As we all know tomorrow is another anniversary of 9/11. Many of us here can remember what that day was like. What was it like for you? How did it make you feel? Did you feel confused, scared, helpless? Did you pray to God for help?
I remember I was in the 5th grade that day. I was raised a Catholic and went to Catholic school. My class was reading The Chronicles of Narnia “A Horse and His Boy”. We had a poor school, we had no P.A. system. But I remember my principle came into the classroom and said “we are having an emergency mass at church in a few minutes. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.” I was just a kid, we all were. I didn’t understand what the World Trade Center was. Never heard of it before. I didn’t understand until watching the news later that evening, then I got a good look at what the building looked like, before it fell. All I knew was that people in the thousands died. The why they died had no clear answer. But they did indeed die. We prayed all week for the dead, for their families that God would do something to help them.
Today I am a man. I have been through a lot of terrible experiences in my life. I am a veteran of the OEF conflict in Afghanistan. I served people in Afghanistan hospitals, people that suffered terrible wounds. Some of them died. Afghanistan was a bad experience for me. Back then I was religious and I attended chapel all the time and I prayed to God for help because I felt alone in Afghanistan… I never received help after all my prayers… I returned home and had to watch someone very close to me suffer and eventually die. I prayed to God for him to live. I was not ready for him to die. I just wanted more time with him. Just one more month, one more year, two years, just not now. I told God “you cannot take him from me. Please don’t take him from me! Please! You forsaken me in Afghanistan when I needed you, please don’t forsake me and him now! If you take him away from me I swear I will never speak to you again!”
He died…And so did my faith in God…I kept my threat to God. After all I have been through my heart is bleeding. I don’t pray anymore. And I haven’t been to church for about six years now. I live in Texas. In the south people around here are very bible-belt oriented. They don’t like that I don’t go to church, some people hate that. I just leave them be, and hold no grudges against them because they don’t know me and what I’ve been through. I personally don’t see myself as a bad person. I think I am good. I save lives. I help people. I try to be good. All the things I have seen in my line of work as a firefighter/paramedic and watching people die. Watching prayers go unanswered. Has made me feel like God is just so far away or that he is just cruel and heartless to those begging for his help. Maybe he is dead? The only presence I feel that malingers around all of us is the devil itself. He feels more real than God because so many prayers just go unanswered. Are we all doomed? All I feel and see in the news today is evil and hate. So much hate. So much senseless hate. How many people on that terrible day on 9/11 lost their faith along with their lives?
“Son of God are you listening? Son of God can you hear my cry? We put our faith unto you. How could you just watch them die?” - lyrics from Walk on Water by Blessthefall
First of all, thanks for sharing your story and thank you for your service to this country.
I was really young during the 9/11 attacks, and had very little understanding and context to even comprehend the magnitude of what happened. I was in 1st grade so I barely even remember what happened, just random snippets. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to better realize how devastating they were, but even now it’s a strange feeling when I think back to that day. It’s an eerie mix of the story I’ve been told superimposed on that distant memory of how I experienced it.
Prayer can be such a tough thing and something I regularly struggle with. So many times we reach out to God and get nothing back, and I can’t even imagine the pain you must have gone through in the experiences you’ve described. The solace I’ve found in my life is in considering that Jesus prayed he wouldn’t die, and yet he was crucified. The God I pray to was himself abandoned and left to die, and so I see him coming alongside me when I suffer and comforting me when my prayers are unanswered. Sorry if I’m being preachy and just reiterating stuff you’ve heard before, but my faith has been what I depend on when I see all the pain and the death that surrounds us. I agree with you that the devil is apparent in the world around us, but I see God working too in bringing healing and hope.
I dunno man. Losing people sucks, regardless of the situation. I was raised the complete opposite and raised with NO religious background at all. I lost a parent overnight when I was 21. I don’t think us praying and hoping is warrant enough, or else everyone would survive, ya know? I know it’s a touchy subject and I definitely get your perspective. Anyways, my story is almost 180 yours and I probably didn’t start believing until my late late teenage years and more so in the last couple of years. It seems like you like some similar music as I do. Maybe listen and read the lyrics of First Father by Silent Planet.
Secondly, I’m glad you shared your story, and I applaud you serving this great country of ours.
Thank you for posting and thank you for your service.
I too was a child when 9/11 happen and I also attended Catholic school when the events happen. We had mass as well and at the end of the week we all prayed the rosary as a school. I felt confused and scared and was having a hard time processing everything. Despite that I remember seeing fire, ems and police helping while the chaos was taking place. It made me think about how people are running away from the chaos while they were running towards it risking their lives to help others. It had an impact on me in the sense that I wanted to be able to help others while chaos is ensuring.
As far as faith and where God is I must admit I am not as close as I once was and am trying to make my way back towards Him. I still consider myself Catholic and believe in God, Jesus, Mary and the Saints but there is a lot that I am coping and struggling with and trying to figure out my faith within those struggles. Have you thought about working with a spiritual director? They can act like a counselor when it comes to faith. If you ever want to talk know that we are here.
Thank you for your service to this country. You are a true hero.
It can be extremely difficult to keep your faith in a higher power during extremely difficult times. I’m going to link you to a post I made on someone else’s thread, because I believe it can apply here as well. I tend to be a “head” thinker as opposed to a “heart” thinker, and because of that, I’ve become fascinated with biblical theology and the building of apologetics. One of my favorite contemporary theologians of all time is Ravi Zacharias. He was an atheist until the age of 17 when he tried to commit suicide by swallowing poison. While in the hospital, a local Christian worker brought him a Bible and told his mother to read to him from John 14. He said that it was John 14:19 that touched him and meant to him as the defining paradigm. I highly recommend to check him out on YouTube!
Hello. Thank you for sharing this. It means a lot to the community. I always say that. Heh. Everything you said makes sense, and I see where you are coming from of questioning God. I ask those questions too. I do get angry at God that He doesn’t answer me, however, I still trust Him. Despite of what I think and feel. I do admit, I don’t know everything about this life, but I do know is that I have an opportunity to love people, and share them the love of God. Since you mentioned a lyric of one your favorite bands, today, I listened to P.O.D.’s Satellite, and the album was released on the same day as 9/11. I did not grow up listening to P.O.D., and I couldn’t imagine what people had gone through. Their album help a lot of people, it inspired them to believe in God, and accept He loves them no matter what. I remember watching the news with my family when I was 8 years old, and I had no idea of what was going on. This is a tragic day of our nation. Thank you for reading this. If you want help, HeartSupport is here for you. We might not get everything right, on the other hand, we can still love you. Once again, thank you, and I hope you are having a great night. Take care.
I just watched the video response, I wished I could’ve seen it sooner or have been there for the stream but work comes first you know? Wow I was overwhelmed that you picked my post on the wall for your stream! When I wrote that post I was writing out thoughts in my mind and what I was feeling deep inside. I don’t know what else to say. I appreciate the support from you, John, Sledge, and everyone from HS thanks!
9/11, whilst terrible and cowardly attacks, were relatively small compared with the World Wars and numerous wars throught our World’s potted and often disgusting history. Yes, a large number of innocent civilians, Fire Officers and Police Officers lost their lives. I think the real fear was in the immediate aftermath of the atttacks. What would come next? Where we all safe? Was this the start of World War III? Of course, we now know it was not, thankfully. I hope you didn’t lose anyone you were close to in the terrorist attacks. x