On memory of this most unforgettable of days, I wanted to honor those who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attack in the United States of 9/11/13.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of "SuperGal vs. GOD." Like many people, SuperGal had a limited belief in God, but figured she was capable of handling her own stuff, pretty much. She was, after all, SuperGal! But after the horror of 9/11, SuperGal's foundations had been shaken, and she felt a stirring to find something more, something bigger than herself.
Today, I pray for those who lost their lives, for the families and friends they left behind, but most of all, I pray for the United States of America. We must stand strong, one nation under GOD!
I lifted my head from the keyboard when I heard a muffled shout coming from the hall.
The window to my right revealed a gorgeous autumn day. I decided I had picked the wrong day to stay in the office rather than going out to visit clients.
Now, elbow deep in paperwork and phone calls at my home office in a spare bedroom, I was oblivious to the everyday sounds of my household.
There it was again. My husband was yelling to me from the next room.
I pushed away the keyboard and stood up just as he appeared in the office doorway.
“A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center!” he yelled, disappearing into the bedroom where the TV was on.
What? Oh my God! I had clients in that complex. Each time I visited, I sat in the World Trade Center plaza between
appointments. Each time, I couldn’t resist leaning back to try to see the tops of the towers over my head. Each time, I grew dizzy from the effort.
Now, I held my breath as my eyes strained to take in the image: no airplane was visible, but thick billowing smoke was pouring out of the windows of the tower about a fifth of the way down from the top. I heard the announcer say it was the North Tower.
Oh, my God! My mind raced ahead. How will they get people out of there? How will they put out that fire?”
Surely there was a plan in place by the powers-that-be. There must be, right?
I listened to the announcers shout into their microphones as they tried to make sense out of the chaos. They were con-stantly interrupted with updates.
“What happened?” I asked. “Did the plane’s engines fail or something?”
He shrugged his shoulders, grabbed the remote, and moved through the channels to see if other stations had more news. A moment later, we heard that the crashed plane had been reported hijacked. There were additional flights already in the air that were out of contact with ground control.
We looked at one another in horror as that fact began to sink in.
Terrorists? Did they fly the plane into the building on purpose?
While I mentally groped for the implications of that, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the flickering screen and its stunning image.
It was the worst thing I’d ever seen.
Until the next minute, that is.
Stomach clenched, hands tightly clasped in front of my
mouth, tears spilling from my eyes, the next thing I saw was an airplane slamming into the building.
“Look, here’s a replay of the plane hitting the building.”
“Wait, no, that can’t be a replay!” he said. “No one was filming when the plane hit. Look, now the other building is on fire, too!”
The world had just witnessed the second plane striking the South Tower.
It couldn’t possibly get worse. But it did. In less than an hour.
“The Pentagon has just been hit by a hijacked plane and is on fire. And Flight 77 has been reported missing over Pennsyl-vania,” came the voice of the bearer of bad news.
I sat down on my bed and cried. Out of fear, out of anger, out of grief.
The United States of America, and every one of us in it, was under direct attack.
The world had just changed.
We were at war, and no one knew what the next moment would bring.
The minutes ticked on the clock.
I couldn’t move away from the TV. I watched. And waited. Where would the next attack take place? My city?
I hurriedly punched numbers on our phones, checking on our daughters and parents, urging the girls to leave work and get home. To stay inside.
I was deeply frightened. And the horror wasn’t over.
The world beyond the television ceased to exist for SuperGal. Finally moving to the living room, she camped on the sofa staring at the big screen.
Watching as emergency vehicles screamed through the big city.
Watching as hysterical people ran out of the burning buildings and rescue personnel ran in.
Watching as desperate human beings jumped from win-dows high in the sky rather than be consumed by the hellish inferno.
Finally, incredibly, eyes wide and jaws slack, we watched as the towers collapsed and fell to the ground, one after another. Any hope for the remaining survivors was gone.
So were the lives of the brave men and women who had rushed into the building to save them.
SuperGal’s mind was caked with mud. Sludge. Too clogged to filter the images.
The sofa beneath her, even the very floor, seemed some-how inadequate, as though it could no longer support her weight. Like slipping helplessly down into a dark pit in a dream.
Then . . . something. What?
She sensed something—someone? Something pulling her arm. Something big.
Like God? Yes, perhaps. He seemed to be there, on her mind.
She thought of herself as a Christian, pretty much. After all, she had been christened as a baby, and she tried to be a good person. She was reasonably sure there was a God. And probably a heaven, too. At least she hoped so.
It wasn’t beyond her to wing up a little prayer if someone were sick or in trouble.
SuperGal figured she had simply never needed His help on a regular basis. She figured she was pretty good at handling her own stuff. Why bother God with her problems?
She was SuperGal, right?
But now, He had a small foothold there, in her mind.
Behind the scenes, beyond SuperGal’s field of vision, the first spiritual cannonball had been lobbed.
The battle was on.
I grew up a Public in a Catholic neighborhood in the sixties.
In my city neighborhood of large factories towering over tiny row houses packed with red-headed kids with freckles, you were either Catholic or Public.
Worse, I was one of only two Publics in the neighborhood. And truth be told, the Other Public was only a Half Public. She went to Catholic Church but public school.
My mom had been raised Catholic, too, but the church bounced her when she married my dad. Not only was he not Catholic, he was divorced.
Church was not part of our lives, other than the year or two that my parents sent me to Sunday school alone and a few Vacation Bible School stints. I mostly recall crafting Popsicle sticks and painting plaster of paris wall hangings.
I did get married in a church. It seemed the right thing to do, maybe to make up for the fact that I was pregnant. Anyway, we chose a church in my neighborhood because I could see its steeple from my bedroom window.
There were a few premarital counseling sessions because they were mandatory. I don’t recall a single thing from them. That pastor probably did his best to counsel a couple of pregnant and naive teenagers. I think he tried to talk us out of getting married.
We should have listened.
SuperGal stayed glued to the TV for three days, watching the aftermath, the carnage, of the terrorist attacks. She didn’t leave the house. She was just too darn sad.
Finally, life moved on. But not SuperGal’s yearning for something more.
Something bigger than even she.
Her curiosity nagged her to dig deeper into this God thing.
Yes, life moved on.
So did SuperGal.
Kind of the same, but kind of different.
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
The SuperGal Syndrome – Breaking the Chains of Control, Pride & Perfectionism™
Busy, burdened women are increasingly suffering from the debilitating side effects of superhero complex, known as The SuperGal Syndrome™. This spiritual disease has become epidemic among women of all ages, negatively impacting our families, friends and fellow believers. This syndrome, and its focus on control, pride and perfectionism, causes a chasm in our personal relationship with Christ.
Fueled by my passion to inspire women who struggle in their self-imposed chains, I’m sharing my SuperGal recovery secrets through the Word of God. I encourage you to surrender these chains to God. Because. . .
IT’S NOT OUR JOB TO RUN THIS PLANET!
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