Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

Thirteen Hours

Thirteen Hours — compressed into a 144-minute cinematic re-telling — relives the events of Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

In this post-Gaddafi Libya, Benghazi’s American diplomatic outpost was among 12 sites on the worldwide critical list, meaning they were inadequately secured and vulnerable to attack. And yet, on September 11, nothing had been done to enhance security. With special ops forces eager to aide and defend the situation about a mile away, the whole outcome could have been so different. Yet, our men were repeatedly told to stand down. Stand down. Stand down. And so, we no longer have our American ambassador Chris Stevens or three other Americans among us.

As the movie wrapped and the credits rolled over the screen, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

I felt emotionally drained, and my heart felt heavy. I was filled with grief and shame. I never thought I would have to watch such a movie about the operations of our country. We’re the good guys, aren’t we? We’re the ones who are called upon to right the wrongs. And yet, we weren’t there for our own.

I was happy that the soldiers who finally ignored stand-down orders and fled to the U.S. consulate got to tell their story. Yet, I was so hurt and ashamed that our country did not have their backs.

I wonder why. I wonder what the future holds for the country I have loved so long. I wonder about our leaders, and I use the term leaders lightly. I shake my head at the thought of them most of the time. I just don’t understand. Sometimes it feels as though they’re trying to sabotage our place as a guiding light in this crazy, mixed-up world. Sometimes I wonder if God has forgotten us.

And yet I know He has not. God is sovereign. He is omniscient. He is omnipresent. 

It’s a matter of perspective — ours versus His. He sees the whole picture; we see just a little sliver, and it’s dim at best.

He has a reason in all of this. He has a plan that we don’t yet understand. He will reveal it in His time.

Our job is not to understand. Not now. Our job is to humble ourselves before Him. Our job is to pray for our leaders, to pray for the state of our country, and ultimately to pray for a cleansing of the hearts and souls of our citizens.

I say again. We must humble ourselves, not before men, but before God. Men can be deceived by our outward appearances or actions, but God is never deceived. Men may think that we are strong or weak, faithful or disloyal, focused or inconsistent. God knows.

We must always remember, the time we spend here on earth is but a droplet in the bucket of eternity. And yet, what we do with this time affects all the other droplets in the bucket.

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us about your prayer for our country, for our world.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

photo credit: <a href=”″><3</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

Leave a Reply