Writing for the Generations

As a writer, I know words leave a legacy. The weight of our words, whether published in a book or a personal journal, gives cause to consider the question: Who am I writing for?

Since I was a small child, I would play the mental game of, “I wonder what I will be like when I am this age.” And I would dream of what my life would be like at the age I imagined. Years later, the word legacy has captured my attention. Now, instead of guessing what my life will be like in the future, I ask the question, what is the legacy I will leave behind?

My grandmother was a shy person who opened her mouth with wisdom and grace when she spoke. Her most profound expressions came from the poems she wrote.

Our family recently discovered a box of writings she collected and some of her handwritten poems. Her faith-filled life influenced her family and friends significantly and her writing focused on a message to future generations. She reminds her readers of God’s goodness, compassion, and faithfulness. Over and over, her words reveal her intimacy with a God she trusted wholeheartedly. 

God carried my grandmother as a young woman through the takeover of her beautiful homeland in Ukraine. His promises sustained her family through the ugliness of war in Germany and the loss of her son as she packed her life in one suitcase to leave for America. His faithfulness provided courage as her family passed through Ellis Island and into an uncertain future.

She experienced joy as her family grew and the next generation was born. My grandmother put down roots and nurtured hopes and dreams. She penned both her sorrows and joys and tucked them away in her Bible. 

My grandmother never became a published author, but she wrote for the generations. I can’t help but wonder if she intentionally left clues for us to discover. Her words taught us that God will be there for us as He was for her. “His benefits are worth rehearsing,” she wrote at the end of one of her poems.

As writers our words can strengthen the faith of future generations. What impact will your words make? Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2–4

Question:  What type of legacy have your grandparents or parents left for you?  Have you done anything intentional about leaving a legacy of faith for your children and/or grandchildren?

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