Most people remember the major events of their generation. For my generation, September 11, 2001, will always remain an incredibly pivotal event. I was 23 years old and my heart wasn’t prepared to witness the evil, death, and devastation that occurred so close to home. (I lived in the Philadelphia area at the time and visited New York City just two days before.)
This past weekend, as I sat on the couch with my family and I looked at my boys watching pastors preach on livestream to empty churches, I realized that this would be a pivotal event for their generation. These sermons, preached by faithful pastors trying to continue to inspire and lead their flocks, were simultaneously mesmerizing and touching, and also haunting as a sign of the times. And while none of us has ever seen anything like this virus, I couldn’t help but wonder what my boys will recall from this time. I wonder what they’ll tell their kids about the year when, just as spring had begun, everything shut down, including their schools.
Parents Under Pressure
I know some moms read this blog, so I’ll say right up front that the last thing I want them to remember or tell their own kids from this time is how their mom lost her mind during it all. I used to joke with girlfriends that I would never have the “gift” of homeschooling, yet here we are. I certainly don’t want my children to remember the concerned glances my husband and I exchanged during news announcements. I want them to remember only the board games, movies, laughter, and potentially very clean house we all had as a result of the shutdown. But that’s not realistic. I think the best I can hope for is that they remember the mom who sat them down on the couch and told them honestly that I’d never seen anything like this and I didn’t know how long it would last or all the implications it would have but that I knew God was still greater.
What Will They Remember?
I’d like them to remember that I tried my best (even on the days that I bombed) to jump into a role I never thought I could do. I want them to remember how God bonded us in ways we wouldn’t have on our own. I want them to tell their kids that we still “went” to church, we created music, we cooked, and that faith prevailed even when we were scared.
I want them to tell their kids that, even when all else shut down, love remained. I want them to tell their kids that COVID-19 delayed the new life of spring that year, but didn’t cancel it.
If my kids remember the ways that my husband and I failed in this trial, I want them to tell that God never did. I want them to tell that the Bible came to life more than they had ever seen before because finally there were very few other things for them to put their eyes on.
And if someday I might be present for any part of those talks with the sweet blessing of grandkids, I hope I’ll be able to hear of a time that new life — simpler and more precious than before — came forth and changed the world forever.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s the author of Fire Women: Sexual Purity & Submission for the Passionate Woman and the co-author and editor of DiscipleTrip by Dr. Joey Cook. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.