Posted by: PD Warrior | September 12, 2007

Answered Prayer…

Cathy, the author of “Cathy’s Place” hosted a “911 Challenge.” The object was to write something inspired by the events of September 11th, 2001 and she would post them for all the world to see. Below is a copy of my submission. To read all of the writings that were submitted please visit the “911 Challenge.” You can also vote for your favorite. The current leader is  Kacey from “Cookie’s Oven.” After reading her post, and then viewing her blog, it is no wonder she is in the lead. But alas, I digress… as promised, here is my entry:

September 11, 2001 was a terrible day; one filled with death and destruction grand only in size, and terrible in depth. Like so many people from generations past that lived through the tragedies of Pearl Harbor, and the assignation of President Kennedy, I too will not forget the day the Towers fell. I will always remember what I was doing when I heard the news. I will always remember the deluge of emotions I felt, and the impact it had on my life.

I was appalled that the event even occurred. After all, this was America and I had always ignorantly believed we were invulnerable from attack. I was confused. After all, this was America, and even though I was aware of the political tension between my beloved country and other nations, the thought had never even crossed my mind that we as a country could be hated so much. And, I was scared. After all, if this could happen in America, there was no telling what else could occur. Above all, however, I was angry.

My life at the time was in turmoil. My wife and I had been separated for over two years and were in the process of going through a divorce. Financially, to say I was ruined would be a gross understatement. Here I was, thirty-one years old, and I along with my children had been reduced to living with my parents—back under their roof, and under their rules once again. I was grateful they took me in, but I was not happy at the situation. Emotionally I was a time bomb just waiting to go off. News of the 9/11 attacks lit the fuse and I exploded, directing every ounce of pent up energy, frustration, and anger at God.

I cursed God. I cursed him with words that I am ashamed to admit. I denied him. I denounced his very existence because a loving God would not have put me through all the pain in my life, and a loving God would not have allowed all those innocent people to die such a violent death. No, a just God would not have allowed the attack to have even taken place. So I cursed him, I denounced him and I dared him to prove his own existence—I dared him to allow me one day of peace. Just one day when nothing in my personal life went wrong; one day when I could smile ever so briefly without reality crashing in on me from all corners.

There are many things in this world that I will never understand. I will never understand hatred of any kind. I will never understand why innocent people must suffer at the hands of others. I will never understand why parents must look on helplessly as their children die from diseases such as cancer. And I will never understand why God answered my cursing and ranting as if it were a beautiful prayer uttered with faith and humility…

A co-worker of mine had been taking couples country dancing lessons with her husband for almost a year, and frequently talked about how much fun she and her husband had with the class. The weekend prior to the 9/11 attacks I had mentioned that I was interested in taking the dance lessons myself and asked her to get me the information so I could sign up. I had spent two years feeling sorry for myself about the impending divorce, and had decided it was time to move on and at least get out of the house for a while. I figured I would ask a couple old friends from school if they were interested in going with me as “just friends” to the lessons. The very next day I received a phone call from the woman who was getting me the dance info. I figured she was calling to tell me about the classes; I almost dropped the phone when she said “I set you up!”

“You did what?”

“I set you up. Her name’s Stephanie. She’s a nice woman who’s new in town that wants to take couples lessons. She doesn’t know anyone because she just moved into town, and she doesn’t want anything serious because she just went through a divorce. I told her I knew just the right guy…”

The lesson was scheduled for 9/14, the Friday after the attacks. I was so fuming mad at the time that I could have chewed nails and spit bullets. The last thing I wanted was a blind date, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t come up with an excuse not to go. Especially after the attacks had taken place. I was so numb and angry about everything that I needed to step away from reality for a while.

Friday morning I woke up with such a strange feeling, one that I can’t even begin to describe other than to say I felt at peace with both the world and myself. Everything went perfect at work that day, and I even finished early—I was so sure that I had forgotten to do something that I rechecked my work three times. Before I knew it, it was time for the dance lesson… the dreaded blind date.   It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, a day where nothing went wrong, a day when I smiled for hours on end…

Stephanie and I have been married for four years now.

September 11, 2001 was a tragic day. I cannot fathom the pain and anguish suffered by the families that lost their loved ones that day, yet I cannot help but remember it with a smile for it was the day God answered my prayer.



  1. Joe, another great story. I know it’s trite, but one door opens as another closes. I’m glad you went on that date and met your future wife and that while the world was in turmoil, the two of you found each other.


  2. Thank you for the heart warming story. I needed that. Your blog is lovely, I found you through blog village where I am also listed.


  3. Hi Joe, Thanks for the kind words on my blog. I’m happy that you commented, so I could come over here an find a kindred spirit. I really enjoyed your story in the challenge and am happy that something good came out of that week for you. I read through several of your posts here and am laughing at the fact that you are a nurse. I, too, was a nurse — one that went to nursing school at forty after raising our three children to college age. We nurses seem to be magnets to each other. I’m happy to have found you.


  4. My Gosh, Joe. This is an incredible story and extremely inspiring!

    To me, it is awe-inspiring when Creator knows just what to do, in his OWN time. I have experienced just this kind of anger, wanting what I wanted…and then, I receive a gift. And it always stops me in my tracks.


  5. Joe, thanks for this link and for participating in my story challenge. It was great to read about someone who had something good come out of that week. All of the stories were wonderful and I learned many things from each one of them…


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