Harlem High School. Second period. English. The teacher next door stuck her head in, like she did many times during the day, but this time her words didn't make sense. She wasn't reminding me of a memo or a meeting or offering me a cup of coffee. She wasn't asking me a question or calling me into the hall for a conference. The words that came out of her mouth simply did not make sense. "Turn on the TV. New York is under attack." Before I could process a thought, one of my ninth graders grabbed the control and as I turned around I witnessed what most of the world witnessed on that awful day. I, along with the 14 and 15 year olds huddled around me, stood in awe. Romeo and Juliet were forgotten as our own tragedy played out live in front of us. And that was the beginning. The beginning of the new normal for our nation, for our world. 'Terror' took on a new meaning. 'War' became a current event. 'Random' became more than an obscure thought.
Every life was changed on that day, some more tragically and dramatically than others. Today, so many years later, I remind myself to:
1) Remember, God is still in control.
2) Pray for the families of the victims. Children became orphans. Men and women became widows. Parents lost children. Those open wounds have to be handed to Jesus every day.
3) Be thankful and express joy, profound joy, all the while pointing to Jesus. People need to see hope, feel hope, breathe hope. BE HOPE. BE LIGHT in the midst of the darkness.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.