From Tragedy Comes Grace

“I may never know the answers to the questions that plagued me after 9/11. But I know if we can lean on God and each other we will be guided to a better , brighter future.”

Michael Hingson

9/11 Survivor

When Michelle Cottom speaks of the tragic loss of her daughter Asia on 9/11/2001, she is full of hope and promise from the beauty of her daughter’s life. “As I witnessed her life, and her death, many truths about our heavenly Father came to light. I learned that our Father does nothing without purpose. I came out a better person, with more grace and wisdom.”

While it is true that we may never know the answers to the questions that plague us about life’s greatest tragedies, Michelle Cottom’s beliefs are an inspiration to us all.

Michelle focuses on a couple of important facts that make tragedies manageable:

  1. “Our Father does nothing without purpose.” One of the hardest things for us to comprehend is that there is a much larger pattern to our lives than we could possibly imagine. We see things in a limited way, bound by our lives here on earth, and often bound by very small segments of that life. However, our Heavenly Father sees the entire plan from beginning to end, including our role in the universe. Every one of us has an important part to play, no matter how short or long our lives are.
  2. “I came out a better person, with more grace and wisdom.” When tragedy faces us, we find that there are two gifts it always brings: grace and wisdom. Grace is the reward of something we do not deserve, and wisdom is knowledge born of experience. Our Father gives us the strength to live through the hard times so that we learn from these events and ultimately grow stronger in our faith and in our ability to love others.

It is hard to see how Asia’s death could have possibly been beneficial in any way. However, her mother, the person best qualified to judge the effect of this tragedy, offers hope for those who are suffering. Grace, wisdom and strength are the gifts of God, whether we understand the purpose of a tragedy or not.

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