Eleven years ago today, I was rushing down I-20 eastbound from Lithia Springs trying to make it to Dr. Davis’ 9:25am political science class at Spelman College when Ryan Cameron (on Hot 97.5–now Hot 107.9) announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My heart dropped. I recall seeing young men who I’d always known as pillars of strength breakdown when they were unable to get a phone call home to go through. All of their New York bravado that so often annoyed me dissipated in an instance. I recall seeing my Spelman sister crumble into the arms of another upon hearing a third plane had hit the Pentagon where her father worked. I remember gathering with my friends around the television in our apartment—a place where we often consumed way too many Smirnoff Ices, shots of vodka and pans of brownies while watching The Real World and 106 & Park. But September 11, 2001 was different. That day we sat and watched news coverage in complete silence. Awestruck. Dumbfounded. Unable to fully comprehend what was occurring. Yet fully aware that our lives, our America and our world would never be the same.
Despite the chaos that surrounded me, despite the what ifs that flooded my mind, and despite all the worst case scenarios that were being discussed, I was consumed by an inner peace that could not be explained. That was the moment I knew my God was real. Not that I had ever doubted God’s existence before, but that was the moment that His presence and His peace manifested itself in my life. In that place on September 11, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life: when trouble rises, be still. Still in the midst of chaos connects you to God and allows you to feel His peace and hear His voice. Your wisdom, guidance and sanity can all be found in the peace God provides in the midst of chaos. Be still and know that He is God.