Faith from Beyond the Ashes

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, some of those who were left behind received stunning signs that helped them move on and grow their faith.

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Ten years. It doesn’t quite feel like that to me. Instead, September 11, 2001, feels like both yesterday and a million years ago.

Bonnie McEneaney, the author of the Mysterious Ways story in this month’s Guideposts, lost her husband, Eamon, on 9/11. For her, that date will always feel, on some level, like yesterday. But Bonnie has changed so much since that day that it seems much more than a decade has passed. 

Before that tragic morning, Bonnie was a business executive and self-identified skeptic when it came to miracles. A few days after the attacks, she was awaiting news about her missing husband when she had a profound spiritual experience. 

Bonnie stepped outside her home to get some fresh air. Into the quiet neighborhood, she spontaneously yelled, "Eamon, where are you?"

Suddenly Bonnie felt an intense gust of wind. "It created such a strong pattern through the leaves and the trees that it was easy to follow," she writes in her book, Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11. "It had the outline of a river, swirling and turning as it made its way toward me. I stared, dumbstruck... I watched as it whimsically played with my skirt. As suddenly as the wind started, it stopped, cold, just like that. I knew my question had been answered. I didn’t have a bit of doubt about the truth of what I had experienced. 'He's gone,' I thought. 'It's over.'"

It was the beginning of a faith journey that led Bonnie to quit her job of 21 years and spend six years gathering stories from others who lost loved ones in the attacks. She discovered that they too had experiences that defied earthly explanation. “Many of them hadn’t told their story before,” Bonnie says. “They were afraid that people wouldn’t believe them.”

Writing the book helped Bonnie through her own grief. “A door opened that led me to sincere belief in ‘more than this,’ and a better relationship with God,” she says. 

On Sunday, ten years after that terrible day in September, Bonnie and many other spouses and survivors will return to the former site of the World Trade Center to open the memorial and honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives.

Bonnie’s book came out in paperback this week. Learn more about Bonnie's and others' signs and premonitions in this video. This Saturday, a documentary based on her book, Beyond: Messages From 9/11, will be shown on the Biography Channel at 10 PM EST.

Did the attacks on 9/11 affect you in a personal way? Do you have your own story about a sign, visitation or premonition that came before or after a tragedy? Leave a comment below or send your stories to [email protected]. One lucky Facebook commenter will receive a free copy of Bonnie's book.

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