Heed my own words

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This morning the radio newscaster announced “the fences are down and the Museum is open to the families and the first responders.” I thought I would throw up. As I drove and pondered those words, I realized I needed to heed my own words. There are two issues that occupy my thoughts lately.

“The fences are down for the first time since September 11, 2001” almost overwhelms me with fear. I have been leading walking tours around and on the Memorial for 8 years. There has always been a fence. A fence around an empty hole and then around a construction site. A fence around the Memorial that allowed me one place of entry. A fence that kept me out and then kept me safe and now it is gone. My mind races with thoughts what if I am on the Memorial and some wacko does some wacko thing? Am I responsible for the visitors on my tour? What if I am with a group of children or teens? Do I have a plan? And then I remember what I say to the students “be aware, not afraid!”.

“The Museum is open to families and first responders” is another source of anxiety. I have seen the space, just the sheer size is overwhelming but what about the exhibits. As I ponder my upcoming visit, I know it will be difficult but I wonder will I be able to do it. And then I remember something else I say to friends and family when they visit the Tribute Center “be kind to yourself. Look at what you can look at, listen to what you can listen to and skip the rest.”

I have said many times when speaking about my faith in relation to September 11 “that in the beginning I hid behind God then He carried me and then He put me down to walk.” I know He will supply what I need but sometimes I just need to remind myself. Below are the words to a song by Matt Redman that is currently my friendly reminder of how far I have traveled and how faithful God is. You can find a video on YouTube.

“Never Once”

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

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4 thoughts on “Heed my own words

  1. Hey Ann! Just felt like I wanted to leave a little message and thank you for always being so open and honest with us in your writings. I truly hope that you always know that your strength and courage is, and always will be, an inspiration to me and, I’m sure, many others. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you walk through this new reality of this part of your story. I hope to visit the museum on my next visit home!

  2. Hello Miss Ann. My thoughts were with you yesterday as I watched the dedication of the memorial. I was overcome with emotion! Thinking, what is Miss Ann thinking today! It took me more than 10 years to walk into the tribute center with you saying to our family….be kinds to yourself. You have walked the tribute center my times over these many years BUT you have walked with the Lord much longer and he has and continues to sustain you with grace, wisdom and beauty. Thank you for being faithful to our Lord and an inspiration to countless others. You are indeed Jesus with skin (as our dear friend would always say). Much love to you and your precious family, In Christ.

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