Reflections by Dr. Teston
A Fellowship Christian School Blog
I am sure, if I asked, that you'd remember exactly where you were at 8:46am on 9/11/2001.
I was teaching a dozen 10th graders in an English class just a few miles from Dulles National Airport near Washington, D.C. My morning, like yours, started like any other morning until that moment, when my class was abruptly interrupted by students bursting in to break the news that a plane had just hit one of the twin towers in New York City. At that moment, everything stopped. My plan for that day was gone. As we turned on the TV to watch the rest of the events unfold, we wrestled with wrapping our heads around what we were witnessing.
None of us can know when a moment like that will happen in our lives, but scripture promises (James 1:2-4) that trials will come. These moments will arrest our momentum, steal our breath, and reorient our path. A good friend once shared with me some sage advice from Charles R. Swindoll "Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it ".
We could not control what confronted us that day 20 years ago. It changed our country, how we travel, how we view the world, and it changed us. We didn't see it coming, yet we had to choose how to respond to the 1000's of moments following the events of that morning.
Today, I can still vividly remember how I felt in the days that followed, the questions I held in my heart, the newness of how I now saw the world as if it just happened a few weeks ago, and I reflect on the other events that have shaped my life. When I was a child, the Cuban missile crisis marked my school days as we practiced drills in preparation for that potential event. My high school days in London were marked by credible bomb threats made against the American school I attended. Just a year following 9/11, our community was impacted by the D.C. Sniper, requiring us to radically alter the way we moved students in and out of the school. to ensure their safety amid those unprecedented times.
Despite all those moments, I am grateful to find my life experience matches the truth scripture professes. God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:8). The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23). He has proven himself to be the same yesterday, today, and forever. The consistency of this truth and the reality of His faithful existence is the essence (basis) that places my heart at rest even in the midst of a storm.
As we reflect this weekend, we remember those whose lives were lost and continue to pray for those who lost loved ones. We also recognize what God has done in the days that followed as we take stock of what He has done in our lives. From here, we look forward with great hope to what God will do. We know tough days will come, but the God who promises never to leave our side is bigger than anything we will face.
I pray that you have a wonderful and restful weekend and take some extra time to appreciate the great and wonderful gifts God has given you. Spend quality time with your family, hug your kids and call your parents. All too often, we take these gifts for granted.
Dr. Kathryn M. Teston
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Dr. Kathryn M. Teston