This is a day that stirs up all kinds of Big Feels. There really is no getting away from it, since social media, TV, and other media outlets are constantly reminding us to #neverforget. I don’t believe there will ever be a time again when “9-11” doesn’t bring us to the edge of an emotional precipice.
For me personally, it takes on even more meaning, as September 11 also happens to be my wedding anniversary. Fourteen years ago, we were celebrating our 2nd anniversary. My husband had gone to work, and I was home sleeping in, because I had a symphony rehearsal that night, and probably had some lessons to teach that afternoon. He texted me on some pocket pagers (remember those!) he had purchased. Not “Happy Anniversary”, but “turn on the TV!”
I don’t remember much else that day, except I had a symphony rehearsal that night as scheduled, and there was a last minute program change: Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” was put in the place of another piece. The rest of the week is a blur…all I remember is watching Peter Jennings for 4 days straight. That week also marked the first symphony concert of the season. As is tradition, the National Anthem was played to bring in the new season. I will never forget the energy in that auditorium, both on stage and in the audience. I don’t know if ever a National Anthem was played and sung by an audience with more pride, determination, and emotion. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when we played the Adagio…silent tears of shock, mourning…you could hear a pin drop on that last note.
The fact that it was our 2nd anniversary? Ha! It was at least two years before we celebrated another one!
So, now here we are, 14 years later for America, 16 years later for me and my husband.
Sixteen years. And yet, we’ve only spent a little over half of those anniversaries together. The rest have been invaded by the ugly spectre of my husband’s battles for his mental health.
So yes, 9/11 has become a day where my personal emotions can be rather raw.
But this year, I feel the stirrings of something I’ve not felt in a very long time…
In my last post (which was a whopping two months ago!), I made mention of the fact that I did not know where my husband was, and that I’ve chosen not to know, for various reasons.
In the two months since I last blogged, this has changed. I now know. I will just say that he is in a position where he can potentially, FINALLY, get the help that he so desperately needs, and I am in a position where I could potentially play a part in that. And for that, I am hopeful, because we’ve not been in this position before. It yet remains to be seen what will become of these new developments, but my hope and prayer is that this will be a turnaround for his health and wellbeing.
My emotions may be a bit on edge, but I don’t feel sorry for myself for being in this position. No, it has not been fun. Walking this “path through suffering” has not been easy at all. It’s not what I signed up for 16 years ago today, when I said my vows. I had no idea what was waiting down the road, anymore than we had any idea on September 10, 2001 that the world as we knew it was about to change forever.
But God is faithful. Jesus promised us that, in this world, we would have tribulation. That is one thing we can count on, but it’s not something you can plan for. Whatever our situation, whatever life throws at us, we can be guaranteed that at some point, we’re going to face some kind of tribulation. Whether it’s solo parenting because of a mentally ill spouse, an illness, loss of a loved one, chronic pain, wayward children, addiction, abuse…terror attacks…this world is full of tribulation.
But Jesus offers us something more. He says to “be of good cheer!” Can you believe that? Jesus basically says “yeah, this world sucks, but be happy!” Why? Because He has overcome the world. That word “overcome” means: to prevail over, to conquer, defeat. Jesus has prevailed over this world and its tribulations. That’s a hard thing to get one’s head around when life is unstable, uncertain, dark, and scary.
But that’s what faith is. When it comes down to it, faith is what, or who, you hold onto in the dark. In my personal experience, I just can’t hold on to anything, or Anyone, stronger, and steadier than Jesus Christ when life is dark. Jesus says it best:
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”