't forget when he got out of the car Saturday and he didn't. I found an anniversary card Sunday afternoon hidden in the cat food and what a sweet card it is. On top of everything it is funny.

This morning while getting ready for work, I thought about the past 6 years. For those of you who don't know our story briefly it is this, we were set to go to New York City. Roy had a conference to attend and his company was footing the complete bill for me to go along. We were encouraged to go see plays, see the sights and enjoy our 24th wedding anniversary. Really, how often does a offer like that come along? Here is the snag, I didn't have any peace about going to NYC. I told Roy my misgivings about the trip and he said well maybe you aren't to go, so I will go ahead and make plans to attend the conference. An hour hadn't gone by when I called Roy and told him I have no peace for you to go either. He listened to me and dropped all plans for the conference and NYC. We did not give it another thought until the morning of September 11, 2001.

Of course I had a tennis game scheduled at 10:30 and I sat at the table eating breakfast and watching The Today Show. Matt Lauer announced that a plane had flown into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. Mentally, I pictured a small plane like in the movie King Kong. As I sat there in my crisp white polo shirt and a pink tennis skirt, pink because the team we were playing against said no one could win a match wearing pink, and the dreadful, horrible news began to sink in, the planes were airliners. I called my partner and said, I don't think I want to play today, I can't stop watching everything happening in NYC. She said, we have to show up or we get charged for the court. That seemed rather insignificant at the moment.

I begrudgingly went to the UClub to play tennis and we were playing on the "show" court. The TV could be seen from that court and I couldn't justify playing tennis while the world seemed to be spinning out of control. It wasn't that I was going to leave right after the match because we had our team drill. Was I the only one who couldn't concentrate? I mean I had seen all the big events on TV with my tennis friends, the bombing in OKC and the verdict of the OJ trial. Guess it was meant to be to watch life pass by on the courts. We received word in the middle of our drill The Galleria was being evacuated. There seemed to be the threat the Williams Tower was a target. There was a mass exodus in a small amount of time. It was crazy driving home, everyone was freaking out.

I had just arrived home when Roy came through the door. Everyone was sent home from the office. We stood there glued to the coverage and I said to Roy, weren't we supposed to be there right now for your conference? Roy assured me the conference was later in the month. Not knowing what to do, Roy said we should go to the grocery store. Who knows what is happening. I wondered if how I felt was how people had felt when they heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Several days later Roy came home and showed me an email. The color was drained from his face. Everyone involved at the Risk Waters Conference had not been heard from, this included attendees, trade show participants and the employees of Risk Waters. You see, the morning of the 11th all the participants of the conference that Roy was to attend were in Windows on the World in the top of one of the World Trade Center towers. For sure Roy would have died that morning. Me, I have not a clue, it would have depended on what hotel we stayed in.

In the past years before 2001 I had been offered these once in a lifetime trips. I was invited to go to Rockport, TX for a fabulous long weekend of tennis and fun...wouldn't cost me a thing. I said I would love to go and then I had no peace about the trip. I reluctantly declined the invitation. On the way to Rockport, my friends were involved in a horrible accident. The officers told them if one more person had been in the Suburban, the weight distribution would have caused it to flip. I was also invited to go see the French Open and then stay for a week in a friend's condo on Lake Constance. Minimal cost for the trip of a lifetime. My plans were in full gear when the familiar sense of no peace came on me again. I regretfully said no, it isn't in the plans for me to go. It wasn't a week into their trip that Roy was laid off... There were several more opportunities that came my way and I said peace. God was giving me practice to know when to say no and when the time came for the NYC, I obeyed that leading of the Spirit.

What a wake up call to us. I knew that there had to be much more to life than playing tennis 5 days a week, several times a day, eating ladies lunch and then shopping until it was time to go home. My life had to have more meaning than living as a dilettante.

That began the journey to where I find myself today and where Roy finds himself. We loved God and we were serving Him before 9/11. We had relationship with Him before 9/11, but not like now. I can still tear up when I see 9/11 documentaries or hearing the stories of that day. I came so close to losing Roy.

When I saw those red roses today and remembered Roy's words to me upon getting out of the car, Happy Anniversary and I didn't forget you. My heart overflowed with a good theme, praises to my King of Kings. He gave us another chance, another opportunity to find His purpose for life. Before then, I only thought God had created me to be good in sports. I determined my course in life in sports, played softball, then more USVBA volleyball, which eased into tennis. I thought my last goal in life was to learn how to play golf and I had just began that transition.

Believe me, if you are still on this earth God has more for you to do. Don't have any idea of what that might be? Keep praying and seeking, keep giving your life away. Serve one another. Do little things to bless people. Follow the passion that God has placed in your heart. I always end my personal thoughts with the reminder of what God placed in my heart 6 years ago. I wanted to get out of tennis, but had no idea to what. I read John 21. Jesus has just defeated hell and the devil and Jesus has not ascended to the right hand of the throne of God as of what do you find Him doing in the in between times? Serving the boys some breakfast. Frying up fish. The Lord asked me, can you fry up some fish until you know the next move? I said yes Sir! Now when I find myself in transitional times, that's what I do, fry up fish, serve right where I am, bless someone... it is amazing how God shows you the next direction while you're serving someone "breakfast."


Lisa P. said...

Whoa. Good stuff.
We will remember.

Dana said...

Wow, I had no clue.

Courtney said...

nancy, you made me cry. i am all ckoked up here in the office. that is an amazing story. Glory be to God!!!
my brothers birthday is today and it has always been a hard day since 2001.

happy pamela said...

you speak the wisdom sister!

Profbaugh said...


What an amazing story. And I know I shouldn't be amazed, but every time I see God move in someone's life, my mouth just seems to hang open. Reading your post was one of those times. And I'm praising Him big time right now, not just for you(although that's certainly more than enought) but because He's so absolutely amazing.

Can't wait to see what He has in store for you. Keep frying that fish sister.

Crazy for Christ,

kittyhox said...

Wow. Amazing.

Thanks for sharing this. It speaks to me right where I am.

Bless you,


Kelly said...

I am most impressed by your ability to "hear" God, and then to obey when He has not given you a sense of peace about something. That is what I want, but I often am distracted and doubt myself. Your story inspires me!

The Sanders House said...

nancy, i have never heard this story. it is amazing how clear God's voice is. i am so glad you listened and did not allow the fun of the trip to distract you. we hear about all the lives were lost but we hardly ever think about the people he spared from this tragedy and to that i say...GOD IS GOOD!

Shae said...

Wow. That's incredible! It's good to listen to that still small voice.

Amanda said...

I just can't get over this! I'm so glad y'all listened to the Lord. Thanks for testifying about all He's done since then. What a good word!

Ulovebeth said...

Thanks for sharing and crying, because I know you had to be while you wrote that. And I was trying not to while I read it.

Please keep telling the story so we'll remember. It's important.

Allison Johns said...

That blessed me. Thanks for sharing.

The Granniss Family said...

This is an amazing story! How precious! I am so glad that you listened to God! And your husband gets major kuddos for listening to you! It takes a special couple to communicate that well. God has blessed you indeed!

Nicki said...

That is truly an amazing AMAZING story....thank you for sharing it!

Mel said...

I'm a friend of Cari and Michelle's. I really enjoyed the story of 9/11 and how awesome that the Lord has given you a sense to not do something. Thank you for encouraging me! Have a great day!