Eighteen years ago today, four separate attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and nearly 3,000 lives taken and over 6,000 injured, I remember exactly where I was: math class. I had recently started boarding school in Connecticut, having just moved from Canada, and homesickness immediately inundated my 12-year-old self; when I resided in Canada, living with my aunt’s family, I rarely felt lonely, but here at Rumsey Hall School I found myself daily crying a river to bed and calling my mother five to ten times, begging her to bring me back to Korea and complaining why I have to live away from my parents. Emotionally, due to my immaturity, I consider this the toughest season of my life. Who knew God would use this adversity to save my mother’s life?

My mother worked for Merrill Lynch in Korea for nearly thirty years, and she was scheduled to attend a conference inside the World Trade Center on the day the most tragic event in my lifetime so far and hopefully ever bombarded Manhattan and DC, or America. My constantly wailing over the phone made her feel so bad that she canceled her hotel reservation the night before and postponed the meeting, both inside the Twin Towers, to be closer to me. She could not relay this update to Merrill Lynch due to communication issues, so of course her office freaked out, thinking she was in attendance. When my math teacher told the class what had occurred, I remember nobody believing him until he walked us to the closest TV in the fitness center. As I watched this horrific scene in New York City being replayed, I kept thinking about my mother and feeling uneasy, not knowing why and unaware she was supposed to be in one of the targeted buildings when this tragedy took place.

When I share this story, most people say, “You saved your mother’s life,” and I always respond, “No, God used me to save my mother’s life,” for I am convinced if I had not been homesick, He would have found a different path to make sure my mother could not be at the World Trade Center then. I recall God allowing me to hear the Holy Spirit very clearly at that point of my life, and my mother reminded me that I told her He spoke to me, “I will take care of your mother and father. Do not worry.” Still a teenager, I could not wrap my head around the unfathomable grace my Father had poured on my family here, because, although I will not elaborate here, based on the unthinkable hardship we were already facing, I do not believe any of us could have survived if He had decided to take my mother Home that day. The older I become, the more I understand this miracle God displayed and the more I praise my Savior.

May our righteous, merciful, gracious, and loving Father bring comfort and peace to every person whose life was affected this day in ways only He can.