The whole world mourned the loss of thousands when terrorists rammed their jets into the two towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, stories and memoirs have been told by the loved ones of those departed and some from those who survived.
Christina and Brian Stanton were among the survivors and in her new book “Out of the Shadow of 9/11: an Inspiring Tale of Escape and Transformation,” Christina gets to share how the tragedy transformed their lives for the better.
The couple saw the second attack happened from the terrace of their apartment, which was just a few yards away from the Twin Towers. Christina recalled that the second jet “went right in front” and “turned and then shot in” to the South Tower. The shockwave from the blast knocked them out and they awoke a few minutes later to seek safety.
Christina remembered the chaos, the panic, and the blood as she and Brian run barefoot and in their pajamas toward Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. A crowd had already gathered there and they began to panic when smoke filled the air and when they realized that the towers could fall on them because of its tall height. She recalled seeing everyone screeching, running and bumping into each other and all she could say at that moment to Brian was, “Are we going to die?”
It was at that moment when they hid behind a huge brick fort that Christina had an epiphany. After saying goodbye to one another, she prayed. It was during her prayer that Christina realized that she lacks a spiritual relationship with God. She remembered praying for forgiveness that she didn’t put God first in her life.
But God answered their prayers when a boat took them away from the disaster scene and God ushered them to a better life even after their traumatic experience. Despite having to rebuild their life with years of counseling and months of cleaning the toxic dust that had accumulated in their apartment, Christina and Brian saw a silver lining.
The tragedy brought her closer to God through the guidance of Reverend Tim Keller’s famous Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. The church not only helped them financially but also provided them with stable jobs. Brian now works as the church’s chief financial officer while Christina leads teams in the worship, praying, and ministry of God’s gospel all over the world.
Certainly, out of the darkness, God shone a light for the Stantons that led them to a better life under His guidance and teachings. Christina said the tragedy “deepened our relationship with Christ” and made her discover her one true purpose in life, and that’s “glorifying God and to help others in a hurting world.”
The anniversary ceremonies on remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed when terrorists crashed hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville takes place. Victims’ names are read aloud at the ground zero ceremony, where moments of silence and tolling bells mark the moments when the aircraft crashed and the trade center’s twin towers fell.