The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. -Deuteronomy 31:8

I will never forget that moment.

I sat in our family room on the left side of the loveseat.

The side where someone always sits, so the cushion is more worn down than the rest, but at that time the couches were pretty new. I remember, they were plush and soft.

My brothers sat or stood around the room while my mother stood in front of the big chair, hands on her hips or covering her mouth.

All five of us couldn’t take our eyes off the screen.

It was mid-morning, and the towers were exploding.

My seat directly faced the couch. Being homeschooled, we were all home and quickly, quietly, somberly, gathered together around the TV and watched as thousands of lives were changed forever.

Horror. Shock. Confusion. Anger. Frustration.

I was eight, almost nine, when the towers fell.

I will always remember that moment, and I will always remember that

I was 20, a sophomore in college, alone and 12 hours from home, when the bombs went off in Boston.

After a tornado warning all afternoon last week and stormy skies since then, yesterday was our first pretty day in a while.

A bit cold, but the sun was shining as life went on just like normal.

I walked into my Spanish Lab exhausted from a long morning. Going from 8:30-3:00 non-stop on Monday, the worst part is always Spanish Lab.

It was 2:10 when I walked into class.

It was beginning on the East Coast.

10 minutes later we were in the middle of spanish conversation and I heard another teacher and student, who aren’t in our lab, whispering. They were staring at his computer screen and I noticed they never took their eyes off the screen, but to look up and whisper words I couldn’t understand.

I tried to focus on the spanish conversation, but I began to pick out words from their whispered conversation.



I wanted with everything in me to say, “Wait. Stop. What’s going on?! What are you looking at?” But in lab, I’m docked points if I use English. I racked my brain, but couldn’t remember how to ask those questions in Spanish. So I sat for 45 minutes wondering….waiting…praying…

I could only think of 9/11.

Where were the bombings? Is everyone I know safe? And why aren’t they stopping class??? Something isn’t right, and they aren’t telling us what’s going on.

While in lab, my phone started buzzing. And buzzing. And buzzing.

Once again, I had to let it go until the end of class.

As soon as it was over, I checked my messages and one was from one of my bible study girls, asking me to pray. Her Big had friends running the Boston Marathon, and hadn’t heard from them yet.

I didn’t understand. Why did they need prayer, and what did anything have to do with the Boston Marathon? From across the room I heard the teacher say Boston and I quickly walked over and asked demanded that he explain what was going on.

Horror. Shock. Confusion. Anger. Frustration.

Everything came rushing back. I had to get to a news source, a TV, a computer, anything. I had to text my mom and ask if we knew anyone in Boston. Thankfully, she quickly responded and said we didn’t, now that my cousin has moved closer to home.

My cousin, whose dad – my uncle – was supposed to be in N.Y.C. when the towers fell, but for some reason or another didn’t make it there. My friends friends were heard from, and I could breathe the slightest bit easier.

But like many years before, I stood with my hand pressed hard into my chest as I watched the news. How to keep your heart from breaking, even for those you’ve never met? There is a common bond between us all.

There are no words to make this a beautiful situation. None of my own words can bring comfort or peace. But it is in these heart-wrenching, “not fair” moments when I am pushed to cry “I don’t understand, but Lord you are Sovereign over us.”

Boston, we love you.
We stand with you.
We will remember,
and we will hope for you until you can hope again.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.