Sometimes lessons in parenting are the little things we learn everyday or tidbits we read here or there. Other times, it’s planes crashing into buildings, that take your breath away and reveal hard truths.
That Tuesday morning of 9/11 I lost confidence in my parenting ability to keep my children safe. The events that took place that day still rock me to my core. We all remember where we were when we heard the news. Memories that are rooted in shock, fear, terror, surprise etch an indelible imprint in our brains. Whether we want to or not, forgetting them is not an option.
Earlier that morning, I was getting ready to go to a meeting with my infant son. I had the Today Show on in the background as I got ready and I just happened to sit down in front of the TV just a couple minutes prior to the first plane crash. When I saw the footage, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As I stared in disbelief, confusion set in followed by shock.
Once more details were being revealed, which wasn’t much at first, my initial thought was, “Dear God, what did I just do. I just brought this innocent life into this world. Is this the world he will grow up in?” I scooped him up in my arms and held him tight as tears poured down my face. I silently prayed for all those people and their families. The magnitude of what was happening made me feel so helpless.
I didn’t feel safe. Living in the United States had given me a false sense of security up to this point. Violence and attacks on the U.S. of that scale didn’t happen in my lifetime, so it really didn’t occur to me that it would happen. My confidence of being able to protect my children plummeted that day.
God was paving the way for me to eventually know that I really have little control over the future of my children. What I learned that day was that despite my best efforts, I couldn’t protect my children of all the evils of the world. Pressing on with parenting when all you want to do is hide away from all the horror, is bravery.
The effects of that day on me are truly insignificant compared to many others. However, I learned a lesson that day. While my first thoughts were covered in fear, God is bigger than my fears, and He was showing me that I could trust him with my future and my children’s futures.
A faith was being rooted that would be tested again soon enough.