Jesus Was With Me When...

  Post by Darlene Aiken

Post by Darlene Aiken

Jesus was with me when I woke up on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and I jumped into the shower and prayed like I always do. However, this prayer was different. This time it was weighing heavily upon my heart to pray for world peace. As usual I jumped out of the shower and prepared my son and myself so that we could begin our day, which started at 5am every weekday. After meeting up with my dear friend, we dropped our children off to school, she and I caught the train into our offices into NYC, mine being across from the major post office. While we were on the train a man jumped onto the train with tattered clothing ranting at the top of his lungs about people jumping out of windows. We looked at him, looked at each other and continued laughing & talking. We were in NYC, we experience this type of behavior everyday. She gets off one stop before me, however, this morning, she kisses me on the cheek and says she loves me. She's never done nor said that before, but it was well received. I love you too, sis was my response.

I get off at the next stop, which is 34th Street, and I see a massive grouping of individuals standing around an electronic ticker. I cannot see what is going on so I go across the street to my office and the receptionist asked me if I heard the news. I stated that I had not. She said that an airplane ran into one of the twin towers. I, without thinking, go into my office to turn on my computer and it will not load. I try to access information via the radio, no reception. Next thing I know, we're told that another plane has hit the second tower and they believe it is intentional. Just then my phone rings and it is my father. He's excited and tells me to leave work, but I told him that I was not able because they hadn't released us yet. Simultaneously, the phone goes dead and I hear that there are threats that the post office across from Penn Station is in danger of being bombed. It is at that time we're told to go home. However, all bridges, tunnels, mass transportation, and everything are closed. There's no way off the island of Manhattan and my son is in Brooklyn. I cannot even speak to him to let him know I'm ok. The cell phones are not operating, the telephone lines are down, we are trapped. Everyone is now on the same level regardless of race, social, economic, or any other status. I see peace amidst the craziness.

I see New Yorkers helping others. I hear New Yorkers saying nice things.

I walk outside and there is total pandemonium. There is absolutely no one to turn to. It is at that moment I feel all alone and hopeless. I began to weep in an uncontrollable manner. Will I ever see my family again? Is this the end of my life? What will happen to my child? Are all of my affairs in order? So many concerns swarm through my brain. I forget all aboutPhilippians 4:6 (NLT) don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Just then I feel a tap on my shoulder and I heard a voice but also felt engulfed by this comforting presence. I was then asked, “Have you forgotten whom you serve? I am here for you and I will see you through this, just do as I say.” It was at that point that the tears and worry ceased.

The voice told me to walk down the street and stop in the store on my right hand side and purchase a pair of socks and sneakers. I did. I put them on. When I was done I was directed to continue straight until I came to 2nd Ave. I would see a line of people talking on the pay phone, but do not stand on the line to wait as it will no longer be working once it was my turn. I didn't listen. I saw the people talking and reaching loved ones, surely I could make a quick call to let my son's school know I was ok and I could call my son's father and ask him to pick our son up, oh! And call my parents so they would not worry. I'd be quick. I promised! So I waited. I even gave someone a quarter and they made a call and was successful in getting through. We all cried when we heard their loved ones on the other end yelling that they were ok. People were helping each other in NYC. Finally, it was my turn and I felt all-alone again and the loneliness became more intense once the phone call would not go through. I tried again and again. Neither time would the calls go through. I sobbed and sobbed and felt so lonely and burdened. What was I going to do? GOD!!! Where are you?

I felt the presence again. I was told to walk straight down 2nd Avenue and stop in the church on the left hand side. Sit down and pray until I tell you to stop. I did. When I was told to get up, I did. I was told to walk across the Manhattan Bridge. I said, "God! All of the bridges are closed!" God told me that it would be opened by the time I reached. Sure enough the bridge was opened and I was able to walk across. He said at the bottom take the water offered on the right hand side. I did. He said go into the hair salon named Skillz and ask to use the restroom. I did. He said walk to the juice shop, get something to drink and sit down until I tell you to get up. I did. When He told me to walk, I did. I said, "God, I want to go get my son." He said, no, go get your car first. I went to go to get my car, just then I saw a lady walking down the street with a radio blaring her music. I remember feeling annoyed, but before I could really allow those feelings to manifest, I looked in her direction what did I see! My son and his dad! All I could do was scream their names! My son came running over to me with a big hug and smile. I broke down in uncontrollable tears as we embraced! I held him so tightly never wanting to let go. He patted my back asking what was wrong. He hadn't a clue. His small voice kept saying, mommy don't cry. He would interchange the mommy don't cry statement with the question to his dad, "daddy, why is mommy crying?" Finally, his dad peeled me off of our son, helped us into the car and drove off. I didn't even remember the drive.

God had positioned me for this. He even knew to incorporate my disobedience. He never left me, but I left Him when I didn't listen and He patiently waited for me. When I wanted to just do it my way, I left Him and He didn't force me back because He knew I could not do it without Him.

Jesus was with me every step of the way that day and all days. His Word says in Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT) Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” I am a living witness that He is not a man that He shall lie. That day changed my walk in Christ forever. That day is the day that I first experienced Jesus in a different manner. The day Jesus was with me.