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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Jackson

BUT GOD - My 9/11 Testimony

Over the years, I have shared my perspective from 9/11 to different members of this ministry. From the first retelling of my testimony to the group of high school moms I led, to sharing with previous members and chapters of PFTNG, the Lord has revealed His glory anew each time! This year, with the outpouring of God's merciful faithfulness on this ministry, in the form of new campuses and moms, I have the humble opportunity to tell this story again. The one that has impacted my faith and the fibers of my family structure since that memorable day in 2001.

Before we get there though, we must return to the mid 90's. A quick overview – my husband, Monte, and I met and dated while living a very free and fun life in New York City – we were not believers. I don’t remember many conversations about God, Jesus or religion. In 1996, we were married in a non-denominational church in my hometown in New Jersey, and just 2 months after taking our vows my mother died after a “routine” heart valve replacement surgery.

It was there in the heartache of a New Jersey hospital room that the Holy Spirit came upon me, and I surrendered my life to Jesus - after over 20 years of walking away from Him. The grief drew me into my very big, close knit Italian family, and to Him. I wanted to know this Jesus that my mother held so dear to her heart and lived for. I KNEW she was with her Savior, and I wanted to know Him too.

The early years of marriage were filled with family, my career, faith building, and then came baby Catherine (bringing such joy to our family). And then, a new home in the MOST charming of towns in New Jersey. It had everything: close to my sisters, a faithful church, healing community and the train station (it was always about that commute from New Jersey into New York)!

Just as I had become comfortable in my new routine as a stay-at-home mom and Monte was excelling in his new position where he commuted in and out of New York City daily to The World Trade Center, something I hadn’t expected in a million years happened – Monte was offered a job in Atlanta.

NO. NO WAY! This is NOT what we Italian girls did. We did not leave the nest, especially when all I knew and loved was right there...BUT GOD.

I prayed that God would block the move. I prayed for supernatural provision of a way out. I prayed against the job offer coming through with every fiber of my soul. I needed God to SHOW UP for me now. But in the recesses of my heart, I remembered that at our wedding ceremony God WAS there. I had a reading from Ruth 1:16 , “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” And here's the thing, if I would have said no, we would have stayed, but I’d made a vow and I longed to please God regardless of the situation.

So, in 2001, just about a year after we moved into that perfect NJ house, the moving trucks pulled up and we moved away.

Atlanta wasn’t easy. All the babies had bows in their hair and all the cars had numbers on them. I had just found out that I was pregnant with baby number two and pregnancy was NOT easy. I had no mama, no sisters, no family, restricted to bed rest – I cried a lot. And then Miles arrived with colic, so we both cried a lot! I’ll tell you sisters, I was doing a lot of grumbling and complaining.

BUT GOD, on a seemingly normal September 11, 2001 revealed His masterful plan for our family – Monte was off at work, Catherine was playing, Miles was crying, and I was on the phone with my sister (probably crying) with the TV on in the background. And there it was on the TV, a plane flew right into the World Trade Center, Tower 1, where less than a year before my husband routinely went to work on the 86th floor, every day.

While this incredible tragedy ensued, I knew right then and there that God had not abandoned us or left us behind. God rescued us. I can say with 99 percent certainty that Monte would have been sitting at his desk that morning, so in that moment I fell to my knees thanking God for saving us. I praised HIM for bringing us to Atlanta. Never, ever, ever (did I say ever) would I have moved BUT GOD.

This testimony has shaped and molded OUR family for God’s glory. This is our story, yes, BUT GOD is the hero and all PRAISE and HONOR and GLORY to HIM, forever and ever, AMEN!

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Zephaniah 3:17 Oh, Lord, you rest your case with love and rejoicing (NIV study Bible notes). You quiet us with your love, a healing balm over us. A love we don't deserve, nor could we earn it Father.

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