WHEN JIM AND I married in 1999, I already had my daughter from my first marriage. Kaitlyn was eight when we started dating and eleven by the time we got married. I was happy and satisfied with parenting my beautiful daughter. Jim was a great stepdad, but I knew he longed to have children of his own. So in the spring of 2001, we decided to try to expand our family.
In the summer of 2001, I learned that I was pregnant with not one, but TWO babies! God does have a way of surprising us, doesn’t He?! My pregnancy got off to a rocky start with lots of what I considered to be severe morning sickness. I was thirty-five at the time – they call that a “geriatric” pregnancy! Because I was older and diabetic, I was sent for ultrasounds early and often to monitor the course of my pregnancy. It was at one of these early ultrasounds that I learned that one of the twins had not survived and no longer had a heartbeat. I was sad, but took comfort in the fact that the other twin was still alive.
At about nine weeks gestation, Jim and I went back for another ultrasound. It was September 10th, 2001. At that time we learned the other twin had also died. I remember sobbing uncontrollably with the loss of these two much-loved babies…babies I would never get to see, hold, or love on. I felt like I was such a failure for not being able to bring these two little precious lives safely into the world.
Driving into Chicago the next day on my way to work, my heart was still heavy with grief. I was listening to the morning radio program I listen to every day when suddenly the DJ broke into the usual programming with the announcement that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I assumed that a small commuter plane had had an accident. I remember thinking maybe the pilot had a heart attack or stroke or something. Then as I listened in horror, the DJs who were watching the unfolding events on their monitors, reported that it was a jetliner full of passengers that had hit the Tower and that a second plane had struck as well. I remember feelings of shock, horror, and an overwhelming urge to turn my car around and run for home gathering up my family as I went. I remember anxiously scanning the sky-line as I approached Chicago…looking for planes heading for the Sears Tower or other tall buildings that I could see in the distance. I prayed that God would watch over my family, and I prayed for the families whose lives would never be the same after that day. It was all so confusing. No one really knew what was going on, who was behind it, or what would happen next.
People often wonder “Where is God ?” when tragedies occur whether on a personal or national level. In those days of sorrow, loss, and death, I saw God’s hand in the family and friends who supported us through our personal grief at the loss of our twins. I saw God in the heroes that rushed into the burning, collapsing buildings when every human instinct would tell them to run the other way. I saw God’s strength in the heroic actions of ordinary people who acted with extraordinary bravery on Flight 93 to thwart further evil acts.
Evil does exist in this world, but God’s love is so much bigger.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save” (Zephaniah 3:17, ESV)
Join the Conversation: Have you ever wondered where God is? Has He comforted you in a time of sorrow? We would love to hear from you.
About Lori Loftis:
Lori Loftis lives in Northwest Indiana and attends Lamb’s Chapel UMC. She is married to her best friend Jim, has two amazing children, Kaitlyn and Matthew, and one fur-baby, Cinco. She works in research administration at the University of Notre Dame and enjoys writing grants for causes in her community that are near and dear to her heart including her church, food pantry, and a recovery home for female substance abuse offenders. Lori enjoys serving in several different aspects of ministry at Lamb’s Chapel including Ad Board chairperson, women’s ministry, and Mourning to Dancing, a ministry for moms who have lost children from miscarriage through adulthood. In her spare time, she is an avid reader, crocheter, and Green Bay Packers fan.
TWEET IT: “Evil does exist in this world, but God’s love is so much bigger.” Lori Loftis (Click to Tweet)
Loftis, Lori. "Where is God?". Lamb's Chapel Faith Stories, Volume 1. (Lamb's Chapel United Methodist Church, LaPorte,2013.) Cross photo courtesy of Shutterstock and Carlos Restrepo. Chicago Skyline photo courtesy of Morguefile and SDRandCo.